Ask Stand-In Central: Should I Turn Down a Job That May Be Physical?

By | 2015-08-16T20:16:04+00:00 August 19th, 2015|Ask Stand-In Central, Principles, Tips|0 Comments

Hi there!

Thank you so much for running this website.

How physical is being a stand-in?  I’ve been offered a position on an action-orientated show but have a bad knee and afraid it won’t hold up.

Do you think I should go for it, or wait till next year?

Thanks so much … this site is extremely informative.  Love the discussion-like nature of the posts.

Best,
Jeff

Response from Ben Hauck

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for contacting Stand-In Central!

That’s a great question.  I really don’t have a good answer for you, though I’ll share my instincts based on the little information you gave me.

When it comes to standing in, a lot of the time you won’t be asked to do anything dangerous — especially if it would constitute a stunt.  ADs are very interested in cast and crew safety, and they won’t have you do anything if it’s unsafe — and if you say you can’t handle something because it might get you injured, they will probably prevent you from doing it.

Many times when you’re working as a stand-in, you’re just standing in a place or walking through blocking positions.  On the rare occasion, you might be asked to do something full speed.  Not knowing this particular production, I can’t say how active it might be for you.

That said, if you know that the production requires a lot of physical activity from its stand-ins, definitely use that information in formulating your judgment on whether to take the job.

You also know your limits, so consider what you can handle or can’t handle and go from there.

My gut says to accept the job and see what the first day is like in terms of physical activity.  But if your knee injury is so delicate, I’d consider either to be careful or to turn down the stand-in job for work you know your knee can handle.

Let me know what you do or find!  Enjoy the site!

Do you take stand-in jobs then figure out later whether you can handle the action?  Or do you turn down stand-in work presuming you can’t handle the activity?  Share your experiences below!

About the Author:

Ben Hauck (Editor, Stand-In Central) has stood in on a number of projects shot in the NYC area. In addition to day-playing, he has stood in on major projects for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Jason Bateman (The Longest Week, Disconnect, and The Switch), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie and American Odyssey). Ben is an actor and improviser, author of the 2012 book Long-Form Improv (Allworth Press), and host of The Acting Income Podcast. http://benhauck.com

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