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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Film

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Lived Through This

As a stunt performer, I’m trained in the meditative art of staying focused while I burn

A picture of a man holding out a flame in his open palm.
A picture of a man holding out a flame in his open palm.

I’ve been set on fire a ridiculous number of times — on purpose. It’s my job. I realize that most people — with good reason — don’t want to get too close to a flame, let alone be completely engulfed by one. That approach is logical, smart, and, in many ways, the right idea. But my thought processes around fire are wired somewhat differently.

I’ve been a stuntperson for more than 20 years. I have been “lucky” enough to be hit by cars, fall off skyscrapers, smash through windows, and kill Xena — all in a day’s work. Don’t get…


Lived Through This

Being cast in ‘School of Rock’ was a defining moment in my life — for better or worse

A few months ago, I was in hair and makeup for a feature with one of my castmates, a 12-year-old girl. She was on set with her mom and little brother. He was playing games on a phone while the mother and daughter ran lines together. When the mom stopped her kid mid-sentence to give her a line reading, I was instantly transported back to my youth. I felt bad for my castmate. I felt bad for my sisters, who spent years waiting in the car with my mom while I was in guitar lessons or at auditions. I felt…


Shortly after filmmaker Agnès Varda died, I went to Paris to learn from her life — and take a piece of it home with me

We would see the gleaner, tramping along
gathering the relics
of that which is falling behind the reaper.
— Joachim du Bellay (from The Gleaners and I by Agnes Varda)

I went to Paris almost exactly a month after Agnès Varda died, wanting to pay my respects. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to visit the home of the pioneering feminist filmmaker and artist. We’d never met, though I’d have liked that. I haven’t seen all, or even most, of her work. …


My fascination with creationism ultimately led me to embrace evolution

Ten years ago, I never could have imagined myself sitting in a theater and watching myself, on film, explain why I left young-Earth creationism. For most of my life, I believed that the world was created only 6,000 years ago and that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together on the sixth day of creation. Creationism was the framework of my faith and my worldview. I wrote articles and argued endlessly with anyone willing to listen.

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