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
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 ...
More about David Pibworth ...
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.
David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.
His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.
Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.