How to become a Stunt Performer

Stunt performers undertake dangerous or difficult acts for the purpose of entertainment, including replacing film actors in dangerous scenes. They strive to achieve the greatest visual impact with minimum safety risk.

Personal requirements of a Stunt Performer

  • Quick reflexes and flexibility
  • Good eyesight (may be corrected)
  • A sense of timing
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Responsible attitude towards safety

Education & Training for a Stunt Performer

You can work as a stunt performer without formal qualifications. However, you will need to obtain special grading from the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance before working. You must be 18 years of age to apply.

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VIC

Duties & Tasks of a Stunt Performer

Stunt performers may perform the following tasks:

  • jump from high buildings
  • drive cars and motorcycles at fast speeds and crash vehicles
  • perform fighting scenes, incorporating martial arts, wrestling or boxing moves
  • perform flying or falling stunts with the assistance of ropes, harnesses, parachutes, trampolines and crash mats
  • enter flaming buildings or set themselves on fire (using safety procedures)
  • perform stunts on horses, boats, trucks and water skis
  • perform stunts in and under water involving swimming, diving and a wide range of water sports
  • check scripts in regard to safety aspects and provide safety reports
  • oversee performers on set and provide advice or help with safety.

Working conditions for a Stunt Performer

Stunt performers carry out acts that look spectacular or appear dangerous, using timing and props to minimise risks. It takes experience and a lot of time to work out a logical procedure for executing stunt work. Stunt work can be physically demanding and may require a lot of time spent in uncomfortable positions or places, such as underwater or underground. Hours can be long and varied (particularly for film work), and early starts and late finishes are common.

Employment Opportunities for a Stunt Performer

Stunt performers work on contract for film companies, television stations and video production houses. They may also work in a variety of entertainment centres, including circuses, theme parks, shopping centres and showgrounds. Extensive experience is needed to gain the necessary skills. Success is likely to depend on ability and motivation, while demand is determined by the level of investment in the television/film industry and public interest in live performance. With experience and completion of further grading, stunt performers may become safety supervisors or stunt coordinators.

Additional Information
To meet the requirements for Stunt Action Person grading set by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, stunt performers must have a minimum of six months of recognised general stunt training and be able to demonstrate competency in four out of five categories: Body Control, Heights, Vehicles, Animals (Driving or Riding) or Water. Competency in Body Control is compulsory. Completion of courses, previous experience or licences may be required to demonstrate competency in a category. A current Provide First Aid Certificate is also required.
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