stuntman and Collin Alumnus
“There is a rush that comes with doing a 50-foot high fall. There is a release when you are falling, a sense of empowerment. You scream the whole way down to let the air out of your lungs. You only fall for two or three seconds. It doesn't sound like much, but the excitement is unmatchable, and the reaction of people who watch you do these things is pretty amazing,” Stein said.
Adept at stage combat, air rams, zip lines, rappelling, juggling, bullwhips, rapier and dagger weaponry, high and stair falls, precision driving and snowblading, Stein looks for ways to enhance his skill set on a daily basis. However, he will be the first to tell you that there is a stark distinction between a stunt man and a daredevil.
“The difference is that a stunt man has to get up and go to work the next day. The question you have to ask is, ‘Can you do the stunt 50 times before you even feel like you are tired?’ A stunt person has it down to a science,” he said.
So how do you train to be a stunt man? For Stein, the answer is to earn an Associate of Arts degree at Collin College and then earn a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science degree in theater from the University of North Texas.
“The opportunities presented by attending Collin College are unmatched. The teaching impacts what I do on a daily basis. I learned confidence, understanding and different ways to look at things. Collin College goes outside the box and pushes the boundaries of what theater can do. The amount of experience that walks through the hallways at Collin is remarkable.”
A level two, certified stunt director, Stein specializes in high falls and ground pounding, or impacting the ground, and is the production manager for Lagniappe Productions at Six Flags and a co-director and actor for Texas Star Dinner Theater. He has worked at Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland.
Stein readily admits that performing stunts is dangerous, but he is repeatedly drawn in in by the idea of taming physics. It is man versus nature, and for a brief moment he feels as if he can do anything.
“Most people are not used to falling. It is an unnatural act. I've trained a lot of people in falls, helping them get over that fear. People literally shake. A stunt person’s job is to take the fear out of the fall. You understand the safety and operation of it—and then when you jump you feel invincible,” Stein said.
Visit www.collin.edu .Reprinted with permission by Plano Profile