Who Inspires Heather L. Tyler? April Stirton!

It’s the end of the month and that means it’s time for another dose of inspired awesomeosity! To nominate someone for May or beyond, hit me up at the address at the bottom of each week’s column. For April’s installment, here’s who inspires Heather L. Tyler:

  • Who you are (your name, link to your site of choice for promo): Heather L. Tyler (heathertyler.com). I am one of many who had the opportunity to know this incredibly delightful, inspiring individual.
  • Who you’re nominating for their awesomeosity: April Stirton: stuntwoman, gymnast, actress.
  • What they’ve been doing with their career strides and why we should take notice (why they inspire you so): Three days after her 28th birthday (on April 6th, 2010), April was caught in a tragic motorcycle accident on the 101. She was on her way to Universal for her call time on set. In the following days, the stunt community was in absolute shock and mourning. April was beloved. She was a giver, she was genuine, she was talented, and she was a total trip to be around — so much life and zero fear in her 5’7″ slimly-built body. Over her short time in Los Angeles, she grew as a stuntwoman and performer, gaining notoriety for her dedication to the craft. As was described to me by many, when the “big boys” reluctantly played the “girly” team in their intramural softball league, they took immediate notice of the one little bad*ss chick who did a full horizontal aerial leap — ending in a total face dive — just to catch a foul ball. April didn’t walk away unscathed, but from that small moment, she booked the first of several gigs on bigger and bigger sets. When I met April, only a few short weeks before her accident, we made a pact that if/when I found myself on set being asked to perform my own stunts, she would come — no matter the distance or the pay — and be my body double. She wanted the stunts to be good and me to be safe. In return, I was to begin working with her on acting skills. She wanted to improve and learn more about the craft, recognizing it took as much work as her physical conditioning. April taught herself how to fix her motorcycle, just as she taught herself (in five minutes around the corner) how to execute a specific skill on her bike that wasn’t asked of her in advance of a big shoot — one that proved she was a true pro. She was always, always working to improve and perfect each skill she learned — always eager to keep learning more. I was a little in awe of her fearlessness and dedication and found myself thinking of ways to challenge myself as she did in her career pursuit, everyday. As we have now marked her 29th birthday and the one-year anniversary of her passing, it seems timely to nominate April Stirton, in hopes that others can be moved by her awesomeness. And to those who knew her, her inspiration does indeed continue.
  • Where to find more info about this person (link to their best promo site): April Stirton on IMDb, at Facebook, and in tribute.


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001333.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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