Three Ways to Stay Above the Competition in Stunt Careers

This article is a guest contribution from public relations specialist Savannah Marie, who also happens to run the wonderfully informative blog

stunt careers

Pretending to be James Bond while jumping out of a building…pretty high on the cool jobs list

Wouldn’t you love to be the person who jumps out of buildings or does a 360 in a high-speed car? Careers in stunt work offer these exciting opportunities and more.

You not only get paid for falling down, but you’re surrounded by others working in entertainment and you can travel all over the world. Although it sounds fun, as with any entertainment career, it means a lot of work and patience. Remember these tips when breaking into the stunt business:

1. Adapt to Any Situation

Stunt performers get hired not only for their abilities but also sometimes for their look, so be prepared to transform yourself from film to film.

One month you might be doubling for a 130-pound person with dreadlocks, the next month you’re doubling for a 200-pound person with a buzz cut. Some stuntmen even double as women. The point is, directors want the film to be as authentic as possible, which means that stunt people must resemble the actors.

Think like a chameleon and be ready to blend into several different parts, whether that means gaining weight, cutting your hair or for the guys, donning a wig and some lipstick.

Directors also change their minds, sometimes at the last minute. They might think the scene looks better if you fall on your right side or hit the ground a little harder.

What makes a great stunt person is being able to follow new directions. You might need to change a maneuver you’ve practiced a hundred times in the gym to something completely different in one second.

film production jobs entry level

2. Become Knowledgeable

Think about all the stunts you’ve seen in your favorite action movies. Chances are they involve a lot more than simply falling down a flight of stairs. Widen your opportunities by learning unique skills such as martial arts, dirt bike riding, driving a 2015 Mustang or horseback riding.

stunt double stunt career

Actor Robert Pattinson posing with his stunt double

Producers will pick stunt people who have the specific skills for the job. Less training means less money, so acquiring various abilities is one way to keep an edge over your competitors.

Mastering the basics is equally important. Performing stunts on big Hollywood movies means years of stunt training. Stunt people can make a decent salary as it is, but with experience and time, you can work your way up to a stunt coordinator. You’ll plan and direct the stunts instead of risking your life performing them.

3. Prepare for Hard Work

Stunt work is practically an art form. It involves thoroughly understanding your body and constant, vigorous exercise.

High-paid stunt workers spend countless hours just trying to perfect the art of timing. Whatever stunt you’re performing, you need to be in the right place at the right time, not just for the director’s sake but for your own as well. Being fit and having good instincts will save you from injury.

The entertainment industry is always cutthroat, so it takes a lot of determination to get a foot in the door and patience to settle for low-paying jobs. Don’t be discouraged when you start from the bottom. Work your way up with dedication and courage, and take whichever parts you can for the experience.

Rewards of Stunt Careers

What’s great about stunt careers is that you bring the most thrilling parts of a movie to life. You’re the one who makes the audience go wide-eyed as you run from an explosion or drive a car off a ramp.

It’s a challenging and risky career but a rewarding one, and even if you decide to try something else, experience will provide you with the right connections.



  1. timothyhiggs says:

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