00:00:02 My name is Abbi C; I’m a stunt co-ordinator, stunt performer and horse master. The way I got into stunts is really quite interesting. I had a riding school when I first left school, my parents helped me with that, so I’m a qualified riding instructor and I’d always been with horses and ponies as a child; loved them.
00:00:25 Then I was married very young, had my daughter very young and then we split up only after three years, so it was very difficult for me to keep the riding school going with a baby; so I ended up really being forced to give that up and I didn’t have any qualifications other than teaching riding, but it appeared that I was photogenic and my friend was a photographic model, so she said, “Why don’t you come to the agency and talk to them and see if you could become a model?”
00:00:53 It was something I’d never thought about doing because I was really used to mucking out horses and…or you know destroying my hair, not looking anything like a model really. And, as I say, they took some photographs and I, I was photogenic and they liked the look of them. So I started working as a model, which I did for about, I suppose six or seven years.
00:01:16 I did enjoy it but it wasn’t really me, it didn’t satisfy this desire in me to, to do…to do physical things and obviously quite extreme things. So I used to go off and do my sports, my water skiing, my wind surfing and, and anything else that I could find, and one day a photographer said to me, “Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life? Is that it now, you’ll be a model?” and I said, “God no, I shouldn’t tell you this because you employ me, but I don’t really enjoy it at all.”
00:01:48 And this photographer obviously had seen my modelling card and on it, instead of hands, hair, teeth, feet, that most models have as, as you know, the particularly things that they, they, they had lovely hands, lovely teeth, whatever, they can be photographed.
00:02:03 I had hang gliding, show jumping, wind surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, and he said, “You should be using those to earn you a living, wouldn’t you like to do that?” I said, “I would love to do that, but doing what?” And he said, “Well what about stunts?” And it just came out of the blue.
00:02:18 He had a friend that was a stunt man, and I gave it a moment and I said, “I need to meet this friend of yours.” So he put me in touch with him the next day. Went to see him. He told me all about the business and I started my training that very evening. Every day, basically, of every week, I’d be doing some training.
00:02:37 So you’re five to ten years as a probationary member and then you get…hopefully, upgraded, if you seem to have, have done enough work and a variety of stunts over those years; and then you, hopefully, move up to intermediate member, which means you can work on your own, without a co-ordinator and perform your own stunts, but you can’t arrange stunts for anyone else or actors, other stunt performers or actors. Then you become a, a co-ordinator but then you, you, you know, you’re really a rookie as a co-ordinator; then you start learning through co-ordinating how to be an experienced co-ordinator.
00:03:17 I would definitely say I’m an adrenalin junkie, yes, without a doubt, because I get asked all the time what do you do to relax, and my way of relaxing is I have squash lessons, I do slalom water skiing. I’m always trying to, I just love a challenge, so I’m trying to achieve more and more as an individual and challenge myself and push myself further and further. When you think you’ve reached your limit, actually you haven’t. I don’t feel I have any limitations, I think I, I can always achieve more and more. ENDS
Abbi C is a Stunt Co-ordinator, Stunt Performer and Horse Master. She says “I’m an adrenalin junkie”. She started as a riding instructor and changed to modelling. She was more interested in active sports and someone suggested “stunts”. Becoming a stunt coordinator requires a lot of on-the-job training.
More information about Sports coaches, instructors and officials
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Coaches teams or individuals by demonstrating techniques and directing training and exercise sessions;
- Controls team selection and discipline and recruits ancillary staff such as coaches or physiotherapists;
- Monitors and analyses technique and performance, and determines how future improvements can be made;
- Deals with administrative aspects such as arranging matches, contests or appearances for athlete or team, and organising required transport and accommodation;
- Provides information and develops facilities to encourage greater participation in sport, and to enhance the standards of participants;
- Understands health and safety aspects of various activities and ensures any statutory requirements are met;
- Inspects and maintains specialised clothing and equipment;
- Manages the playing areas and competitors, starts race, competition or match and controls its progress according to established rules.
Related career stories
From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way