How to become a Stunt Performer – Complete Guide
Do you dream of swinging from buildings, or engaging in epic fight scenes? If you’ve ever envisioned yourself as the next big action star, becoming a British stunt performer might just be your ticket to the thrilling world of the film industry. While joining the prestigious British Stunt Register is a well-trodden path, it’s not the only route to success. Here’s your comprehensive guide on how to kickstart your journey into the adrenaline-pumping realm of stunts.
# 1. **Master the Basics:**
– **Physical Fitness:** Stunt performers need to be in peak physical condition. Focus on strength, flexibility, and endurance. Incorporate martial arts, gymnastics, or parkour into your routine to build a diverse skill set. I began with Parkour and Wushu and tried my best to become a specialist to get hired for my high level of skill, this helped push me into the other areas of stunt work.
– **Acting Skills:** Stunt performers often double for actors. Take acting classes to enhance your ability to convey emotion and sell a scene convincingly. Or create your own short action sequences with friends, its great practice and valuble experience.
## 2. **Build Your Skill Set:**
– **Stunt Training Schools:** Enroll in reputable stunt training schools like the British Action Academy or the British Stunt Academy. These institutions offer comprehensive courses covering various stunt disciplines, from high falls to combat sequences.
– **Specialized Training:** Develop expertise in specific areas, such as martial arts, horseback riding, or driving. The more skills you master, the more versatile and in-demand you become.
### 3. **Networking is Key:**
– **Join Online Communities:** Connect with fellow aspiring stunt performers and professionals on platforms like StuntNet and social media groups. Networking can open doors to opportunities and valuable advice.
– **Attend Industry Events:** Attend film festivals, workshops, and stunt conventions. This is a chance to meet industry insiders, showcase your skills, and gain exposure.
#### 4. **Create a Reel:**
– **Showcase Your Skills:** Compile a dynamic and engaging stunt reel that highlights your best performances. Include a variety of stunts to demonstrate your versatility. I cant stress this one enough, I made a stunt reel almost every year from 2005-2023
– **Online Presence:** Create a professional online presence with a portfolio and social media accounts dedicated to your stunt work. This can be a powerful tool for self-promotion. Dont forget a good CV and some sweet head shots.
##### 5. **Financial Investment:**
– **Training Costs:** Stunt training schools and specialized courses come with a price tag. Consider it an investment in your future career.
– **Insurance:** Stunt work can be risky. Ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage to protect yourself in case of accidents.
###### 6. **Time Commitment:**
– **Patience is a Virtue:** Building a career in the stunt industry takes time. Be prepared for a gradual progression and stay committed to honing your craft.
– **Continuous Learning:** Stay updated on industry trends and continuously refine your skills. The more you learn, the more valuable you become as a performer.
####### 7. **The British Stunt Register (Optional):**
– **Consider Joining:** While it’s not mandatory, becoming a member of the British Stunt Register can open doors and enhance your credibility. It involves rigorous testing of your skills and meeting specific criteria. If you want to know the FULL Stunt Register requirements you can download the PDF HERE
# Rewards Await:
Venturing into the world of stunt performing might demand dedication, hard work, and financial investment, but the rewards are boundless. The UK film industry is booming, with new studios sprouting up, and the demand for skilled stunt performers has never been higher.
My personal journey began with me wanting to do my own stunts and be like my inspiration Jackie Chan, I learnt Parkour by myself in the early days and carved a niche for myself. I also took up Wushu Kung Fu and represented GB and won many gold medals. My friends and I would made our own action films purely for the love of it and those videos over time got us regognotion world wide. After doing many live action shows I moved into doing TV commercials and then feature films. Finally I got given the opportunity to stunt double for Mark Wahlberg which was a pleasure, he is a legend. I have now done 5 films with Mark and have learnt so much from that experience. Being a lead actors stunt double is incredibly hard work, Almost too hard at times, but the rewards are worth it!
I wish you all the very best of luck if you do decide to go for it, just stay focused, do it because you love and enjoy the ride. It might take some time and paitents but eventually you will make it.