Graff takes to the screen as pro stuntwoman
Jessie Graff graduated from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film with her theatre performance degree in 2007. She quickly put her stage combat and athletic experience to use, becoming a professional stuntwoman for TV and movies such as "Iron Man 2," "The Dark Knight," "Transformers," and Nip/Tuck.
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[00:00:08.261](dramatic music; sounds of body hits)
[00:00:30.334]I'm Jessie Graaf. I graduated from UNL in August of 2007 with a bachelors in arts from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.
[00:00:40.545]I'm absolutely in love with the career of stunts. It's - it's just everything I've always wanted to do and done for fun in my free time.
[00:00:52.912]As a kid I was always, like, climbing everything, jumping off of everything, faking accidents - poor parents!
[00:01:04.496]One of the great things about the program here, is that they do have stage combat classes. I don't think a lot of colleges have that.
[00:01:14.778]My favorite classes here were definitely the stage combat classes. We have several levels of it.
[00:01:20.432]Harris Smith taught those classes, and he was also my academic advisor.
[00:01:25.712]He was able to guide me through how to be an athlete and a theatre student at the same time, and how really well those two things work together.
[00:01:37.982]As students got comfortable in their landing positions, I would give them a more advanced trick.
[00:01:42.300]And so we started going higher, flipping, twisting, throwing each other, getting really gnarly. It was fun.
[00:01:48.263]But then I always have them go back a step and do the basic roll with a basic landing in super-slow motion.
[00:01:55.278]If you can control your body, at like, one-tenth of normal speed, then it learns really well where it needs to go.
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