My Life as an Underwater Stunt Women
Never becomes boring to watch the reaction when I answer the question “So, what do you do for a living?” with an “I am a professional scuba diver, stuntwoman and jewelry designer” ;-)
They are all pretty cool jobs, I know… 😉
You might ask which one do I love most?
Working as a stuntwoman, I get to do exciting projects and get paid for playing in the water. Just the other day I was working on a movie where a car fell into a lake after a chase scene, sunk to the bottom and the passengers needed to be rescued.
Luckily, as usually on these 911 shows… A hero emerged and saved the day. You might think doing such job is super dangerous. But, I want to assure you that stunt performers work out every details of each scene and think of everything that can go wrong. We have a back-up plan and the back up to the back-up plan.
One of my all-time favorite jobs where doubling Drew Barrymore and saving the whales that were trapped under ice in Alaska. You might remember it, Big Miracle.
This particular job required absolute precision diving in a dry suit in subzero temperatures. Being a stuntwoman requires that you are not only good but an expert in your field. I specialize only on water, because that is what I do best.
I have zero desire to be set on fire, punched in the face or fall off a horse. I love water and that’s what I’m good at. That’s how scuba diving relates to my stunt work.
In the past 20 years I have been working as a professional female scuba diving instructor. I dove the seven seas gaining experience in wreck diving, ice diving, zero visibility. I have been diving from Hungary to Antarctica, South Africa, England, the Mediterranean and all over Asia. I logged 5000 dives and trained over 3000 people to breathe underwater. My experience and passion for diving, mixed with my philanthropy project got me inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame, earned me a Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor and PADI AmbassaDiver recognition.
There was a job where I had to do scuba diving stunts in a cave setting with zero visibility. Being an underwater stunt women is not for the faint hearted.
This was for Piranha 3D. You might remember it from all the hot girls in bikinis getting eaten by piranhas while partying at Lake Havasu. I was doubling Dina Meyer. The Storyboard was that I swim with my partner into a cave using a full-face mask and we get attacked and ultimately eaten by piranhas.
As you might know, we don’t necessarily shoot scenes in the order that you see them in the movies.
So, they already shut the part with our dead bodies where we are lying on the bottom of the lake and the piranhas are chowing our bodies.
…and it was without scuba gear (because the prop guys forgot to dress the bodies), so ultimately the Director decided that instead of re-shooting that scene, I just get an idea while diving in the pitch dark narrow cave while piranhas are attack me to take off all my scuba gear and throw it away ;-)
Did I mention that both end of the cave were blocked by cameramen? Luckily, I work with a team that I worked with for many years and I do trust them with my life underwater.
We have each other’s back. Water safety is an integral part of the Stunts team. While some of us do the action we always have a team of divers to watch our backs.
We take turns. Sometimes I work as a stunt double, other times I provide water safety or train the talent to breathe underwater or a stunt person to scuba dive.
Lately, I have been working on more freediving stunt jobs than scuba diving.
It seems like that with the green screen technology now used underwater as blue screen, there has been tons of water work in Los Angeles.
As you might have read, we shot the Avatar Sequels over the past couple years in California. I wish I could tell you all about the cool things I did for that movie but of course because of the non-disclosure I signed, I cannot.
All I can tell you is that the Avatar Sequels will un-do what Jaws did to scuba diving.
While after Jaws so many people were scared to go underwater (well, even in the water), watching James Cameron’s Avatar, I believe full-heartedly that people will want to explore the seas once again.
Now, you might ask what does underwater stunt work and being a professional scuba diver have to do with jewelry design!?
Well, one of my biggest inspiration to create empowering jewelry is my love for the ocean, travel and exploring the World finding everyday miracles. During my travels I come across gemstones like Turquoise in Egypt, shark teeth in South Africa, Buddha charms from Thailand… and when I do, I usually bring home as much as I can, because I know how many of you have the same taste as I do. I create what I would wear and post in on GoghJewelryDesign.com , so others can too.
A piece of jewelry that I craft from materials I collected along my adventures have so much more meaning to me than a piece I could buy in a store. Every piece of my jewelry is a reflection of free will, love for life and the experiences we face. I put my heart and soul into my creations in the hope that they make you feel beautiful and empowered.