We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Silcox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, how do you think about risk?
I’m a stunt performer, so risk is built into my job description. But I wasn’t always a stunt performer. I started out as an actor. Acting in plays in school, while I was also a competitive gymnast. That turned into an NCAA career, while I pursued my BFA in Acting. After that, a stint with Cirque Du Soleil creating and performing in their new shows and then… stunts! In all seriousness I never wanted to do stunts. I didn’t even know it was a job! Yet here I am risking my limbs, and sometimes my life, for entertainment. Risk initially meant possibly looking like a fool. In my acting work I have to do that daily and the fear always diminishes as I get more experience and share more of my work. Moving to a new city with no money that was risky. So was making my first short films and putting them out into the world. The risk in my life and career is front and center now. It’s visceral for me. Some people, after a bad day at work may wonder if they’re going to keep their job or be unable to move up in their field. But a bad day at work for me could mean the end of my career, or worse… my life. I think I’m blessed to have such an intense job. Sometimes I think my life will go on forever, but each day I work I’m reminded of my mortality – and it keeps me present. Life has urgency – to get things done, to show people how much I love them and to make something of limited time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets my performance apart from most people is my physicality. Almost every acting role I’m hired for has some physical component or utilizes my stunt experience. That physical skill gets me into a lot of different genre’s: Physical Comedy with all the stunt work Horror for unsettling characters with strange movement Action Films with heavy vfx sequences involving wires, explosions and car chases. I’m not one to boast, but I’m very proud of my accomplishments. I made a childhood dream come true by performing and creating shows for Cirque Du Soleil. I achieved what many stunt people would consider the pinnacle of their career by stunt doubling the star of a Marvel film, that one being Tom Holland for Spider-Man. I’m also proud I’ve learned about film during this whole process and started making my own small short films. It wasn’t easy of course, especially starting out. Learning just how powerless you are in this very competitive environment is extremely humbling. Having no money and no way to support the ones you love. Being in a brand new city, away from family and knowing very few people can be debilitating. But, it does give you a strong reason to correct your course and look objectively at your choices. I learned that with consistent effort, you can attain power and realign your trajectory. That no one else has the final say in your destiny. I also learned that a lot of better people than me have had unavoidable and irreparable circumstances befall them, so be kind to everyone because their battles may not be so apparent. COVID has hit us all and it’s important to realize that if you are living in the U.S. and you can still provide the means for yourself to work in the entertainment industry, you are more privileged than most. I have a lot to be thankful for. I owe a lot of my opportunities to people who have shown me the way the entertainment world truly works. Mentor’s like the writer and film director Michael Dougherty, and businessmen like my friend Christopher Korotky of Inside Publications like Inside Dance and Inside Gymnastics – both of whom I’ve worked for in the past. I’m excited about the Co-Star roles I’ve had in a few bigger tv shows coming up. It’s rare you get to work on tv shows that you watch and love! I’m also excited about continuing to work on my filmmaking skills. I have a short film based on one of my favorite play’s called A Devil Inside coming out on my YouTube channel soon. As well as a pilot I wrote over the quarantine that I’m shopping around based on my experience in the stunt world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s way too many great spots to go in L.A. so I’ll do my best to narrow them down. We’d go to Lodge Bread Company in Mar Vista for their pastries, coffee, pizza and we’d buy all their remaining bread and juggle them down to the beach! After enjoying some time in the sand and surf, I’d take them for some cocktails and tacos at Nueva off Abbot Kinney. Then more drinks over at Father’s Office in Culver (if we had room left for a burger their we’re splitting one!) and then to Venice for a night cap and dancing at The Lincoln. And kill the hangover the next morning we’d head on out and get some breakfast tacos at Homestate in Playa Vista.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want everyone to know about my wife Jenn Stafford. She’s given me everything. Her love, her time, her insight and her brightness. She challenges my stubbornness and forces me to look at my ideas and choices more carefully. To see issues through a different perspective and validate whether I’m expressing shared truths in my work, or just trumpeting my own unexamined opinions. Also, to my parents. Andrew and Laurie Silcox. They’ve always trusted my choices and gently guided them so I could choose the best opportunities. They’ve supported even my silliest ideas, with laughter, love and pride. My sister and brother Andrea and Kevin Silcox. Being a child can be very painful for many of us. It’s something that we think of as being pristine though, and as it gets further and further away from us as we grow older, we can see it as “Greener than Green.” My sister and brother got me through my childhood and taught me to grow up. They made my childhood something worth idealizing. They’re still my best friends.
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