A group of local people, many who have never had a job, were given the opportunity of a lifetime last weekend when the New Zealand Stunt School (NZSS) came to Otangarei to run a Stunt Fight School workshop.
Supported by Northland DHB and Te Hau Awhiowhio, NZSS came north to host the workshop, a first of its kind in Whangarei.
Sixteen people attended the weekend workshop, a mix of young and older people who are long term unemployed. Some were fresh out of long prison sentences, others had significant mental health or addiction challenges, a couple were sporting ankle bracelets, but what they had in common was each and every one of them was incredibly impressive.
“People started off the weekend a bit shy, unsure and self-conscious but by the end of the weekend they were choreographing their own fight scenes,” explains Becki Priest, Professional Leader – Occupational Therapy and Vocational Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“The tutors remarked on how diligent, quick to learn, and eager they all were, so much so that all of the attendees have been enrolled with the Stunt Talent agency and will be put forward for roles starting in February 2020.”
NZSS provides stunt training to new and existing stunt performers of all ages, as well as actors/actresses to sharpen up their physical performance skills.
Each participant will receive a profile that will be forwarded to producers and to the NZ Stunt Agency, who supply actors and stunt people for the productions such as the Lord of the Rings TV series being filmed in Kumeu near Auckland.
“One of the participants who has a Diploma in Makeup attended the workshop so she could update her portfolio.”
“The refresher gives her a renewed opportunity for employment and her portfolio will be sent to the Film Crew Services newbies programme for consideration.”
This collaboration between government and non-government organisations aims to create more opportunities for people with life challenges who have been long term unemployed.
Photo: Participants of the workshop after a very rewarding day