Naked with Sara
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
In our latest interview from the Naked Series, we sit down with Sara to discuss scars, the stunt world, and what it's like to be on fire.
JACY: To kick us off, could you give me a little background as to your relationship with your body?
SARA: I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my body. But I love how I’m built. I love that I'm tough and that I can take a good hit. Especially considering my line of work.
I had the hate relationship with my body in high school. I didn’t like my height, or this scar... Especially the way it sits.
JACY: What’s the scar from?
SARA: I was born with vaginal fistula.
It's basically when your inner canals are all mixed up. I had feces coming out of my vagina and urine coming out my butt.
They had to do major surgery and realign my intestines to the proper areas. I had a catheter and colostomy bag when I was little. I have the scar on my front and a second scar on my butt.
JACY: So when you were born, did they notice right away?
SARA: Oh yeah. If you notice what looks like feces coming out of your daughter's vagina you're gonna be shocked.
JACY: It would be scary.
SARA: Yeah. I have no recollection of it but I hear stories from my mom. I was their first kid.
So yeah, that was my first major trauma out of the womb. Because of all the work that they had to do down there, it still effects me a bit. Sometimes the restroom… I’m in there longer than I ‘d like to be. It can all be painful.
SARA: I don’t really tell a lot of people.
When I was younger I had a bit of chub that sat awkwardly over this scar which I was insecure about and I don’t know... I'm such a perfectionist that it just bothered me. But I’ve come to terms with my body and accept it now.
JACY: What were you like as a kid?
SARA: I’ve always been a wild child and jumping off of stuff. I’m an adrenaline junky for sure.
JACY: How did you discover the stunt world?
SARA: I discovered I wanted to work in stunts when I was working on Stumptown. I saw them do the car jump off the bridge and doing the fight scene on the car and I was like... ‘That’s so cool.’ I remember thinking I want to be in that car. I want to be jumping that car. How do i do that?!
The stunt coordinator told me about stunt school which was starting in two weeks and I was like- 'If this isn’t a sign, what is?' Plus, my true passion is creature acting like Andrew Circus who played Golem. It's such a niche thing. I was like how do I get into that? And then I found out that most creature actors are stunt actors.
JACY: What kinda things do you do at stunt school?
SARA: I mean - we get lit on fire… That’s a weird one.
JACY: How does it feel?
SARA: Oh it's awesome. I loved the whole process. Getting in the goop, getting all the clothes on, getting torched - I love it. I wish fire work was more prevalent in the stunt world.
JACY: Amazing. And as a stunt performer, what is it like for your body?
SARA: Uh, hell.
SARA: We put our bodies through a lot. When we're doing fight scenes we’re not usually punching each other but sometimes we do. Sometimes you just have to tense up your abs and take a hit.
There’s just so many risks in this industry. Death is one of them. You could certainly die doing stunts. We do high falls from forty feet and if you miss the bag you’re dead. You definitely don’t want to miss the bag.
JACY: You say these things like it’s normal. Tell me a bit more about the high fall.
SARA: You jump from forty feet either onto a bag or a pile of boxes. Boxes are softer to land on, the airbag is easier to get out of.
JACY: And when you say boxes... You mean boxes?
SARA: Yeah it’s just boxes like from home depot. You just build em' empty and stack them on top of each other. They do a really good job of absorbing the weight. You only need about two layers of boxes because the first layer absorbs your weight and the second one makes sure you don’t hit the ground.
JACY: Does it hurt?
SARA: It totally hurts! But you learn to love it and appreciate the bruises.
JACY: Have you ever gotten hurt seriously?
SARA: Yeah. This one on my ankle wasn’t even from doing anything cool. I was just on a bike without a gear guard and my foot slipped. It cut all the way through to my bone and the doctor said if it had hit a centimeter to the left it would have hit my artery and I would have bled out. My foot was literally hanging off. It wasn't good (haha.)
This one was from an ATV. I launched off this sand dune and just got too much air. I rotated underneath the ATV and my leg got caught under the motor. It completely singed my leg.
JACY: Woah. So as we near the end, what would you say you appreciate most about your body?
SARA: I don’t know... I just appreciate it all around a whole lot more now. Both how I look and the things that it can do.
My body is what gets me work. It’s my instrument. If I lose an arm or leg that’s pretty much it. So that’s a prevalent fear in the stunt community. You have to push your body hard but you also have to keep it in one piece.