Name: Crystal Santos
Profession: Stunt Woman
Salary Range: Average: 37,000; Top: 100,000+
How has being Latina affected your career?
I’ve done stunts for Rosario Dawson and Roselyn Sanchez. And being Mexican makes me a commodity, so I’ve been able to act in a couple of films, too, while the typical stunt person only doubles.
Any traits all stunt women share?
We are all tomboys, there are no real girly-girls, but we do clean up nice, don't get me wrong! The stunts community is very small. We hike together, go surfing and rock climbing. These are people who have been athletes and adrenaline junkies their entire lives, but we are safe about our jobs.
What do you wish you knew before you get started?
It pays to sit back and just watch and listen. Most people are interested in showing off what they can do. Your stunt coordinator who has been doing this for 30 years knows how it will go and has a vision. You just need to sit back, listen, take instruction and do your job.
Any pointers for Latinas who want to get started in this business?
I would recommend taking gymnastics when you're younger or concentrating on a particular sport you really like. Some kind of fighting is always good to know. You have to be overall athletic and definitely have a resilience to pain. The best way to really get serious about this industry is to find someone to mentor you so you can have a reference, someone you were trained by. No one wants to be your first job because it's such a dangerous business.
Be sure to check out the rest of our interview with Crystal Santos in the October issue of Latina Magazine, on newsstands now!