Stunt Performer: what they do, how to become one, and where to study
A stunt performer, also known as a stuntman or stuntwoman, is a professional who specializes in performing dangerous or physically challenging feats for the film, television, and live entertainment industries. These skilled individuals execute thrilling and sometimes life-threatening actions, allowing actors to focus on their performances without risking injury. This article provides an in-depth look at the stunt performer profession, including specializations, tasks and responsibilities, pros and cons, demand, salary ranges, important qualities, and how to pursue a career in this field. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.
- Tasks and Responsibilities
- Pros and Cons
- Demand (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
- Salary Ranges (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
- Where do Stunt Performers Work?
- Important Qualities of a Successful Stunt Performer
- Step-by-Step Career Path
- How to Become a Stunt Performer
- Where to Become a Stunt Performer (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
- Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
Stunt performers can specialize in various areas depending on their interests and skill sets. Some common specializations include:
- High falls
- Vehicle stunts (car, motorcycle, etc.)
- Fight choreography
- Acrobatics and gymnastics
- Aerial stunts (parachuting, wire work, etc.)
- Fire stunts
- Water stunts
Tasks and Responsibilities
Some typical tasks and responsibilities of a stunt performer include:
- Rehearsing and executing stunts
- Collaborating with directors, stunt coordinators, and other crew members
- Ensuring safety measures are in place
- Performing under extreme conditions
- Continually developing and refining skills
Pros and Cons
- Exciting and adrenaline-fueled work
- Opportunity to work on high-profile projects
- Variety of projects and challenges
- Building a unique skill set
- High risk of injury
- Intense physical demands
- Irregular work hours and job stability
- High level of competition
Demand (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
As the film and television industries continue to grow, the demand for skilled stunt performers remains strong in countries with thriving entertainment sectors such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.
Salary Ranges (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
Salaries for stunt performers can vary depending on experience, location, and project budget. Approximate annual salary ranges are as follows:
- United States: $40,000 - $200,000
- Canada: CAD 45,000 - CAD 210,000
- Great Britain: £30,000 - £150,000
- Australia: AUD 50,000 - AUD 220,000
Where do Stunt Performers Work?
Stunt performers work primarily in the film, television, and live entertainment industries. They are essential for creating thrilling and realistic action sequences, allowing actors to remain safe while delivering a captivating performance. Stunt performers may work on various projects, including movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos, and live performances such as theater, theme parks, and stunt shows.
Important Qualities of a Successful Stunt Performer
- Physical fitness and agility
- Fearlessness and mental toughness
- Attention to detail and safety
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Adaptability and willingness to learn new skills
- Strong teamwork and communication abilities
Step-by-Step Career Path
- Develop a strong athletic background in sports, gymnastics, martial arts, etc.
- Acquire specialized training in various stunt disciplines.
- Build a network and connections within the entertainment industry.
- Gain experience through small roles, background work, or as a stunt double.
- Pursue membership in professional organizations or unions.
- Develop a reputation and body of work to secure higher-profile opportunities.
How to Become a Stunt Performer
There is no specific degree or formal education required to become a stunt performer. However, having a strong background in athletics, gymnastics, martial arts, or other physically demanding disciplines is essential. Many aspiring stunt performers attend workshops, seminars, or specialized training programs to hone their skills in various stunt techniques. Building connections within the entertainment industry and gaining experience through smaller roles, background work, or as a stunt double can help pave the way to a successful career in stunts.
Where to Become a Stunt Performer (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)
Below are examples of stunt training facilities and programs in each country:
- International Stunt School
- Stunt Training Academy
- LA Stunts Training Center
- Action Factory
- New York Film Academy
Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
While a formal degree is not required to become a stunt performer, having a degree in a related field, such as sports science, kinesiology, or physical education, can be beneficial. Additionally, a background in theater, film, or performing arts may provide useful insights into the entertainment industry. However, the most critical factors for success in this profession are physical fitness, specialized training, networking, and experience.