My name is Poncho and I am writing to you to apply for the stunt cyclist position advertised on your website wwww.areyouserious.com. Please find below my personal statement, references and skill set.
The ability to leap out of harm’s way is a particularly desired skill. It requires fast reflexes, agility and constant awareness of your surroundings; all the things I had to develop as quickly as possible in the wake of a series of accidents. This transferrable skill is useful for a range of activities including sports, commuting and so on. (However, on a minor note, it has proven to be somewhat counter-productive to try this leaping while mountain climbing. I would know). This is the fundamental aspect that makes me unique against other cyclists and my application worth serious consideration.
Other professional stunt artists and cyclists rely on extradorinaiy skill to accomplish death-defying feats with limited collateral damage. But even they with all of their talent cannot avoid injury, and what then? You have s stunt artist on your payroll who is incapable of continuing their work for the next 6 months while they recover. But what if a stunt artist never got injured? Think of the high speed chases in any bond film, but this time imagine the stunt driver leaping out of the car just before it crashed or swirled in the air. Even leaping out mid-air. Such a man would have very little risk of injury, and therefore you wouldn’t risk the effort of rehiring.
What qualifies me to claim this skill in terms of cycling? Simply put, my unique history. I didn’t learn to cycle until I was 18 years old. This became painfully apparent when I explained to my father at that age that I would likely cut my life short through a traffic accident if I attempted to help him carry items of furniture back home on the handle bars. As a result, I found myself the next weekend, on top of a brand new bike in an empty car park just beside the Lines with my father barking instructions at me. You might wonder why we didn’t choose to cycle on the Lines, an expanse of green fields, but there’s a very rational explanation; I just prefer scraping my skin off with gravel rather than dirt. Very luckily for me in that case, the army were using the Lines that day for training. Groups of soldiers were being made to run laps across the fields, passing occasionally the empty car park where we were. As we all know, having an audience of hardened battle-experienced men is no pressure at all when you’re learning and failing for the first time. Obviously, it’s also not the slightest bit embarrassing to be seen by such an audience, while being taught to ride a bicycle at the age of 18 by one’s own father. His proud encouraging cries whenever I kept my balance for longer than 3 seconds made it so very relaxing.
When I first got on, I sat perfectly still and with sudden show, found myself falling to one side. Until this point I had no idea that cyclists couldn’t balance perfectly on the spot without moving. I’d missed the magician’s trick where they put one foot on the ground when they’re not peddling. When I finally had the courage to push forward on the peddles for longer than a few seconds I was amazed that for the first time I was cycling. Fearing for my life, but still amazed. But despite this early success, I came across a set of snags.
1. Steering. So afraid of losing balance I was unable to relax my body. My arms locked into place and my head tucked in, I resembled more a constipated vulture rather than my usual dashing self. In addition, without the wind my poncho couldn’t billow gloriously behind me as I cycled. Due to the same fear I also rode as quickly as I could, convinced if I slowed even for a moment, that I would lose momentum and come crashing down. In effect, I had no ability to control direction or speed and continued again and again to ride in straight lines. So whenever my father screamed watch out for that tree, of course I knew I should veer left or right. I knew riding into it would probably hurt. I was right over a dozen times. So whenever I got on the bike, I would position myself to eventually crash into softer objects. This included garages, trees, fences, boulders, British soldiers, ditches and finally cars. Through this preliminary research I concluded to my own surprise, that garage doors are in fact quite soft.
2. Distraction. Cycling required a lot of concentration at first. When I finally got steering down all of my focus was on maintaining constant motion. I couldn’t listen to my father’s instructions. I couldn’t listen to the birds. I couldn’t look left or right. If anything interrupted my concentration and my head turned even a little, I would immediately crash. I was prepared for this after my father’s yells sent me hurtling down the first few times. As I cycled alongside the Lines, I managed to focus despite the huffing soldiers on my right and despite the pedestrians on my left. But my concentration was far from unshakable. Across the road I saw a group of friends from school, including one particular girl I liked. As I cycled past at high speed, my head naturally twisted to keep her in view and all my teenage hormones who were already ridiculously late to the party, came out to say hello. All of them leapt for joy when she caught my eye, at the exact time that my body leapt from the bike as I hit a car. The car in question wasn’t moving, but the driver was sitting inside. As I rolled over I faced him, the windshield barely an inch from my face. He got out but hesitated before speaking, leaving his open mouth to flap in the air, until at last he said: “…but I was parked!!! How did you still hit me!?”
3. Braking. I came out of hiding after that girl had left and I explained to my father that my face was red thanks to yet another fall. Through practice I managed to overcome this problem through sheer willpower but there was one last obstacle. I could not stop. I can’t explain it but I was incapable of braking. Like Keanu Reeves in ‘Speed’, when I got going, nothing was going to get me off save a crash. My arms were too rigid and my hands too tight to reach for the brakes. I couldn’t help but peddle as fast as possible to avoid losing balance, so I couldn’t simply slow to a halt either. Instead if I wanted to stop or get off, I would look for the optimal object and deliberately crash into it. It was the only way. After my father lost count of how many times I flew over the handlebars, he gave up and told me never to ride again in case I seriously damaged the bicycle. But I was determined to overcome this. So in secret, every week I would ride out into town, as far as I could go and practiced stopping. For weeks I deliberately crashed into all sorts of objects, but each bruise and scrape made me more determined to try harder. When you bounce off that tree, you get back on that bike and bounce off something else until you learn to ride! Through training and perseverance, I finally succeeded, in a manner of speaking. It was true, I still couldn’t stop the bike. But who said I needed to be ‘on’ the bike when it crashed? Using the more suburban areas for training, I slowly mastered the art of leaping off a moving bicycle. Even at high speed downhill, I was able to bail out at the last second before the bike went hurtling down into a ditch. It was as though I were playing ‘chicken’ with myself, or at least that’s what neighbours asked me as they watched my bicycle collide into yet another fence without me. My bruises faded and my cuts healed. No crash could hurt me.
I was an official cyclist as soon as I defeated these snags. My style of riding is a little more unorthodox than most, but still extremely effective. I can get to any location quickly, with limited distraction and I can safely depart from any moving vehicle. This is why I would be so valuable to your film production as a stunt cyclist. No matter the context, I will never be harmed in a crash because I won’t ever be on the bike at that moment. I may not be able to brake, but I can do something truly remarkable instead. If you are interested in my application, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
– We saw him train and it’s true he’s dedicated. We think he might have some permanent brain damage though after he hit the fourth tree but it has never interfered with his ability to ride. With a wide berth, a few back-up bicycles and a righteous cause, Poncho could take the world by storm.
Signed, The Medway Public
-He’s shown talent and discipline. With the exception of knocking down the sergeant mid run, he maintains an excellent record. He obeys on command, follows instructions to the letter. He lets nothing distract him from his mission. He is to be commended for his skill and would be a valuable asset to any team.
Signed, The British Army
-He dented the bumper beyond repair, and scratched the paint to hell. He paid for it to be fixed of course, but I couldn’t drive for a week while it was in the garage! He was completely reckless and could easily do a lot of damage next time!
Signed, One angry motorist
Ability to leap from bicycles while in motion
Steady and practiced control in cycling
Capable of achieving high speed crashes
Complete disregard for personal safety
Avid fear of doctors and hospitals (health insurance will not be necessary)
Extreme vulture-like focus while riding
Seven years prior experience in deliberate crashes and accidents. Major interest in the film industry. Willing to accept some level of pain to achieve goals. Inventive character to accomplish any stunt task.