Author: Amy Johnston
Amy Johnston is an actor and stunt performer working hard in the industry. Amy is known for her work on both “Deadpool” films, “Captain America: The Winter Solider”, “Accident Man”, “Suicide Squad” and many more.
Amy has worked alongside many great stunt performers during her career and this has given her the access needed to interview a number of them about how they ended up doing what they do, how they develop, progress and hints and tips for eager stunt trainees.
This book is a collection of interviews with talented stunt performers at the top of their game – its full title is “How to Stunt in Hollywood: Insight and Advice from World Class Stunt Professionals”.
This book is currently only available as an Ebook. The cover features an explosion with a silhouette body being propelled towards the reader.
The book has a table of contents, listing the stunt performers interviewed and then starts properly with an Introduction. Over these two pages we get to know a little bit about Amy including the struggles she went through to mix stunt work with acting work.
We then move to the main reason for the book – interviews with world-class stunt performers! These are great and cover lots of ground. The performers interviewed are well known and respected and include Heidi Moneymaker, Ilram Choi, Jesse Johnson, Li Jing, Caitlin Dechelle, Travis Wong and many others.
The questions asked are relevant to finding out about what it takes to be a stunt performer, from what inspired each performer to start working in stunts, the first steps they took to progress their dream, diet, through to advice for aspiring trainees. Each performer answered the questions in detail and there are lots of interesting, impactful answers. The interviews are nicely laid out and follow a natural progression, almost as if you are having a conversation with them so it’s packed with plenty of handy and practical information.
The second half of the book has a clever feature – the questions are laid out and all the answers from the interviews are listed beneath it. This is a great resource to cross-reference responses, spot differences and dig out the golden nuggets of insight revealed within these responses. It really highlights that there isn’t just one single way to train, to get started in the stunt industry or reason to keep moving forward. Maybe it’s just as well that you need a high degree of self-discipline and autonomy testing your mettle to see if you’re cut out for it!
The book then closes with Johnston’s closing thoughts and lastly, acknowledgments.
This is a tremendous book with some fantastic revelations and insights into the stunt industry. This book is not about Amy, but about the wider industry and the professionals that constitute it.
It has a great selection of stunt performers and some captivating questions. One of my favourite questions was around what each performer thought was the best investment of their career and there are some very significant, stimulating answers.
Even if you’re slightly interested in film and television stunts, this book will make a worthwhile read to help understand the different paths that could be taken to get into it. Amy has squeezed a lot of work into her stunt career in the last few years, performing both as a stuntwoman and as an actress. I hope there’ll be another book in due course charting her progress and evolution along with her insights into both industries. If you’re interested in becoming a stunt performer, or are currently training for the stunt register, then you should definitely get and read this.
- How do you balance your work with your life?
‘It works perfectly because a lot of things I like to do are work related. Picking up new skills doesn’t feel like work, I love it! Drifting around the track and practicing my moves doesn’t feel like work either! It can be difficult because I’m a mom with 3 kids, and now a grandson. I’m a wife and we have a business, so it can be pretty crazy trying to balance everything.’ – Debbie Evans
- What inspired you to pursue a career in the stunt industry?
‘I actually kind of fell into it. I was a professional Thai boxer, living and fighting in Bangkok, when I was asked to do a casting for an acting role – someone who had a specific look, needed to be able to fight and do their own stunts. I was super amped when I got the job.’ – Olivia Jackson
- In broad terms, how has your career progressed from the beginning up until now?
‘Change is inevitable. “Be like water”, as Bruce Lee would say. I started out as a luchador. I went on to live shows ranging from circus, hand-to-hand combat, to being a skating monkey, then on to a touring circus and now being a part owner in a stunt services company.’ – Joe Ross
- How do you manage to stay consistent with your training regimen?
‘I have been training in martial arts since I was 6 years-old, so it has always been a daily part of my life. I am either in the gym, working out and lifting or training in martial arts.’ – Caitlin Dechelle
Book Rating: 9/10
Amy’s commitment shows on her active YouTube channel that you can subscribe to and follow for updates, training tips and further inspiration! You can also get your copy of Amy’s book “How to Stunt in Hollywood: Insight and Advice from World Class Stunt Professionals” from Amazon. Love stunts and jaw-dropping, knockout action? Which stunts from movies do you remember most? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Stunt guy or gal in the making? Then this FUniverse of exclusive interviews are for you!)