What A Cunning Stunt!
I'm an actor combatant ...
POSTED BY DAVID PIBWORTH ON 20/10/2015 @ 8:00AM
Last week, I was summoned into an audition room to do a stunt. To give you a little background, over the years I have been used for what are termed 'Low Level' stunts, on tv or film ...
I may not have been auditioning for a role in the next James Bond movie, but I was still pleased with the quality of the stunt I performed ... six times.
copyright: shakzu / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
This means that the insurance will cover an 'actor combatant' (someone trained a bit) rather than having to pay a stuntman's fee for the day which is usually mighty high.
When I was younger, I was reasonably handy with a sword in stage combat and had done a rather fierce car driving course that led to a few jobs with screeching cars out of driveways and round corners for CrimeWatch and other small filming parts where a stunt person wasn't actually required.
"When they do get stunt people in, they do like to at least get them to turn over a car or fall from a very high building."
Until quite recently, that work had dried up for me, but suddenly, as a middle-aged man, I have been re-discovered as it were.
I recently rode a horse through a railway carriage, bare backed and holding a cup of tea and a briefcase for an advert and was involved in a fabulous high-speed car chase last year, which I've yet to see, but was huge fun.
Anyway, back to this particular stunt. You never quite know what it's for when you go to these things, and there's always hope that it's for a James Bond film or something, but when I walked in they said "Ah, good morning David, can you dive across that table please, taking out the computer and everything on the desk, landing on the floor crumpled and looking slightly surprised?"
"I thought that the last bit of direction was somewhat redundant as I honestly couldn't see any other way of ending up."
Anyway I did it a few times and they seemed happy enough and if I get the job, I will be too, as one day's filming on this kind of job is worth about the same as the entire fee for the pantomime I'm in this year.
To be quite honest, it's not the falling that does me in so much as the getting up these days as the old knees aren't quite the ticket anymore, but I always bound up with apparent endless enthusiasm.
That's the acting bit kicking in. I don't really know what this particular job is for, but please do bear me in mind if you should want someone to take out your computer by sliding across your desk as I have to say I thought I was pretty good at it.
"I'll even bring my own crash mats."
But at 55 years old, overweight, with knackered knees and various other old injuries, I did think - as I was sliding across the table for the 6th time, I wonder if they are thinking "Now, here is a complete stunt". If I get the job, I'll post the results up here to see if you agree with them.
Until next time ...
As Christmas is approaching, I shall be out and about with the Magic Stall, showing you how to do magic and selling some great tricks. I'm at Olney market on Thursday 22nd October. Come and say hello!
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.
Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.
He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.
He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.
David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.