How to Be a Model and Train as a Stuntwoman: Insider Tips from the Pros

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve probably seen me doing stunt training on a wire and doing stunt choreography. I started training in stunts several years ago beginning with martial arts and weapons. You may have seen me in action during some films and photoshoots. I recently decided to return to stunt training to refresh some of my martial arts skills and to build on my foundation for doing stunts.  

Back in March while in Atlanta, someone recommended ATL Stunts as a great place to train. Some great performers such as Carrie Annie Bernans have trained at ATL Stunts.  I decided to check it out and loved the environment, instructors, and classmates. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to continue learning more and perfecting my skills! 

I highly recommend training at ATL Stunts if you’re in the Atlanta area and are looking to get into stunt work. The classes are very reasonably priced and there is a class for everyone whether you’re a beginner or have some experience. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, there are plenty of other great stunt training facilities across the country. Do some research and find one that’s right for you! 

I specifically wanted to focus on working on a wire because I want to incorporate doing fashion photoshoots while on a wire. I have a vision for creating some amazing, beautiful editorials that can only be created with me being on a wire. So the first step is learning how to do basic wirework stunts. In my first session, I learned how to do a backflip on a wire.  

This is where you’re in a harness that is attached to a wire on both sides. There’s a pully system that another stunt team member uses to pull down on the wire which sends the stunt performer into the air and they gently lean their body in the direction they are supposed to flip (in my case, backward). 

 It looks really cool when it’s done correctly and takes a lot of practice to perfect.  I learned the basics: 

  • how to put on a harness
  • wire safety (safety is the most important thing when it comes to stunts)and,
  • how to do a backflip and land properly. 

The first parts are easy but the landing is the hardest part because it’s all about timing and selling the shot.

Fortunately, you don’t have to flip yourself because there’s someone to pull the wire that flips you. However, you do need to focus on your form while being flipped (i.e. keeping your arms and hands from flailing around) and being ready to land as per the hypothetical scene requires (i.e. in an action movie you’re going to land like a superhero for example). 

Similar to being on a trampoline, to get ariel shots while jumping and posing in the air, being on a wire helps create the effect of motion while in mid-air without the strenuousness of doing flips and creating all of the momentum yourself. 

Also, you decrease the chance of injury significantly. I’ve been booked many times to perform jumps and ariel-style poses for photographers and let me tell you that it is very, very hard on the body without using a trampoline or a wire. It’s also extremely dangerous. I once did this shoot in NYC where I was jumping barefoot and doing flying kicks on concrete. I’m so lucky I didn’t fall and seriously hurt myself. 

I believe it’s a great asset for models to add and diversify their skill sets in several ways. Movement is one of the core skill sets a model should master. Most models only think in terms of dance which is very valid. However, as projects are becoming more diverse, and the demand for catchy visually stimulating content increases, the need for models to have a broader range is increasingly more valuable. I’m excited to continue my training and hone my skills so that I can eventually achieve my vision. Stay tuned for some amazing content coming your way. :)

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