Let’s be honest: Making extra money by doing what you love to do is the dream. When I started Freerunning training I had no idea I would end up making a living by being a professional athlete. And - by „make a living“ I don’t mean keeping my head just above the water. No. I make really good money, which gives me all the independency and freedom I need to follow my path.
You are interested in becoming a professional Freerunner and want to know how I got started? Keep reading.
Step 1: PARKOUR TEAM - ASHIGARU
It all started with me being outstandingly passionate about Parkour and Freerunning - that’s why after just 1 year of training I became a part of the Ashigaru Family, the most professional German Parkour Team. This is where my freerunning career began. After Ashigaru was aware of my talent it did not take long and I was booked for a live performance for Reebok in 2010. Being super ambitious about everything I do in general I did a really good job back then. A lesson I learned back then was: once you deliver well there will appear more opportunities. As soon as people notice your talent and your drive to make the best out of it they keep giving you new challenges to prove yourself. I was thankful for every single one.
During the upcoming years I performed on lots and lots of stages for many different clients - always together with the Ashigaru Show crew. I had such a good time and gained a lot of knowledge about how the business works, the different positions behind the surface and the communication process between the departments. All this happened behind the protected shell of the Ashigaru Team - it was a really valuable sequence on my way to grow up to where I am now.
From just being super passionate for movement becoming a part of a professional Team was the first necessary step for me. During my first few years with Ashigaru my eyes got widened for a world full of possibilities... and I became hungry for more.
Step 2: STUNTWORK
In summer 2013 I entered the german stunt business. Ashigaru was in touch with the stunt team Face Off from south Germany who coordinated the international movie production „TARZAN 3D“ - a massive motion capturing project (we were wearing those funny suits with dots so special cameras could capture what we did and digitalize it :-D ).
The movie business was new and very fascinating to me - I soaked up all the informations around me like a sponge. Since it was such a big project I wanted to leave the best impression possible. Even in the breaks between the shooting sequences I wouldn't stop thinking about alternative ways to perform in front of the lense to make the shots look as good as they possbily could. My work ethic was noticed by the stunt coordinators - coincidentally they had another project going on in switzerland which they could use some Parkour skills for.
My entrance was made - after that project and spending some quality time with the stunt crew they keep contacting me whenever I fit into a project until today.
This summer I realized that I prefer working in front of the camera. Unfortunately back then Ashigaru was focusing more on show business. As a still developing 13-person-team the Ashigaru management was not able to focus only on my wishes and needs, so I felt I would have to take the next step on my own: looking for sports model agencies who could propose me for more projects in front of the lense.
SteP 3: (Sports) MODEL AGENCIES
Before I got started there was something that slowed me down: I thought I was too short to make it in the model industry. I've seen many agencies that ask you for a minimum body size of 183 cm, they wouldn't sign you up if you were below that. I began to doubt I would be able to reach my goal...
Until I stumbled over FREISTIL Sportmodels from Hamburg. Somehow they saw some potential in my application and invited me to their office. Paying the whole travelfee when I did not have much money left was a struggle but I was so greatful for the chance, I had to do it. What a lucky coicidence that I decided to introduce myself in that specific summer...
Just a few weeks after I signed up with them they received the biggest commercial request they ever had on their desk. It was for got2B and guess what: it involved Freerunning skills! I remember the day I got a call from the agency owner, telling me the client picked me out of all the competitors from many different countries in Europe. This was enough evidence - I knew I could become successful here.
I used that boost of selfconfidence and applied for all the model agencies I could find in Germany - and I learned, that your body size does not necessarily make a difference when you want to work in the commercial world. Besides from fashion model agencies there are people and commercial model agencies as well, which focus more on sympathetic characters instead of tall size and symmetric beauty.
Nowadays the commercial and sports model work is my main source for paid projects.
Well, well, well. This is how my career began. If I try to sum it up to the most important lesson I have learned on this path I would choose: "Whatever you decide to do, push yourself to do it the best way you possibly can." As soon as people see you're ambitous they WANT to see you successful.
I am pretty convinced that it was my work ethic that brought me where I am. Sure, there is luck, good genes, talent and passion involved. Since you can not control any of those, try to focus on the one thing you are able to influence: how you deal with challenges.
So, I hope I left a little inspiration for those among you who want to get started but had no idea how! Good luck :-)