From Stuntman To Entrepreneur
FreeRunning is an urban art in which participants use the city and rural landscape to perform skillful acrobatic movements in order to get from point A to point B. Within the past decade this art has transformed into a movement, capturing the hearts and minds of many talented young individuals.
This movement gained viral traction once the British crew 3RUN hit center stage, taking this art form from its underground status to international recognition. Once you come across a 3Run video, you're instantly hooked. Trust me.
Sam Parham, a good friend, a pioneer of the FreeRun movement and one of the 3Run founders sat down with me for interview to tell me a little more about his journey into his amazing world.
Sam, how old are you? And what is your current profession?
I am 30 years old, a serial entrepreneur and professional stunt performer.
How old were you when you began FreeRunning? What inspired you to go down this path?
I began my stunt career at the age of 16 when I began FreeRunning, at University. Inspired by the films from Jackie Chan, I was soon fortunate enough to work on a series of International Commercials with industry professionals from films such as James Bond and Star Wars. I set my sights on what I needed to expand my skill set and began training Martial Arts, High Diving, Rock Climbing and Swimming.
14 years down the line, I recently performed alongside Jackie Chan in one of his up coming movies, and helped put together the movements for Mowgli in a Jungle Book movie release.
How did you transition your work from a hobby to a profession?
The keys to my development into the working world, were to focus on the skills I needed and ensure I made every effort to acquire those skills above and beyond that which was expected of me.
I found that whenever a production or Coordinator called me for a job, if they asked if I could perform a certain skill, I always wanted to be on the other end of the phone saying “Yes sir” or “Yes Ma’am” with confidence, knowing that I could.
What advice would you give to anyone entering the FreeRun world?
My advice to anyone entering any industry is to do your research first. Acquire the necessary skills that your industry requires, and ensure you go above and beyond that which would be expected of you. It’s no good turning up to perform a fight scene if you don’t know how to throw a punch safely. In the same way, that you can’t turn up to an accounting interview with no idea what balance sheets are…
What struggles did you face along your journey? How did you overcome them?
There are always going to be hurdles. I’ve certainly met a number of hurdles in my life, in the same way everyone has. I’ve had times where certain skills have been very expensive and time consuming to acquire. Or other times where I have spent a lot of time and money to acquire skills that I’ve never physically required. But at the end of the day, provided you are prepared to do what you have to do. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared and if you spend time and money on improving what you bring to the table, then that is money / time well spent.
Demo Reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6cmi7Ntn4s