Stunt Work and Parkour Training

     If someone is interested in doing stunt work and is curious about how parkour can help with their stunt career, or vice versa, then there are a few differences that one should look at. Becoming a stunt actor requires taking on the job title of a stunt actor, while parkour can be an activity that you perform every now and then. Stunt actors normally are trying to accomplish a specific fall, flip, or landing to look appealing to the camera or director. However, for parkour you have no one to appeal to, other than yourself. Granted, there are basic moves and forms you should know, however once you have the basics down it is up to you to be as creative as you want with them. This is not to take away from stunt actors because some of the stunts they perform requires a lot of skill and technique. However, if you plan on participating in both worlds with the intention of being great at both, then that is where you run into some trouble. To be great at stunts requires falls to be clean according to industry standards and to be great in parkour requires one to push to the edges of one's capabilities.

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     One of the common values of parkour is safe progression and being strong to be useful. Safe progression to being a parkour athlete means being able to work towards a difficult, sometimes dangerous skill/jump, with progressions that build towards the main challenge. Safe progressions are meant to allow us to train however long our bodies can let us. The idea behind the “be strong to be useful” philosophy is to learn skills, and gain mastery over your body to then help others when the need arises in any situation. This includes the mental strength that is gained from pushing through mental barriers in parkour, the agility from the movement, or the strength gained through training. Immersing yourself in training parkour can be very rewarding physically and mentally. However, it’s not very rewarding when it comes to obtaining money in your pocket.

     Parkour itself is not really in high demand for anything, which is why many people who are focussed on parkour as a lifestyle usually are coaches or have to find another similar avenue to make money through parkour. They may even need to go so far as to attain a completely unrelated career to support their lifestyle. Which leads some athletes towards pursuing a job working in the stunt industry. There is a vast majority of techniques that one can pull from parkour when thinking about stunt work.

     There are certain types and styles of movements from parkour which are especially invaluable to stunt performers. More specifically all of the basic vaults are used a lot in common fight/chase scenes. Most of the basic flips and twists will be utilized because everyone likes a flip on camera. What's mainly important for anyone who is interested in stunts is to be able to repeat the basics of parkour with control and technique. In stunts, the actual difficulty of the move is irrelevant, all that matters is how the audience perceives the movement, and if they feel it looks ‘realistic’ enough and having a solid foundation in parkour will help you achieve most if not all of the stunts you are asked to perform.

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     Stunts and Parkour overlap to some degree since they are both movement based, and may on occasion draw from one another for techniques or inspiration. But all in all, the requirements for Stunts means that Stunts will always be in a box of what is desired. This is in no way a bad thing. It is meant to be visually appealing, and is in a sense, movement-based acting, and has a very specific and specialized place. However, on the other end, Parkour has no lines to follow, and can, therefore, expand to become whatever the individual practitioner wants it to encompass. Creativity, technicality, power, the goals are all what you set for yourself, and training is not for an end goal, but for the joy of the movement itself. That being said, Parkour has such a great pool of creativity to draw from. It has an endless artillery that any practitioner can utilize to help step themselves into the stunt world, and then maybe just maybe onto the big screen.