Tribal Interview: Trevor de Groot

cover

Tribe Member Trevor de Groot of Canada has been super busy lately. From being on the cover of the first new parkour magazine in years, to traveling North America all summer to most recently doing stunts for Neverest's newest music video, Rewind. Somewhere in all that chaos he found time to answer a few questions about his work, play, and life in general. 

APK: So first off how long have you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Trevor: I'm Trevor de Groot, from Hamilton, Ontario.  I've been training for about 4.5 years.  Similar to most people in the parkour community I'm super passionate about parkour and movement in general, probably one of the reasons I feel attached to the community as a whole.

What's it like being a part of the Tribe?

Trevor: Being a part of The Tribe is great, I really enjoy all of the people that are a part of the team.  The best thing about The Tribe is knowing the other team members have always got your back, whether you're training or have other things going on in your life.  The feeling of being part of an elite group of athletes is also one that is rather unique.  When I look at my teammates and see the qualities of leadership, great personalities, and of course skilled movement, it makes you question, how the heck did I get to be a part of such an awesome team?  

To read more about Trevor and hear his words of wisdom click read more...

 Lastly, the other fun thing about being on The Tribe is the dynamic that we have from living in different places.  Since we all live in different parts of North America, my teammates aren't always easily accessible for me to train with.  We often only see each other for jobs and jams, or even if we just feel like visiting each other to work on a video or a new project, which still happens to be pretty often, thankfully.  But the good thing about that dynamic is that when we do get to see each other it's interesting to see each other’s progress, since many times we haven't seen the rest of the team for a few weeks, when we do get to see each other we make sure to always have a great time and there are always "shenanigans" to be had.

You’re the only Tribe member that’s not from the US. How does that make you feel?

Trevor: Haha, that's a good question.  I like being the only Tribe member that's not from the US because sometimes it's a source of our conversations, jokes, and antics.  It's kind of funny because they razz me about being from ‘Canadia’ all the time, and of course I tease them right back about being 'Murican all the time too!  At the end of the day, we're all just a group of friends who don't really care where each other is from, we simply enjoy each other’s company.  On a more serious note, I think the inclusion of others regardless of location, says something about both the parkour community's and The Tribe's willingness to develop as a whole.

What's the parkour scene like in Canada, compared to the US?

Trevor: Well, the number one difference between the Canadian and US parkour scene is that roof gaps up here are more dangerous considering we only have igloos, so the chance of us slipping increases, since our homes are made of ice!  

Haha, but on a more serious note, I find the people are pretty similar, everyone is very inclusive, positive and fun to be around in both scenes.  There are parkour scenes in all of the major cities and many of the smaller ones, just like in the US.  Similar to the US, there is a general difference in style based on a traceurs geography which is very apparent when comparing the scene in Montreal to the scenes in say Calgary, or Vancouver.  I do notice that authorities are more lax and acceptant about training up here then they are in the US.  Often times in my own city, police will bike by me as I'm training and simply say "Good on you for exercising (eh)!" whereas in the US, they seem to be more apt to whip out their trespassing warning slips as opposed to trying to understand what you're doing.

So you were recently in a music video tell us a little about that?

middle

Trevor: Yeah, I was recently in the music video for the song Rewind by a band called Neverest.  They were pretty big in the North American pop music scene in 2010 and 2011.  I know that at the time they had a few of their songs go to Number 1 on the Much Music Top 30 Countdown and they had similar success on the Canadian Hot 100 charts.  After their success two of their band members left and they went on a two year hiatus, reworking their sound.  Rewind is supposed to be their first single coming back as a band after their two year break with their two new replacement band members.

The video itself was shot in Toronto in an abandoned meat factory and the basic premise of the video is that the two old members of the band were kidnapped by bad guys and the two new members save them.  I got to play one of the bad guys, so I end up chasing the band members, fighting them and ultimately getting beaten up by the band members.  I also doubled for the drummer when he had to make an escape from a three story roof, essentially climbing/dropping down the side of the building on wooden skids and trash that was on set.

How did you get to be a part of this video? Did you have to audition, did you know someone, or was it set up for you?

Trevor: For this music video I had to audition because the casting for stunt roles wasn't done by the stunt coordinator, often times in the stunt world you simply get the job by knowing the coordinator and having worked with them before.  Anyways I had heard through a few casting groups that I'm a part of that they were casting traceurs to be a part of the video so I went to the audition.

Frequently in the entertainment industry when casting groups are in charge of looking for stunt talent, when they cast for "parkour guys" they really mean they are looking for people who can do acrobatics and tricking.  So when I showed up to the audition I wasn't surprised to see myself, about 30 trickers/martial artists and maybe 4 or 5 parkour purists.  Nor was I surprised when they gave us an empty room and said, "You have 30 seconds, show us your parkour!", since this has happened to me a couple times before.  Thankfully, my acro isn't horrible and I can do some tricking, but also in an audition like that, in order to stand out, I try to do things that trickers or martial artists wouldn't necessarily think to do.  For example, in this audition, there was a very tiny amount of wall space (probably about 6 inches wide, flanked by windows), so I just spammed wall tricks on that, since trickers often do flatland stuff.  I did a wall full, a hands together palm flip and a bunch of other things and I guess it did the trick, since I landed the part.

So out of 30+ people trying out how many people were selected and were you the only freerunner?  

Trevor: There was 4 selected out of 30+ people, then one of the 4 of us dropped out last minute, since they had another commitment, so they replaced him with someone who didn't audition.  Then on the day of the shoot they decided 4 wasn't enough, so they added one more to the roster who also wasn't at the audition.  These last two guys that were added were added primarily based on looks, since myself and one of the other guys don't particularly look threatening, since we have baby faces.  As a result, their backgrounds didn't relate to the role as much, as the one was primarily an actor and the other had limited martial arts experience.  I was the only person whose specialization was free running, the other two of the originals that got picked with me were trickers who had dabbled in some parkour movements.

What was it like working on a music video? How does it compare to other performances? 

Trevor: Working on a music video was pretty fun.  This wasn't my first one, so I was used to how they differ from other sets (they tend to have less planning in terms of how shots are framed and seem to be shot more impulsively or by feel compared to other forms of production).  From my experience music videos are one of the most fun mediums to work on.  I like them because they usually highlight our skills more than movies or commercials often do.  Also, since it was a small set, they didn't mind us taking pictures or footage of behind the scenes for our demo reels and such, which is always a bonus, considering on most other sets that is generally a big no-no.

How long did the filming process take?

Trevor: Most music videos are done relatively quickly in 2-3 shoot days.  This one took 2 days, but we weren't really used in the second day very much.  The first day we were shooting pretty much from 8am until 9pm, so that was a pretty long day.   However, it was made more tolerable, considering it was a small cast (as most music videos are), so everyone was super friendly and worked well together.  Also, compared to other music videos we were fed very well, since a catering truck made us whatever we wanted.  Usually set food isn't too bad, but it was nice for the food choice to be completely flexible for a change!  The following day wasn't as long and was more to get close up shots of the band playing and singing as opposed to anything that was in the realm of our skill set.

last


Do you have any advice for traceurs wanting to get into performances or just get better in general?

Trevor: Getting work is extremely difficult, it's all about networking and knowing people.  My suggestion is to google your local film industry union's website to see what's playing in your area.  They should have a list of what's playing, who the stunt coordinator is and who the production company for that set is.  From there, call the production company and see where you can go to drop off a package with a headshot of you, your demo reel and resume.  On the package, write the stunt coordinator for that set's name.  When you go to drop it off ask if it can be given to the stunt coordinator.  From there it's all about hoping they call you back.  You can also try to get SSE (Special Skills Extra) work, which will get you time on set with the second unit.  From there you can pick an opportune moment, when the stunt coordinator is not busy (which is pretty much never...) to go introduce yourself directly to coordinator.

In terms of what skill set you should work on in preparation for stunt work, I suggest working on everything.  You will very seldom get hired to do parkour on any production.  Knowing one skill is simply not enough in the industry.  You need to know how to stage fight, how to react, how to fall safely but convincingly and anything else you know, such as parkour or acrobatics is a bonus.  That's one of the other reasons I have such a wide variety of hobbies, since if you want work in this industry you need to have a very diverse skill set.


Do you have any other hobbies besides Parkour?

Trevor: Definitely!  I really enjoy doing Cyr Wheel, Diving/Swimming, Skiing, Rock Climbing, Acro Yoga, Juggling, Drawing, Graphic Design, Weight Training, Capoeira, Volley Ball, Trampoline and basically anything else you can think of that is active.  I think it's really important to have other hobbies, since it puts less pressure on your main area of focus.  Plus, when you think about it, who only wants to be good at one thing, when you can be good at a bunch of things?  And how do you get good at something?  By practicing it and making it a hobby!

Check out Neverest's newest video featuring Tribe member Trevor de Groot!



For more information on Trevor and the rest of The Tribe head to TribalMovement.com or check out his youtube channel here!

Be first to comment this article Read more...
PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patrick Witbrod   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:28
Last Updated on Friday, 16 August 2013 23:36