We had the good fortune of connecting with Elisabeth Carpenter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elisabeth, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I work in the Entertainment Industry, both as a Stunt Woman and as a Songwriter -part of a duo with my husband, Scotty Lund, called Cake Without Candles. Many people think of Entertainment being very glamorous and fun, which it can be. What is not always taken into account is the thousands of hours we each put into our craft, for which we do not get paid. As a Stunt Woman, I am constantly keeping my body and mind fit, sharp, staying current with the action styles that are being shot in Film and TV, and building on my skill set. Originally I was a competitive gymnast with a love for other sports, then a professional Cirque artist -aerialist and acrobat. Some of the skills I’ve learned since pursuing stunts are riding motorcycles, dirt bikes, scuba diving, martial arts, fight choreography, weapons, and freerunning/parkour. As a Songwriter, I spend a lot of time listening to music, studying the lyrics, melodies, and structure, and am constantly recording snippets of song ideas. When I sit down to write, I generally take one of those snippets and spend hours, often days or weeks, completing the song, and then once a song is finished, I have to spend time to release it, promote it, and pitch it for placements in Film/TV/Commercials.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was raised amongst a bunch of siblings by a single mom who’s a lover of the arts, so she always encouraged music, singing, visual art, literary art and creativity in our house. However, she also encouraged discipline and compassion, and those are a huge part of what I feel have led to my success. What I feel is unique about my approach to entertainment is that I work in two very different fields: Stunts and Music. Truly I love both equally! I have always had tons of physical energy and have loved the creativity and discipline of competitive gymnastics, soccer, dance, and circus arts. I’ve also always loved music, both listening to it, and participating in it. I originally moved to LA to pursue a career as a Cirque artist, and did so successfully for 15 years, but as I was transitioning into Stunts, I met my husband who has worked in the Music industry since a young age as well, and we ended up writing together. So I feel I get the best of both worlds! We’ve even worked out ways that we can collaborate when I’m on location for a stunt job, and he’s back in LA, although we really enjoy working in the same space when we can. Getting to where I am today professionally was definitely not easy, but I think I worked harder at it because of that. Going out on my own at age 19, across the country, to a city I knew nothing about was very much of a culture shock, but I really loved performing and built a community through that artistic avenue. Underneath every challenge, I remained focused on my goal and what I loved, and continue to do so. Transitioning to Stunts was very interesting because, where the world of Cirque is very open, creative and loose in terms of boundaries, expectations and parameters, the world of Film and TV is extremely calculated, well-planned, and clear on expectations. Once I found a couple mentors in stunts, I found the challenge of learning the intricacies of set etiquette and skill set expectations a fascinating challenge. I still find that, although I work regularly, there are skills I enjoy adding to my arsenal which I’ve never done before, and I regularly learn about expanding my style of performance depending on the project, or the stunt coordinator for whom I work. In music, I’m very proud that our duo, Cake Without Candles, has gotten to a point where we are creating and releasing songs both as artists, and for sync placements in Film, TV, and commercials. The past few years we’ve broken some ground in landing our first big placement in the TV Show ‘Younger’, and scoring 2 short films, as well as lining up 3 features for the near future. If anything, because of the COVID-19 quarantine, we’ve been busier than ever because we’re both home and have been writing music like crazy. The most important lessons I’ve learned along the way are to stay true to myself, and to check in when I’m feeling uncertain. I never would have thought I’d be a professional Stunt Woman (didn’t even know what that was growing up) or a Songwriter when I was younger, so I’m proud that I’ve allowed myself to evolve and expand my vision for what and who I am in this world.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Wow, where do I begin? Well, we mostly eat in because my husband LOVES to cook! Some of my favorite spots outside of our own home kitchen are Augustine’s Wine Bar, Hugo’s Restaurant, Granville, Le Pain Quotidien (they have locations all over the city), Cafe Gratitude, Stout Burger, and SunCafe. I’d take visiting friends out for the classic Hollywood hike at Runyan Canyon, as well as out to the beaches. My personal favorites are Topanga and Malibu, although for a visiting friend I think we’d go out to Venice as well and bring bicycles or skateboards to tool around and see the “tourist” sites and fun local boutiques. We’d take our motorcycles for a cruise up the PCH, and pop into Reel Inn for super fresh seafood in a chill environment, and then head back over Topanga canyon blvd and window shop at some of the local boutiques up there. There’s a great hike mainly known to locals up in Topanga along the ridgeline…I’m not going to say any other specifics since it’s a hidden gem, but we’d for sure stop in there. Lastly, we’d go for a soak (assuming this was a female friend) at the Olympic Spa, an incredible Korean spa in Korea Town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, there are so many! My shoutout today goes to my husband and partner-in-creativity, Scotty Lund, my other half of Cake Without Candles, and a huge motivating factor in my career change from a full-time Cirque performer to Stunt Woman.
Other: https://www.instagram.com/elisabethpc Stunts: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0139323/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2
Macushla Wells, Aaron Paul Rogers, Michelle Rose, Cake Without Candles