Pinewood Studio illuminated sign on the exterior of X stage.

What can you learn from my week teaching stunt trainees how to act?

It was the 4th cohort of stunt trainees and so I was back in Pinewood Studios’ fabulous ballroom.  Such fun…



They happily posed when my BeReal notification went off.

The photo and the term, Be Real summed up the week perfectly.

The stunt trainees arrive on Monday morning apprehensive, to say the least. Mostly, they are elite athletes (with a smattering of world or GB records amongst them) with very little if any acting experience.

However, they know that if they want to work in a highly competitive film industry, they need to step outside their comfort zone and commit!

And they did. 👏

Day 1…

is always about getting them comfortable with each other and trusting in their own abilities.
They arrive at 10 am feeling scared and vulnerable and leave at 5.30 gobsmacked by what they’ve achieved in a matter of hours!

  • Don’t try to be clever, funny or someone that isn’t you when speaking to potential clients or collaborators you risk blocking yourself stumbling over your words and feeling uncomfortable. Listen and react authentically.
  • Step outside your comfort zone. Trust yourself. Embrace the nerves. Who knows, when you step over the edge you may not fall but fly!

On Day 2…

we talked about motivation; why we do what we do and how we move across a space because we are motivated to do so. Both are great shorthand for building a character.

But inner monologue is the game changer!

Inner monologue? That’s the little voice in your head that gives a running commentary on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.

And whether you are aware of it or not those thoughts can be read on your face. If you are an actor and you’re in front of the camera it will pick up those thoughts, as will the audience.

We say so much without words, so, be aware.

  • When you’re in front of people you don’t know or are unsure of, your inner monologue will be telling you you’re uncomfortable, which will show on your face.
  • If you’re on a stage or on video and your inner monologue is saying I shouldn’t be here, or I don’t feel good about this again it’ll show on your face.

On Day 3…

We played because Play is a serious business!

Play researcher and psychiatrist Stuart Brown says nothing lights up the brain like play.

I laughed so much today that as you’ll notice from the video, I laughed my make-up off! 😂
The afternoon was about layering up characters to make them 3 dimensional. What makes your favourite film or TV character believable?
They have a story. They are who they are because of their backstory. It makes them relatable and unique.
The same goes for you.

  • Own your story! It’s your USP.

2 actors sitting on the floor rehearsing a sceneDay 4…

Was about reading between the lines: subtext and context and the language we use.

It’s not what you say it’s the way that you say it… (Bananarama reference 🤩)

  • Be real, be you and use your voice and your language. And remember if you don’t understand what you’re saying your audience won’t either.

Day 5…

and cohort 4 passed with flying colours! 🎉

Friday was about networking, hitting your marks and learning from a master, stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director, Paul Weston.

Even when you’re a stunt performer you can’t get away from that 60-second elevator pitch!
The competition is fierce out there not just for them but for us all!

So, consider these things when you are putting together your networking intro…

  • What excites you about what you do? What’s your proudest moment? Greatest achievement?
  • Dig deep… ask friends and family. What impresses them most about you? So often we gloss over things we’ve done because we don’t think they’re important enough to mention.
  • Don’t be afraid to drop some names. As long as they are relevant to your business, they give you credibility.
  • Don’t just list qualifications and job titles; tell a story. Your 60-second introduction should be the teaser to an exciting conversation that makes connections and builds relationships.
  • Oh, and be willing to evolve and adapt. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. It’s inevitable and life would be dull without it. 👏
Whether you’re a stunt performer, actor, entrepreneur or leader do what frightens you most!
Don’t worry about worrying and speak with confidence to your audience.
Embrace the nerves, trust yourself, be aware of your inner monologue and you will fly!

And if you need some help please get in touch at I’d love to hear from you.

Category: Blog