Episode 78- Stuntwoman Rachel Harrison

This week we talk to Rachel Harrison. Rachel is a real-life stunt woman. A typical day at the office for Rachel can include anything from getting set on fire, being rescued, to getting buried alive in cement.  Crazy, right? What’s even nuttier is that she absolutely loves every minute of it and looks forward to each day’s new adventures and feats.

Rachel’s work can be seen in a variety of TV shows and films. She and her stunts are featured regularly on the hit NBC series Chicago Fire. In addition to needing to have an uncanny ability to face terrifying situations and the physical ability to learn and execute the stunts posed in each episode, the job can also involve some pretty intense make up situations and yes, even getting buried alive. Of course, the show runners and stunt teams take every precaution to keep everyone safe. Rachel shared with us some of the craziest situations she’s been in and the one stunt she hasn’t gotten to do yet but is really jonesing to take on.

The story of how Rachel fell into her career (no pun intended), is a really interesting one and the doors that have opened up for her because of her skills in the field are really impressive.

Rachel adores what she does, and it comes through in her voice with every question we posed to her. She loves the thrills and the ability to confront scary situations head on, as well as the learning process involved in each of the predicaments she’s put into.

In her downtime it doesn’t appear she lets the adrenaline slow down either. She is an avid skydiver and can’t wait to incorporate skydiving into her work life.

Luke and Heidi loved talking to her and hearing her tales of her life, but both were pretty adamant that this would not be the life for them. They freely admit they’d rather learn about what it feels like to be set on fire and take her word for it than have to be faced with trying it themselves.

Rachel shared that anyone looking to get into the business should know that they don’t have to be based in Hollywood to have a successful career in the stunt world. Rachel is based in Chicago and has built up her resume on sets right in her own town. She recommends researching and reading as much as possible about what it’s truly like to be a stunt person before pursuing it as a career. So, basically, watching some old episodes of The Fall Guy is great and all, but dig a little deeper. It’s not for everyone. She also said that for those who do decide to jump off that cliff (again, no pun intended) the stunt community is very supportive and helpful to one another to ensure everyone is safe at all times.

To see a great selection of Rachel’s work be sure to check out Chicago Fire. Her feature film debut is coming soon in the new Candyman movie. We have no doubt it will be terrifying!

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