A stunt performer is often referred to as a stuntman, stunt woman or daredevil, is a trained professional who performs stunts as a career. From its inception as a professional skill in the early 1900’s to the 1960’s….daredevil stunts were most often performed by professionals who had trained in that discipline prior to performing the stunts publicly. Current film and television stunt performer daredevils must be a certified trained member of a professional stunt performers organisation first….in order to obtain the necessary insurance to perform on stage or screen….which allows them to better break down and plan an action sequence….while physically preparing themselves….and to incorporate both the safety and risk factors in their performances….however, even when executed perfectly….performing daredevil stunts often results in unplanned injury to the body.
Daredevils are distinct from stunt performers in that their performance is of the stunt itself….without the context of a film or television show…..as daredevils often perform for live audiences. Live stunt performers include escape artists, sword swallowers, glass walkers, fire eaters, trapeze artists like The Great Alexander as seen in this video herewith…..and many other sideshow and circus arts.
Actor Robert Conrad showcases The Great Alexander….who performs a 45 foot swan dive from a trapeze with a noose tied around his neck…..as he describes this daredevil event as something that three people in the world have performed…..and after 18 years….is the only one still left alive…..as the other two died while performing this stunt.