Want to be a stuntman? Learn from professional Stuntman Gary Peebles!
I was recently able to interview stuntman extraordinaire Gary Peebles. He offered some insight into his world and what he thinks are keys to becoming a stuntman. The interview can be seen here but if you would like the cliff notes here are Gary’s five traits that every stuntman should have, in no particular order.
You are going to absolutely LOVE this stuff. No one does what stunt guys and gals do without love for the work. The passion is what will drive you to be the best in your field or at least strive for it. If you love your work it will show up on film or in the scenes you perform. Love what you do and it will love you back.
Trusting the people you work with is necessary but also trusting yourself to know you own limitations is crucial. The stunt coordinator is going to rely on you to let me know what your capabilities are and you are going to rely on them to not put you in harm’s way unnecessarily. Be honest about what you can do and trust that those around you are doing the same. Trust is what is going to keep you safe.
Doing the things you are going to be asked to do won’t come easy. Sometimes you won’t be able to get it right on the first attempt. You will have to try, try, and try again. Perseverance is the key. Precision requires repetition and you are going to need to hone your craft. Keep at it even when the going gets tough and you will soon be living the dream. Or at least doing stuff no one else is willing to do for money. Don’t quit!
You have to want it. You are going to be doing some crazy stuff. Some stuff that many others might scoff at. You have to want it or you won’t have the wherewithal to continue. It is your will and your want to that will give you the strength to jump off a building or jump onto or out of a moving vehicle. If you don’t have the will to succeed you won’t be able to set yourself on fire and jump out of a window. And that is what it takes to be successful in the stunt business.
You will fail, and fail often. You are going to have to be okay with that. Ego can’t get in your way and you have to realize that. There will also be others that can do amazing things but that won’t change the fact that you have unique talents that make you an asset. Just don’t get discouraged. And when you get good, like really, really good help others like the people who helped you along the way. It’s a small world in the stunt universe, the humble guys rise to the top.
If you would like to see more of Gary’s work check out “The Night Watchmen” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4102722/) as well as the shorts “Last Case Scenario” (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/1807a172d1/last-case-scenario) and the fan film “Inversions II” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl-SVJn6-VM).