Photo: Princess Manasseh Sentinel Contributing Writer
Angela Meryl signs a copy of her new book ‘Stunts’ for a fan while her daughter flips through the pages
Somewhere between bursting through glass, catching on fire, jumping off buildings and mortal combat-like fight scenes, stunt actress Angela Meryl found time to write a book.
‘Stunts: The How to Handbook: Secrets From an Award Winning Hollywood Stunt Woman,’ is filled with stories of Meryl’s personal trials and triumphs, as well as valuable advice on how to break into an industry not commonly considered.
A veteran in the stunt world, Meryl has doubled for leading ladies such as Halle Berry, Vivica Fox, Beyonce, and Rihanna. Rather accomplished, she has amassed a number of nominations and awards for her work in films like Kill Bill: Volume I, Skyfall 007, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Obsessed.
The idea of authoring a book came from a phone conversation with a friend the night before she was to film the Oprah show. Initially the thought seemed implausible to the busy actress.
“You should write a book! He told me,” remembers Meryl, “Dude! I’m shooting Oprah tomorrow, when would I even have time to get the book out?”
But standing atop the Harpo Studios building the next morning, preparing for a daring leap to the ground on live television, Meryl had what Oprah would call an “Aha Moment.”
In that sky-high fall, which would have otherwise been routine, Meryl realized so many of her dreams had come true, and decided mentoring was an important next step.
Meryl wrote her book with up and coming individuals in mind. Wanting to impart what she has learned over the years in an industry that can often be painful and unforgiving. Meryl gives life lessons on everything from how and where to network, to how to budget for a career that can see numerous dry spells.
“I’m trying to help the newbies coming in by giving them my advice on what worked for me. Everybody has a different path, a different way of doing things but seventeen years later I’m still working,” says Meryl of an industry where careers are often cut short. “You have to hustle in this career, if you want to work…and then there are things like dealing with your first injury. I talk about all of that in the book, so those coming in can understand it.”
In ‘Stunts,’ Meryl effortlessly weaves tales from her journey to the top, with practical advice on the ins and outs of her craft. Useful for those in the arena of performance and production, the book is just as much of a thrill for everyone else. An inside peek into the world of diving through flames, bungee jumping off cliffs, and dangling from helicopters.
October third Meryl greeted fans at her book signing in Hollywood at the Samuel French Bookshop on Sunset. She sat, talked, and took numerous questions about her debut book. In attendance were friends and other industry professionals including actor Ed Hudson (Ghostbusters).
“I’m really proud of Angela,” relayed Hudson. “It’s pretty extraordinary all the things she’s accomplished and now completing this book. I’m just here to show my support.”
Aspiring stuntwoman Chanae Owens was another fan present at the book signing. “I’ve been following Angela’s career since I moved to LA,” said Owens who relocated from New York three months ago in pursuit of her dream. “I’m looking forward to all the stories in this book. Her career has been amazing, very inspiring.”