What They Don’t Know

Hello again from the land of traffic, line-ups and retail!
 
Our past lives. A subject I have not discussed for some time but one that has come back into focus recently.
 
We were stunt people once. Our lives
were considered glamourous and exciting. Scratch beneath the surface
though, it’s a thin surface, and you will see the business has a very
ugly side.
 
Let me pause here for a moment. We have a few real friends
from our years in the biz and those folks are still in it. I’m certain
that those friends know me well enough to know that what I’m about to
write is not meant to make them look or feel bad in any way. I also
want to add that we are grateful, beyond words, for the time we spent
as stunt perfomers; we had many unique and wonderful experiences as
well as the time, money and freedom to live a charmed life. I only wish
we had a deeper appreciation for it all while we were in it.
 
To enter the film business with
cheerful optimism and naivete, is akin to jumping in a tank full of
tiger sharks with six half-dead tuna strapped to your body. The stunt
department, in particular, is ruthless. That guy at the party, smiling,
slapping you on the back, telling you what a great job you did on
your last show, has already told half the stunt community that you are
a talentless moron, he hates your guts and will never hire you again.
To quote a fellow stunty, "Everyone’s your buddy but no one is your friend".
 
Stunt people like, no love,
to talk about other stunt people. And don’t assume for one minute that
I am an innocent party – I did my fair share of tongue wagging. It’s a
lifestyle, you get sucked in.
 
I shouldn’t have been surprised to
hear that the Prez and I are still a topic of rumours and speculation,
but after a nearly three year absence I thought that we would
have faded to black. But no, the Perron rumour mill is alive and
well; the stories have grown to ridiculous proportions like a kid’s
game of "telephone" run amuck. The main subjects of interest are a) the
manner in which we left b) why we returned and c) what we are going to
do next (hey if anyone has the answer to that one let me know!). No one
would dare pick up the phone and just ask us…what would be the sport
in that?
 
We planned on,
eventually, leaving the business almost from the first day we met.
At first, it was because we both had so many places we wanted to see
and different things we wanted to try. But as time went on, the people
around us becoming more and more consumed with greed and vanity,
leaving became about getting out from the ugliness and saving our
souls. The Prez, with his lack of an internal editor, made the mistake
of being honest, speaking his unhappiness and frustrations aloud in a
business that is as fake as the sets we worked on. And so he became,
and remains, a pariah.
 
At the final meeting with his stunt
"brothers and sisters", the Prez read a speech he’d prepared; the head
of the organization, "The Legend", also read a speech. Describing the
event to me, later that evening, Prez said that he felt very emotional,
close to tears at some points. He was closing an important chapter in
his life; he was excited about his future but saying good-bye is never
easy.
 
Apparently, others at the meeting saw
things differently. Their story had the Prez cast as a cold-hearted
ingrate responding to The Legend’s offer of, "If you ever decide to come back you are welcome back here" with a venomous, "I’m never f-ing coming back!".
Now flash forward a few years and the story has grown, The Prez
now maliciously goes around the room, verbally tearing each member of
the group to shreds before his infamous closing line. I can barely wait
to hear the next version! 
 
Other rumours include: They had to
come back because their boat capsized, they lost everything and
Kristene was freaking out (a grain of truth, we were in a white squall
and we were both a little frightened). Prez is working as a butler
(????). Prez has written a letter to Stunts Canada begging them to take
him back (absurd). Kristene is just following Prez wherever he goes
because she has nothing else in her life (don’t you feel sorry for me
now?). Etc., etc., etc. , etc., etc.
 
Oh there have been bets between
members about when the Prez is going to come crawling back to stunts.
What they don’t know is that he has been offered work on a few
occassions and, with one exception (a day job that an actor specificlly
requested him for), has politely declined; not because we don’t
need the money but simply because he doesn’t want to do that job
anymore. Come to think of it, there are a lot of things they don’t know.
 
What they don’t know is there are
things more important than money or prestige. That it takes courage to
try new things (outside of stunts), to fail, try again, fail again, and
keep on trying until you find what works. They don’t know that we don’t
wish them any ill will, in fact we sincerely hope that they are all
happy and successful. Nor do they know that they are only doing a job;
they are no different than the people who pick up our garbage
or the nurses who tend our ills (though I would argue that those two
professions are imminently more useful to society). They don’t know how
much the prez and I love each other, have always loved each other.
Complaining about only making a grand a day is despicable and cruel
when there are so many people living in such poverty; I’m certain they
don’t know that. And I wonder if they know how every bitter
word and thought they harbour is rotting away their hearts?
 
We’ve all spread rumours and
gossip, intentionally or otherwise. It is a part of human nature
to want to discuss other humans. Discussion is a means by which
we work to understand that which puzzles us. Our leaving the film
business, at the peak of the Prez’s career, and of our own free will,
must drive those who cannot imagine any other life nuts. I should be
angry, I suppose, but most of the time the crazy stories make me laugh
and I pity those who have been left behind with nothing but unanswered
questions.
 
I don’t know that very many of those stunt brothers and sisters ever "got" the Prez, even while he was still around.
 
I’ve been hearing a barrage of rumours
about us lately but that’s nothing new; what prompted me to write about
this topic was a song. Driving to the library the other day, the
station I was listening to played a song in memory of John Lennon’s
death. It gave me shivers because I could clearly hear the Prez
singing those words. The title of the song is "Watching the Wheels"
but, with respect to the formidable talent of John Lennon, today I’m
going to call it…
 
Dear Stunt People
 
People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing,
Well they give we all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin.
When I say that I’m o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game?
 
People say I’m lazy, dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me.
Well, I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall,
Don’t you miss the big time boy, you’re no longer on the ball?
 
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll.
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.
 
People asking questions, lost in confusion,
Well, I tell them there’s no problems, only solutions.
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind,
I tell them there’s no hurry… I’m just sitting here doing time.
 
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll.
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.
I just had to let it go.
 
 
 The
wheels will continue to roll. People will continue to talk. The best we
can do is laugh and hope that what they don’t know won’t hurt us.
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
Just a little news to finish off:
 
Martha Roney celebrated her 25th birthday on Dec.8th. We had a blast and she doesn’t look a day over 24!
 
Still no word on the
Cayman job but we have sent an ultimatum of sorts and if there is no
decision by Tuesday then we are off to Baja.
 
I have been published!
Well kind of. The Shoreline Writers Society, of which I am a proud
member, has just released it’s 6th annual chapbook and one of my short
stories is in it! I’m very excited. I picked up some copies yesterday,
they look great and the content is fabulous! Poet Sue McIntyre has two
poems in it that brought both Martha and I to the verge of tears.
Anyhoo…
 
If any of you would like
a copy of this book, "My Mother and Other Lies" (which is also the
title of my story), please drop me a line with your snail mail address
and I will cheerfully fire one off to you. And yes, the authour is
available for readings and gala events, LOL!!!

Last but definitely not least, each Christmas the Prez and I choose a
worthy charity, one that has some meaning to us, and make a donation on
behalf of all of our family and friends as our present to everyone. We
have donated to such organizations as the Cancer Society and the WSPA.
This year, however, I’d like all of you to decided which charity the
donation should go to. Drop me a line about which charity our money
should go to and a brief reason why. I will choose one from all of the
responses. Hurry! Only 15 days left!!

 
That’s all for now so until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!
The Princess 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This entry was posted in Life at Work. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What They Don’t Know

  1. putthelimewiththecoconut says:

    Just stopping by to say hi! I have a quiz for you to do. I think you would find it fun to do. All you have to do is go to my space and copy the quiz. Then once you post it on your space, you must send it to 5 of your spacer friends. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! (oh! and a big congrats to you on being published!)

  2. County says:

    Hey, that\’s awesome that you\’ve been published… you\’re definitely a good enough writer to be paid for it!!And, even though you\’re not going to donate as a present to me, I think a worthy cause is the World Wildlife Federation… the REAL WWF. 🙂

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