People often tell me when we meet, that they always wanted to be a stunt person. Then, they ask me: How did you become a stuntwoman?

My career as a Stunt Woman is a magnificent manifestation of me following my heart and passion in life.

I’d love to share my story with you. I hope that it might inspire you to find your passion in life, follow your heart, trust your inner guidance, and believe in yourself. You can manifest the career and life of your dreams, just as I did.

FitnessInstructoratSea

I was a fitness instructor working on board cruise ships at sea when the terrorist planes hit the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. I had been floating around, travelling throughout the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean, for almost three years.

At the time, it felt like the world was falling apart, on the brink of war. I decided it was probably a good time for me to come home, to British Columbia, where it was safe. However, working abroad was the best thing I could have done in my mid-twenties; I wanted more than anything to travel and at sea my home away from home did the travelling for me.

The excitement and adventures of living onboard a ship, travelling to a different country every day, and making friends from every corner of the Commonwealth was such a different world than the one that awaited back home.

Back in B.C.: Broke but not broken

When I got back to BC, it seemed that not much had changed. I found myself back in the same situation as before I had left: broke, in unstable living conditions, and working in a bar to pay the bills.  A little lost once again without any real direction and longing for the thrill of a life less ordinary once more.  I continued teaching fitness classes but had no real plan or goals to work towards.

I had no idea what I wanted career wise. After the excitement and adventure of living at sea, there is no way I would be content with something that didn’t make my heart happy and fulfill the desires of my soul.

Throughout my life in times of depression and difficulty, I have learned the importance of following my heart.  It’s when I have the most internal stress and struggle that I have found the benefit of meditation, journaling and letting go of all that doesn’t serve me.  It’s when I’m capable of clearing my thoughts and quieting my mind that I can find peace, clarity and guidance.  Ideas, thoughts and inspirations pop into my mind and they just feel right. Like the obvious answer to a question that needs no verification because you just know that, for you, at least, it’s 100% true.  I call that feeling listening to my heart.

My heart guided me at this time of uncertainty and the unknown. It told me not to worry about figuring everything out. Just get out there and do the things that make me happy. Do all the things that I enjoy, that I can throw myself into, and that I’m passionate about.

So, that’s exactly what I did! I continued to teach fitness classes, took up Tae Kwon Do, and started going back to adult gymnastics every Thursday night. (As a teenager, I was involved in almost every physical sport and activity; I excelled in track and field, weight training, volleyball, gymnastics, dance team, and cheerleading.)

It was clear that one of my strongest passions in life was in physical challenge and accomplishments. That’s where I truly thrived and felt alive. So that’s where I put my focus. I pushed myself into the best shape of my life. Between shifts at the bar and teaching fitness classes, I made time for as much training as possible. Although I still didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career, I was simply following my heart and my passions to see where they would take me.

What I did know, without a doubt, was that I wanted to do something physical, active, challenging, fun, exciting, and rewarding. I wanted to be my own boss. I put this desire out there into the hands of the universe and said, “Here, this is what I want, you figure it out!”

I’m a huge believer in the power of manifestation: whatever we think about, we’ll bring into our lives. I also believe that if you ask for something of the universe or your higher power, you will be answered. The answers may come to you in many different forms: maybe in a dream, or in the middle of a shower.  The answer might come to you by making a new friend that will bring new insight to your life, or in the synchronicity of being in the right place at the right time to experience something that might change your life.  There are as many different messengers as there are interpretations of the messages, you just have to know how to interpret the answer, when it comes, in a way that resonates for you.

Watching a fake fight: Fate intervenes

One night, the answer to all of my wishes came to me in the form of two women fighting it out.

I was at adult gymnastics, by myself, bouncing away on the trampoline. I saw two ladies fighting over and over and I watched them for a while. I took notes on their choreography, intensity and believability.

After a while, I went up to them and asked what they were doing. They said they were stunt women and were putting together a fight scene. Until that moment, I had no idea you could be a stunt person in Vancouver. I knew nothing about the industry or the profession.

A fire sparked inside of me that night.  This was the answer I had been waiting for.  I remember simply smiling back at them and saying, “Cool. I can do that.”

From that moment forward, everything in my life started to fall into synchronistic perfection and make sense to me.  My background in gymnastics had prepared me with the strength, flexibility, agility and body awareness I needed to learn how to hit the ground and not hurt myself.  Many years as a fitness instructor prepared me for the intense physical training to develop my stunt skills.  The versatility of my sports background gave me the mental confidence knowing I could successfully pursue any physical endeavour if I put my mind to it.  Looking back, I believe that I was preparing for this career decades before I even knew it was an option for me.

Falling down while everything was falling in place: a union stuntwoman within a year

My first year of stunts was a whirlwind of training, networking, more training, getting my head shots out, meeting coordinators, and training some more. Once I knew the career that I passionately wanted to pursue, there was no stopping me.    I was motivated, enthusiastic and excited because training for stunts felt perfect and natural for me.  If fact, when I told my friends I had decided to become a stuntwoman, not a single one of them was ever surprised.

I had found a way to make a living by pursuing my passion and my dreams.  My training was a big part of my work but how could I call it work when I was having so much fun.  I added the Action Room (a stunt training gym), rock climbing, scuba diving, motorcycles, and horseback riding to my training routine. I loved every minute of every training day! I attended every stunt seminar or class I could get invited to and started working on set as an extra or stand-in to learn set etiquette.

I believe my success in my first year was a combination of my determination to establish myself, acquired skill set and physical and mental toughness.   My ethnic ambiguity was also a big bonus for me because I could double any actress of most ethnic backgrounds. These factors ensured that I had all of my credits and full union status within a year.

I’ve been a stuntwoman since 2002. I love my job so fully that I can’t possibly imagine doing anything else at this point in my life. I fully followed my passion—my stunt career is a manifestation of that journey.

 

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