Imagine standing on the edge of a building, preparing for a High-Fall Stunt. Or even just repeating a simple movement that might aggravate a previous injury .... Fear can set in. Your heart races, palms sweat—fear sets in.
But what if we told you that "Fear is just a lack of knowledge", and by understanding and managing this fear it could be the key to not just performing the stunt successfully but also performing even better, and more safely?
Fear is Natural!
Brave people don't hide their fears, they face them. Own you fear. Everybody experiences fear at times, it is so normal. What is not normal in our industry is to do nothing about it, which places you and others into far greater risk of your fear's coming true!
The important thing is to admit that to yourself and to speak up. Nothin is worse than someone hiding a fear and going beyond their limits, aside from creating trauma or leaving them stuck, sometimes literally and physically, it also creates a massive risk. If you're on a high platform and freeze up, you might need a rescue, or you might fall, or you might not fall correctly. So, at The ISA we embrace fear as a natural and normal thing for performers to experience and use trusted techniques to work with it, ease it or put it to good use!
Understanding Fear: The Physiology and Psychology
Fear is not just an emotion; it's a complex physiological and psychological response that involves the release of adrenaline, heightened senses, and sometimes, paralysis. Understanding the science behind fear can help you manage it better.
Fear vs. Caution: A Fine Line
Healthy caution is good to have, and its basically a risk assessment our mind performer, consciously and unconsciously. Meanwhile debilitating fear (stuff that makes us dream, feel anxious or even freeze up or react differently to how we have trained) can hinder performance and even lead to serious accidents.
Knowing the difference between a Healthy Caution and a Debilitating Fear is very, very crucial in Professional Stunt Work. Mistake them and you can ignore a risk or even put yourself and others into harm's way.
The Dangers of Fear: Increased Risk of Accidents
Unmanaged fear, especially in scenarios involving heights, acrobatic movements or falls / impacts, can lead to hesitation, poor decision-making in the moment, and incorrect physical reactions or body movements, increasing the risk of accidents. In addition things like unaddressed / badly managed Vertigo can easily lead to freezes or falls.
Techniques to Overcome Fear
2 few of The Most Common Fears We Encounter in Training Performers
Hypothetical Case Studies
Join The ISA and come with us on a journey to unlock your true potential, and if you fear you aren't good enough or maybe something's getting in the way, talk to us. That's what we are here for ;)
About the Author
Gavin Martin is the Principal of The International Stunt Academy and a recognised authority in stunts, film, and human performance. With a scientific approach to dissecting techniques and enhancing performance, he's equally passionate about the art and psychology of Stunts, Acting, Performance and Film-making. Before joining The ISA, he worked globally as a Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Creative Director, collaborating with many of the world's leading brands and innovating in digital film and production techniques. Known for his targeted coaching philosophy, Gavin is an agent for rapid, effective change. He values progress over accolades and pushes hard for the rapid and effective changes that moves us all forwards.
This blog os co-authored by The ISA Team