Hit Your Mark: To Mentor or Not To Mentor
By access on 2nd Feb 2015 Tag: Hit Your Mark, Wally Crowder
Written by: Wally Crowder (Stunt Coordinator/2nd Unit Director)
When I first got into the film business 37 years ago I had no relatives, friends or anyone that would mentor or help me in any way shape or form. I did not have a clue how to even get into the Screen Actors Guild but I knew I had a burning desire to be a stuntman. Having been in automobile racing for years I knew stunt driving would be my passion.
One day the TV Guide arrived at my door with a picture on the cover with members of Stunt Unlimited doing a car crash. I called the Stunts Unlimited office and lucky for me the phone was handed over to stuntman Louie Ellias. Louie told me to go to the Screen Extras Guild and register. That was the start of my career many years ago. Louie led me in the right direction. I dropped off a bottle of Canadian Club the day I registered at the Unlimited office for Louie.
I have to say this openly and honestly. Never ever help or mentor another person if you expect to get something in return. You must always open your heart and help people because you love people and truly want to see them do well. Although being a mentor can fill any number of different roles, all mentors have the same goal in common: to help people achieve their potential and discover their strengths in becoming a stunt driver, stunt player, stunt coordinator, or 2nd unit director.
After 37 years in this terrific business I really don’t think I would change a thing. The positive rewards that I have received far outweigh any negative. In helping others the karma comes back to you 10 fold. We as a stunt community must stay together, back one another, and continue to teach and mentor new young people willing to give it their all. I feel to help others really helps you grow and learn as a performer. Sharing ideas, listening, and learning is really important in this stunt business.
Every person is different also. Mentoring gives you the chance to meet new people and grow in your relationships with others. I love to teach and share my specialties in driving and off shore boat racing. I have also learned that out of the 50 people you help, there may only be a few that try and return those favors. People might move up the ladder to coordinate big jobs and may never credit your help - they don't need to. But DO NOT ever let that stop you from helping. Keep your chin up and never give up. The joy of knowing the one or two people that do remember you and show thanks is worth every moment you spent helping 100 others who forgot your name. When you give you get so much more in return.
The most succesful stunt players I know spend time helping others and the smile on their faces shows it all.
What is your experience with mentoring or having a mentor? Let us know in the comment section below.
Now go out and help someone!