So, you want to become a stuntman, or are just curious to know how realistic it is to actually be one? Stuntmen or doubles, as they’re sometimes called, are those unsung heroes who take all the risk and get none of the glory. Imagine an Oscar winning actor actually jumping for a three-story building on to a moving car; highly unlikely. A stuntman will do all this and more, acting out the risky scenes that could potentially harm the lead actor. While you probably know that stuntman training academies are available pretty much all over the world, it will still take anyone several years to hone their skills as a stuntman, especially when it comes to avoiding injury.
But what’s it really like being a stuntman, from a financial perspective? Does the job pay well, and if so, how well? Other questions you could ask yourself is what kind of growth opportunities can be pursued and whether the money that one makes is actually worth all the risk because there’s no way that stuntmen get paid as much as the actors that they portray!
The American Screen Actors Guild is the governing body that sets the various standards for how much stuntmen and stunt coordinators get paid in the entertainment industry. And as of last year, the minimum wage specified by the Screen Actors Guild states that a stuntman’s contract daily pay should be around $900. Of course, the sum will differ based on the complexity of the stunt, as well as the level of risk that will be undertaken. So, you can be pretty sure that you could be earning up to one thousand dollars a day! Rates will also differ depending on whether the stunt is for a movie, television show or live theater.
How to Make More Money as a Stuntman
Although a thousand bucks a day doesn’t sound all that bad, just know that you’re not going to be hired for all 365 days of year. You could, in fact, be hired for just a couple of days a month. And the biggest challenge that stuntman face, is not the stunts that they have to perform, but actually finding stunts to perform. The best way to increase your chances of being discovered and hired is to enrol yourself in a stunt school as they are usually tied up with production houses and movie agent, considerably increasing your chances of making more money.
Apart from that, remember that being a stuntman requires not just courage, but also physical energy and mental stability. Being a stuntman is a young man’s profession and the demands of a stuntman’s role can be overbearing and physically straining as you get older. So, make sure you train often as it will make you better and keep you fit for longer. Not only is it important to be an experienced professional, but one must be able to keep their act fresh by being able to consistently “wow” the audience. And considering the complacency of today’s spoilt audiences, doing that might be quite a tall order.