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What if everyone had to hustle like a stunt guy? – Part 2

A Brief Summary

In the last article I talked about the hustling, or “networking,” a stuntman has to do to get his job. Briefly put, it goes a little something like this: Stuntmen have to find out where TV shows and movies are filming (this is not published), sneak onto the set, avoid security, find the stunt coordinator, and then at an appropriate time (side note: there is never an appropriate time) hand off their resume and introduce themselves.

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The Craziness

At this point some people might say, well that doesn’t seem so bad. Oh, you just wait! Here are the types of things that happen on these hustling trips.

Even though it is expected that stunt guys hustle, some coordinators do not like this. In fact, you risk waiting around your entire day for the coordinator to send you home or, for some, it is more their style to rip up your resume and head shot right in front of you and then throw it on the ground.

This is a great segway into the crazy time spent hustling. The main goal is to get to the stunt coordinator to show yourself, introduce yourself, and hand off your material. Sometimes this takes 1 minute…and sometimes this takes 8 hours. Some stuntmen find themselves waiting in a car for 4 hours until they have a chance to get on set, and then wait another 4 hours to get the chance to get close to the stunt coordinator!

Then you have to deal with security and tattle tales! Technically, film sets are closed sets. This means that unless you are part of the cast & crew, you should really not be there. However, this is something stunt guys deal with all the time.  The only thing I can relate this to after hearing stories is a cartoon like “Bugs Bunny.” I imagine these stunt guys carefully tip toe around like Elmer Fud trying to slowly make it to the stunt coordinator, or Bugs Bunny, without alerting him or the people around him!

Is it worth it?

Every stunt guy that I talked to said the same thing, “It is absolutely worth it.” If you are willing to put in the work and deal with the shenanigans, you are in for a lucrative and self-rewarding career. The types of experiences these guys have under their belts is amazing. How would you like to be able to tell your grandson you jumped 120ft from a Helicopter into the Ocean for a movie?

What if everyone had to hustle like a stuntman?

Lastly, I circle back around to the question that started the past two articles. What if the normal “Joe” had to hustle like a stunt guy? What if bank tellers had to track down the location of bank CEO’s, sneak into the building past all the security, swiftly navigate past the secretaries’ desk, and camp outside their office? They would sit there, undetected, until the prey walked out of their office and they would spring into action, reciting the fastest self-promoting pitch they could, before security or the CEO ripped up their resume and kicked them out! Do you think people would have the guts to do this?

I think this takes a certain kind of person. I would be willing to bet that most people don’t have this type of courage, or more accurately, “hutzpah.” Maybe because of the natural danger in their business, stuntmen are more likely to take these chances? If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I definitely wouldn’t be up to doing this. I’m going to leave the hustling to the stunt guys and hope it never bleeds into other industries!

By Zachary Miller

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