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  “Only when we are no longer afraid
  do we begin to live,”

  Dorothy Thompson
A fellow Stunt Coordinator and legendary stuntman, Paul Weston wrote this moving poem, which sums up what it’s like to be a stunt performer.  The poem is beautifully written and explains the feelings and emotions that run through a stunt performer’s head, as they put their body on the line for the entertainment of others. So if you’ve ever wondered what goes through the minds of people like us, as we fall for you, read on;

'Moments of Truth’

By Paul Weston

I lay in the bed, exhausted and spent,
Happy to be there, finally content.
Body still tingling, from so close an embrace,
With someone I’ve long courted, but not seen his face.

As I roll off my comfortable bed,
Then, come the words I knew I would dread.
“If you’re ready, I’d like to shoot it again,
Only this time higher, and maybe with flame.”

Who’d be a stuntman with all the bruises and breaks?
But for the moments of truth, when life is at stake.

I climb again, to that high place,
My heart starts pounding, my pulses race.
The adrenaline pumping, mouth gone dry,
I look over the edge and then up to the sky.

My mind going through what has to be done,
Then a voice from below shouts “We’re losing the sun”.
Then, “Stand by”, “Roll cameras” and “Set him alight”,
What if the wind gusts when I’m in mid flight?

Will it blow me away from my welcoming bed?

The flames wrap around me, was that “Action” they said?
Oh! God! the flames I can’t see the bed,
If I lean forwards they will clear my head,
But if I do, there’ll be no return,
And if don’t go now, I’ll stand here and burn.

So I topple forwards, all ‘action’ and screams,
Laying in space like a slow motion dream,
Floating down to an open mouth crew,
Why am I doing this? For me, or for you?

It’s not for the money, for what price a life?
If you get it wrong once, you can’t do it twice,
And what would you charge, for being maimed?
A smashed body and vegetable brain?

I shrug such thoughts from my troubled mind,
And marvel at this ‘unique’ moment in time,
I’m privileged to say, it has happened before,
Time seems suspended against all law.

But I have a theory, that it’s not time that slows down,
But a natural instinct when dangers around,
To pump in adrenaline and accelerate the brain,
To be ahead of the danger, avoid the pain.

But just as suddenly the moment has gone,
My fireball body plummets on and on,
Now I’m at speed and I must react,
Spin into a somersault and get onto my back.

So I throw my head forward and look at my feet,
But as I do I start feeling the heat,
All I see is flames rushing by,
Hurtling upwards towards the sky.

I can’t breath, there is no air!
Then the heart stopping thought, is my bed still there?
--Something is wrong! –Somewhere there’s pain!
I can’t even breathe, less I breathe in flame!

Why do we do it? –Why don’t we say no?
Truth in a moment –only a few feet to go!
Dear God, please forgive me,
For the bad things I have said -- and –

With one hell of a crash I’m into my bed!
Then comes the cheers, the howls! and the shouts.
“Ok! that’s a wrap! You can now put him out”

t him out”

“That’s Show business Kid”
“Ok! that’s a wrap! You can now put him out”



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