How to become a stuntman in films

Did you ever wonder how Hollywood stars manage to accomplish all of those amazing action scenes in their films? The fact is that most of these sequences are done by people who are paid to step in and perform dangerous physical stunts. There are male and female stunt performers and they are the ones you see leaping off of high buildings, doing risky motorcycle jumps, crashing cars into walls and other acts that regular actors usually don't or won't do. In spite of the danger involved, being a stunt man is a good way to meet Hollywood stars and make very good money, when you work consistently. If you believe that being a stunt man is something you want to do, there are certain things you should take into consideration.

Be willing to take the risks. Being a stunt man means that your work will always put you in danger of getting injured or even killed. Be sure it is really a profession you want to do.

Make sure that you are in excellent physical condition. Stunt work is extremely demanding on your body. You have to be strong, healthy, well-coordinated and fit to be able to perform the actions demanded from you. You must constantly work out and keep yourself at your physical best.

Get training. You can attend a school that "teaches" you how to do stunts or learn the ropes from more experienced stunt men who are willing to show you the tricks of the trade.

Become a member of the Screen Actor's Guild. Getting your SAG card is a "must" if you want to work as a stunt man in films. You can also connect with other stunt men and get advice, encouragement, contacts and job leads.

Move to Los Angeles, where you will be closer to the film industry and will be able to make more professional connections.

Do extra work in a few films to get yourself positioned on a movie set and try to connect with whoever the stunt coordinator is. Let him know that you are a trained stunt man interested in work and provide him with your contact information and resume. You'll need to seize any opportunity you can to talk to the stunt coordinator, but being an extra will at least put you in close proximity to where he is.

Realise that you may have to take on lower-paying stunt work, as you gain more experience. If, however, you can prove how hard you are willing to work and do a good job, you are likely to get more jobs and better pay as your reputation grows. Until your pay improves, you probably need to have a second source of income, especially if you have a family.

Be willing to travel. Movies can be filmed almost anywhere around the world. You may be required to go to another state or country for some jobs. The more flexible your schedule, the more often you may be able to get work.

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