Stunt Performer Spotlight: David Matchinga
Tell the community about yourself! My name is David Matchinga, I am 19 years old, I am a stunt professional working under Stunt Predators USA and a freshman at Ohio University. What inspired you to become a stunt person? Ever since I was young, the action that I saw in movies and TV shows captivated me. I had multiple conversations with Mr. Fike over the years and he would show me how stunt-work was played out in the real world. Mr. Fike’s experiences and growing up seeing all the amazing films he has done was what drove me to become and stuntman. When I was the right age and had enough experience, he gave me the opportunity to work with him. What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer, is there a story behind it? My greatest skill would be falls, taking hits and acrobatics. Before I got into stunts, I was a male gymnast for ten years and I was state champion for my level of gymnastics in three of the six events. Over those ten years I got pretty good at taking hits and falls. Being able to apply the skills that I have from my years as a gymnast have definitely enhanced by abilities when it comes to performing stunts. What is the best part about being a stunt performer? To me, the best thing is the great places we see, people we meet, and the great industry that we are building. Stunt Predators has played a huge role in my stunt career as well because of all the knowledge, talent, and skills that I have been able to learn from other stuntmen and women. This group has so much experience, talent, dedication, and knowledge that we all share and that is what makes Stunt Predators a great team. What advice would you give other stunt people? Some advice that I would give is to diversify your knowledge and skillsets by surrounding yourself with as many experienced stunt professionals as possible. Train with them frequently and safely so you can broaden your skills while not hurting yourself in the process. Professional stunts should be calculated risks and performed properly with every possible safety precaution. If you fail to take safety seriously then you won’t be doing stunt work for long. What would you like to tell the community about? I would like the community, especially in Ohio, to realize just how many careers and jobs are created through stunts and the film industry. We hope that Ohio can keep growing in popularity with film production and stunt opportunities. Bringing more movies, TV shows, and commercials to Ohio is great for our local stunt professionals as well as our economy. Stunt Predators is a fantastic group of professional stunt men and women that are eager to work and help our community. Favorite Stunt story: My favorite stunt story is when Stunt Predators filmed “Cherry” in 2019. We filmed it in Cleveland, Ohio during the fall and winter months. My favorite part of it was filming the boot camp training scenes with Tom Holland while being directed by the Russo brothers. Spending that time filming some brutally cold military scenes with some great people and getting to know the actors is one of my favorite memories of my stunt career.