Classes Will Reopen 2020
Due to reorganization we are not currently taking or answering any inquiries until January 1st 2020
Students at John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp will be guided by some of the industry’s most skilled and experienced Stuntmen/Coordinators and Technicians. Each has extensive credits in major movies, television shows and/or live stunt shows. Not only will they provide exceptional training, they will pass on their personal experiences and secrets so that you also can be a successful stunt performer. Remember, they are all still working in the business. They are not beginners, not part timers, not retired. They will rotate in and out of sessions depending on their availability. Look at their biographies, IMDB.com links or attached resumes. This is the level of professionals you want to learn from.
The following stunt and technical professionals are among some of our regular instructors, because they are either based out of, have family or are from the Orlando area.
They are all experts in their disciplines. Each of them are still working in the business. Many other guest instructors are on call from around the world. Read their interesting biographies, look at their impressive IMDB resumes.
John Zimmerman's Stunt Camp has a more experienced team
of instructors than any other stunt-training institute.
Growing up in Central Florida, Tom was the neighborhood, crash test-dummy and championship athlete, which later turned out to produce a “dream career.”
Tom has spent more than three decades with the Walt Disney Corporation, as a stuntman and stunt trainer, in multiple capacities, for their live-show productions.
Lead stunt double for the TV show “Superboy,” is also a feather in Tom’s cap. He played the part of stunt coordinator in the beginning of the series, as well.
The producers of “Burn Notice” were fortunate to have Tom for all seven seasons, now - the John Zimmerman Stunt Camp, is fortunate to have Tom contribute his experience to the students as well.
Tom’s variety of talents have been seen in more than 60 major movies and television programs to date. He will be training fighting techniques and stage combat at the John Zimmerman Stunt Camp.
Tom is full of surprises. You can expect anything out of him, from gunslinging to gangster movements, you’ll get some of the best stunt secrets from him!
Trace was born and raised in the swamps of south Louisiana. A real “Cajun”, he was active in various sports and outdoor activities. He played both high school and college football. After moving to California, he decided to pursue the entertainment business as a professional stuntman. Finding it was a difficult career to get into, Trace moved to Florida to attend a “Stunt School” and learn the basics. He eventually landed his first job as a live show performer in an American built theme park in Japan. For nearly a decade, Trace worked in several shows, spending the last few years at Universal Studios Japan. It was in these shows that he became an expert at stage fighting and high falling. When his home state of Louisiana became a hub for movies and television production some years ago, Trace came home and started performing death-defying stunts for film. His career grew quickly. He became known as one of the best “Ground Pounders” in the business. He could now perform unbelievable fights, ratchet jerks, and falls under any situation and do it safely and get up, ready for the next shot. All his training, practice and experience has paid off. Trace has now appeared in more than 100 blockbuster movies and television shows as a member of Screen Actors Guild. Trace will be instructing stage fighting, low and high falls and ratchet jerks.
Chris Bryant is from Thomasville, GA and has been active all his life. It was growing up there that he rode Motocross and street bikes, became an advanced horseman and wagon driver and played 3 years of collegiate football. He began his career in live stunt shows, where he became proficient with stage fighting and Weapons (Firearms, Whip, Broadsword, Bo-staff). As a SAG Stuntman, he learned
High falls, ratchets, fire burns, air rams, saddle falls and animal wrangling. Chris has nearly 70 film and television credits. He is one, tough guy and has done several horse stunts in major, well known recent movies. He will be assisting at John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp in stage fighting, weapons training and other disciplines.
Durk studied Dramatic Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked for Dino De Laurentiis in Wilmington, NC for several years before joining Universal Studios Florida as the Director of a 2nd Unit Stunt Show that ran for several years. Durk has worked in most areas of film production including Key Grip, Electrician, Carpenter, Welder, Armorer, Stuntman, Stunt Rigger, and Scuba Dive Master. His primary work has been as a Special Effectsman. He has held a license for the use of high explosives for more than 25 years and has frequently worked as the "Set Supervisor" for the Special Effects Department. Away from the film industry, Durk enjoys recumbent bicycles, fishing, and vegetable gardening. He is devoutly Vegetarian. His wife and two daughters are his favorite everythings.
Michele Waitman was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She fell in love with gymnastics at 8 years old when she took a free class at the Salvation Army. She later attended private clubs and at Maynard Evans High School which was ranked number one in the State of Florida for gymnastics. She received a gymnastics scholarship to East Tennessee State University. When this program was cancelled, she began cheerleading and became a Universal Cheerleading Instructor. She graduated with a degree in Physical Education. Returning to Florida, she auditioned and was hired for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney World. She trained under Glenn Randal Jr, the Stunt Coordinator for “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It was amazing training that made her movie and television career take off in 1994. She was the Stunt Double for Sarah Michelle Geller on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1999-2003. She also doubled the Olsen Twins, Jennifer Aniston and many others. She continues to work as a film stuntwoman and has begun coordinating. She still works at Disney as a stunt performer and trainer. This summer (2017) she is teaching for the New York Film Academy as a Fight Combat Instructor. She has an impressive resume on IMDB and earned her SAG card when John Zimmerman cast her in a stunt role on a movie he was coordinating in 1994.
Mike Ortiz has been in the Stunt Industry since 2001, beginning his career as a trick rider and stunt performer in live show appearances. A couple years later, he began doing stunts for film as a Screen Actor’s Guild member. An excellent equestrienne, Mike can be seen jumping from a galloping horse to a moving steam locomotive in the Civil War era movie “Jonah Hex”. He is proficient in fights, falls and ratchets and has provided professional grade work for nearly 60 feature film and television shows. Mike is an all-around stuntman with experience in every aspect of high performing action. At John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp he will assist in teaching all skills.
From clowning to consulting, Barry Brazell has achieved most every stunt experience in the business. Since 1979, Barry has performed stunts in live shows, movies and television.
As a rigger, he has been involved in the creation and production of high-risk rigging, stunts of every kind and flying effects in the entertainment industry, throughout the world.
In addition to performing and rigging stunts, Barry’s daredevil-circus disciplines include: trapeze flying and catching, high wire walking, clowning, trampoline, Russian swing and other aerial arts.
Barry has held memberships in the PLASA Rigging Working Group, which creates standards for the entertainment industry, and the Assembly Occupancies Committee for the National Fire Protection Association, which creates standards that involve life-safety for places of public assembly. He has been the developer of many safety procedures, training and work-protocols for a multitude of shows and agencies.
Barry has been responsible for the personal safety assessment, rigging and training of child, novice and high profile performers. He provides consultation to legal firms and investigators for ropes, rigging, and performance arts incidents and accidents.
As the former head-rigger for Cirque du Soleil (La Nouba Show – 15 years), Barry will oversee any rigging aspects at John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp. These will include: Fly-By-Wire, Basic Rappelling, Hand Pulls and Air Ratchets. His film experience doing high-falls will be utilized for the high-fall training portion of the course.
His “gig” list below, speaks for itself.
Kurt Hockenberry has enjoyed a well rounded stunt career spanning more than 24 years. A competitive, gymnastics background gave Kurt a great comfort in kinesthetic awareness and proved to be a great transition into the stunt industry.
Starting in live shows in Orlando in the early 90s, Kurt participated in shows like Indiana Jones, The Dynamite Nights Stuntacular boat, stunt show at Universal Studios as a boat driver, Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, as an on-staff rigger, and Disney’s Lights, Motors, Action stunt show as an opening team stunt driver and later stunt coordinator.
These early years in a broad spectrum of areas within the stunt industry, enabled Kurt to transform his career into film and television. A member of SAG since 1996, Kurt has been a stunt team member on numerous film and television productions. As a way to accompany his knowledge in the stunt business and learn camera, Kurt studied acting under Res Blackwell at The William Shakespeare Center in Orlando.
Cautiously confident, safe but dynamic, and a clear communicator with team members are good ways to describe Kurt’s successful stunt career.
Kurt will be assisting the John Zimmerman Stunt Camp in all aspects of stunt training including basic acting techniques, because after all, stunt people are really stunt actors and stunt actresses.
Jeff was born in Paterson, NJ where he pursued his interests in sports. He was a three sport letterman in high school, and earned a full scholarship to play football at West Virginia University. He had the honor to play for the National Championship in 1988. After Chasing football dreams in the NFL, CFL, USFL, and the AFL Jeff moved to the Orlando area in 1998.
He began his career in the industry as a stunt actor in The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Jeff quickly realized he wanted to pursue film and television as a life long career and commitment. Eighteen years later, and over 125 film and television appearances, Jeff has established himself as both a competent actor and stuntman.
Jeff believes acting is a critical part of becoming a successful stuntman. He said, “It is essential to understanding your role in being able to tell the story we are hired to tell.”
Jeff is a large man at 6’ 7” tall and 300lbs, He has had to learn how to get beat up by many leading women and men who are much smaller than he is. It’s a good thing that movies and television shows are usually fantasy or suspending belief in reality.
At John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp, Jeff Chase will be reviewing fighting skills and will also be instructing students in stage and film acting techniques.
Billy Golitz began his performing career as a high diver at a very young age. His specialty was fire burns and he has worked for many of the most famous theme parks around the world, in both dive and stunt shows. He has more than 10,000 fire burns to his credit, and has done fire burns in many major motion picture and television productions. His experience in this field is unmatched. At John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp, he will be the lead instructor in fire burn preparation, safety and execution.
Josh Mueller began his stunt career in Orlando, Florida doing live shows. An expert at body burns, Josh was a fire diver in Universal Studios “Sindbad Stunt Show” for 8 years. His film work experience began as a Production Assistant with credits also in the Electrical, Camera, Sound, Art and Stunt Rigging Departments. In 2005 Josh obtained his Screen Actors Guild Card for acting and stunt work. He has doubled Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Lee and several other actors. He has been acknowledged by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for an episode on the TV show “Revolution” and has over 50 stunt credits on IMDB.com. Josh will be instructing fire burn safety at John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp along with other skills.
Jimmy Waitman is from Dayton, Ohio. He grew up on a farm and from a young age drove heavy machinery and learned to ride motorcycles and snow mobiles. His Father got him into football and baseball but when Jimmy entered high school, he became interested in gymnastics. He became so good, he earned a scholarship to Eastern Michigan University for gymnastics. He also competed on the diving team in 1 and 3 meter springboard and 10 meter platform events. Upon graduation in 1990, he auditioned for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show at Disney World in Orlando. Later, Jimmy assisted in the audition and casting process and also trained and evaluated new performers for the show. In 1997, he was transferred to Disney’s new park “Animal Kingdom”. It was there that Jimmy helped establish the famous “Lion King Show Tumble Monkeys” and later, “Tarzan Rocks” and “Nemo”. All this time, he was also performing film stunts for movies and television shows. However his big break came when he doubled Jack Black on “Nacho Libre” and “Tropic Thunder”. Mr Black asked Jimmy to be his permanent stunt double and they have worked together for 12 years now. Jimmy also stunt coordinates shows. He is currently an actor and Stunt Coordinator on television series “Drunk History”. Jimmy Waitman will instruct basic stunt tumbling, low and high falls and ratchets at John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp.
Chad Crumley is a 20+ year veteran of the gymnastics community with national and international experience. He was a part of the 2008 Junior Olympic National championship team and went on to Compete at The University of Oklahoma where he was a part of numerous championship teams. He was an Accomplished gymnast on the Floor Exercise, Still Rings, and Horizontal Bar.
He continued on to perform as one of the status stunt captains for Disney's Festival of the Lion King. His gymnastics background came into play as a Trampolinist/Acrobat where he would also learn trapeze. Chad is a fresh face to the stunt industry with proficiency in Highfalls, Ratchets, and Air Rams. He has most recently done stunts for Marvel's Black Panther.
Being such a talented gymnast and acrobat, Chad will instruct basic tumbling, rolls, mini-tramp, low falls and high falls.
Robert is a native Floridian with nearly thirty years of stunt experience. His live stunt show experience includes The Wild, Wild West Stunt Show and Terminator at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Japan and Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Show at Walt Disney World.
He started his stunt-performing career in 1989 when he was cast in The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. He learned stage fighting from Glenn Randall Jr. and continues, to this day, to be a trainer of stage combat, training dozens and dozens of stunt performers over the years. Epic has been his absolute pride and joy.
In addition to live shows, Robert has done stunts in television shows
including "Homeland", "Grimm", "Eastbound and Down", and "Army
Wives". His feature film credits include, "Keeping Up With The Joneses", "What To Expect When You're Expecting", and "Into The Storm".
Although Robert has been performing and training stunts all these years, his main objective has been in pursuing acting roles. He believes strongly that a good stunt performer must learn to b
e a good actor too. Robert said, “The stunt performer needs to be able to "sell" the action if he is to be successful.”
C.J. Padera began his gymnastics career when he was just 4 years old. He was a contributing member of the 2009 -2012 University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics team that won four Big Ten Championships and a National title. He was voted Most Consistent Gymnast and Most Valuable Gymnast by his teammates and landed Big Ten Parallel Bar Champion in 2010.
After seeing the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular when he was a child, his dream to be a stuntman was planted. He has been an acrobatic satyr at Busch Gardens, a parkour fish salesman at Universal Studios as well as a tumble monkey at Disney's the Festival of the Lion King. He continues to perform and train under the direction and guidance of John Zimmerman as he pursues roles as a film stunt performer. At John Zimmerman’s Stunt Camp, C.J. will be teaching high falls and ratchet pulls.
Devin Regan is a Chicago native focused on stunts for film, television and live shows. Devin has 20 years of gymnastics experience and was a Division I Collegiate Athlete at the University of Illinois. Awards include 4 Big Ten Team Championships and 1 NCAA Championship.
Devin currently performs at Walt Disney World as an acrobat for the Festival of The Lion King. His resume includes performing on power skips for Anti-Gravity, and holding a NAUI Scuba diver certification.
He has trained for two years with John Zimmerman and is very proficient in ratchets, high falls, air rams and fire burns.
Devin will be instructing hand-pulls, air ratchets, rolls, falls and high falls as well as fire burns at the Stunt Camp.
Roberto Aldazabal, a previous Cuban national gymnast, American performer, and aerial acrobatic enthusiast. For 20 years Roberto has dedicated his life to the discipline of acrobatics such as gymnastics, hand balancing, aerial silks, trampoline, etc. and has performed all over the world.
In 2014 Roberto collaborated with Stars and Stripes Management to start Climbers at Gymnastics USA as a subsidiary program. After receiving large scale success with the program, Roberto helped John Zimmerman and Stars and Stripes Management launch the John Zimmerman Stunt Camp and is one of the founding partners.