Monday, January 24, 2011

A Message from the Mat

Apparently a stunt person's job is mostly falling. I spent the last two days doing the more exotic jobs of the stunt team: wire work. I've done impossible Matrix-style flips in the air, been picked up and thrown against the wall like Spiderman on a bad day, and jerked through the air by pneumatics like I was right next to a huge explosion. All that, suffice it to say, was awesome. That was the candy. The other side was working as a puller to help other people achieve these same impossible tasks. That is all about watching. In fact, the entire weekend was about focus. Not focusing on what you're doing, per se, because that generally caused over-thinking and educational experiences. With all the notions of working with timing, location, blocking, trust in a team, ready to hit your mark when action is called and everything else that goes with that kind of work, the two possibly most important elements are breathing and where you are looking. If you don't breathe, you can't live, so how can you be super-human without air? Moreover, you go where your eyes go. If you look at the ground, well that's where you're going. These are the same two things that have been haunting me (in a good way) all my life. I have a pretty good idea where I want to be, it's just staying focused on that. Now is a very big distraction. I want to focus on what is directly in front of me, which is important, but if I stay focus on that, then that's where I will stay. It's like trying to look at a particular star, but following a bird, then a cloud, then a plane, then going inside because it's raining. A lesson from the pros is that you look at where you want to go; your peripheral vision will tell you what you need to know, and the ground will always be there, whether you are touching it or not, and don't close your eyes for a second or you will miss something very important. ...and keep breathing. If you have those two things, I think you're pretty good and already a bit super-human.

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