The Skill Collector
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
They say it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. There is something very noble and beneficial in that pursuit. Then there are the 10-mins every day to learn a new skill people. I call these the skill collectors. They typically do not ever master a skill but they can perform a variety of skills without much difficulty. The “Jack of all trades, Master of none”.
The existence of these two groups have become most evident as I journey deeper into the mysterious and wonderful world of stunts. Many performers break into the industry with a mastery of a certain discipline such as karate, kung fu, sword, motocross, horseback riding, gymnastics, you get the idea. Many others are more generalists who can perform at minimum, a basic level of falling, fighting, driving, acrobatics, etc. Almost all stunt performers are skill collectors who constantly pursue mastery. They’re a very inspirational bunch.
I am personally addicted to collecting skills. Not so much attaining the skills themselves, although they make incredible party tricks and icebreakers. I yearn more for that wave of euphoria you get when you nail that new trick for the first, third and tenth time. Especially after thinking, only weeks before, that there was no way you would ever be able to to learn it in the first place. That feeling over getting over the “can’t” and turning it into the “can too” is super powerful.
Have you ever had that moment? The one where you surprise yourself? Well I am not a master of many, if anything but I believe I come close with one skill. The cartwheel. It is my favourite skill in the whole wide world. I can do it fast, slow, over things, across things, with one arm, with no arms, I can even do them in circles until I fall over dizzy. It is the first skill that I want to share with everyone.
Here is the link to my first series of videos where I breakdown the cartwheel into super basics, provide progressions and then I will follow up with 2 workouts inspired by my favourite move that aims to strengthen the muscles required to perform a beautiful cartwheel.
Athlete Inspired – Cartwheel Tutorial
As I try and teach the world the art of the cartwheel, I have chosen a new skill that I would like to add to my collection. Staff manipulation. Weaponry is a key part of any stunt performer’s arsenal. I have sought out the expertise of a mastery manipulator (her name is Michelle and she’s so frickin cool) and have been trying to practice the basics 10mins a day, most days of the week. I’ll track my progress and post something at the end of the month. I encourage you to brave that 12-megapixel lens of judgement and track your progress. I bet you’ll surprise yourself.
Michelle Smith is a badass staff manipulator. Check out her skills on YouTube. Learn from her at www.michellecsmith.com
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