I do all my own stunts.

In 2007, I was in a film called Wages of Sin. I was a stunt person and a semi-major villain. You can see the IMDb credit here, and the full movie was posted here on YouTube almost a year ago.

If you can make it through that movie, I applaud you. It’s really not my idea of a good film, and I thought I looked terrible in it. In fact, I was so ashamed of it that I abandoned fight choreography and acting altogether. But year after year, I would return to that IMDb page and wonder what it would take to wipe that movie off of my credits.

Around the same time I took part in Wages of Sin, I also joined a Facebook group called “I Do All My Own Stunts” and posted this video:

Shortly thereafter, a man named Emmanuel Manzanares contacted me on the group. Manny was an up and coming stunt director and invited me to come train with him. I was a young suburbanite, and the few times I had made it into the city, the result was Wages of Sin. I was not eager to get back into that scene.

Years went by. I discovered tricking, I went through community college and university. I graduated and started to learn programming. All throughout this, I heard Manny’s name, and his production company, Lazy Brown Productions, again and again as he gained notoriety.

Long after the Facebook group we met on went defunct, we finally met yesterday at Forteza, a martial arts gym. Manny put myself and another newbie, Dominique, through our paces – front snap kicks, round houses, a simple combination. He also told me something about Nathyn Masters, the director of Wages of Sin, that somehow made the movie much more bearable.

Manny told me that Nathyn’s style was derived from really cheesy 80s movies. He told me that Nathyn didn’t look at film the same way as Manny did, or as I did. That terrible film that I was ashamed of for so long? That was what Nathyn wanted, it was the aesthetic that he sought to create, and somehow that fact makes seeing it on my IMDb page much more bearable. It’s his form of Art – it’s the style he loves. I can take a little pride in having done a good job at bringing his vision to life, even if it wasn’t a vision we shared. It’s not something I would choose to do again, but I no longer feel the need to wipe Wages of Sin from my credits. In fact, I can eye it with a little pride. I learned a lot from that experience.

It’s funny how loops open and close through the years. Manny and I have gone from being Facebook friends to finally meeting in real life. Years have gone by and countless things have changed in my life. It feels weird picking up from where I left off in 2006 as a young suburbanite, college-bound for reasons I was unsure of, ashamed of a terrible movie, but I’m so glad that I have.

  • brian, this is so inspiring! love poetic thoughts!