Today’s Notable Young Professionals is all-around performer Scott Johnson, whose regularly on-stage and in front of the camera as an actor, musician and stuntman. That’s not all, though, as you’ll find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Stuntman, actor, musician, photographer, marketer, husband, dad, and all around lovable monster.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I have always been very active in all extreme sports, and always pushed my body to the limits. Years ago I was approached by a casting agent at the gym where I trained mixed martial arts. She was looking for a guy over 6’3, with brown hair, a beard, heavily tattooed, into mixed martial arts, for an upcoming film. I left the gym and went straight to an audition. Without any formal training I auditioned, went to stunt and fight choreography immediately after the audition, and then landed the role. I then landed roles in other films, and decided from there to take some proactive steps by enrolling in formal courses, training under the guidance of the Skene Stunts crew. I began using my college background in marketing and my knowledge in digital media to market myself and create opportunities. I landed a lead role in the 20th Century Fox horror film Wrong Turn 4 as “Saw-Tooth,” as well as an orderly in the film Charlie.
On one day off from filming, I met with my band mate Matt from our band The Blackout City Kids and discussed writing a song, “Wrong Turn,” for the film. Matt completed the song and I gave it to the director, who submitted the song to Fox Music. It became the song for the credits of the film. From there we were asked to write several other songs for the film series. This opportunity opened a lot of doors for me in both the film and music industry.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Anytime I am able to play a role that allows me to utilize both my stunt skillset as well as acting, I find it the most rewarding. The best part is getting to do what I love for a living. For music, getting to tour all over, experiencing new places, meeting new people, and seeing them enjoy the music we create is an amazing feeling.
The most challenging part for me is finding time for everything. I want to tour all over the world with my band and shoot movies 365 days a year, all the while making sure my family is priority number one. I live by the motto that no one is going to work harder for you than you. So in both my film and music career I get out there and make things happen. I was once told, “life is never easy for those who dream” – and that statement couldn’t be more accurate.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
When summer hasn’t even started and I already know I’m working and playing music basically every day until fall. You can’t do Winnipeg winters and miss out on the summer.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continuing to push myself and take on larger roles in the film industry. I love stunts. I would like to get into stunt coordinating. Also, continuing to make music and hopefully finding the time to tour outside of North America.
I would also like to push my photography skillset to new levels.
Hopefully in five years I will have completed the basement renovations I started in my spare time, using all reclaimed wood. Deepest apologies to my wife.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
In the film industry, there is a lot of downtime on set and sometimes there are extended breaks in between films. I make sure to stay very active during these times, marketing myself as well as pursuing other avenues of interest, like music and photography, and managing several small to medium-sized businesses in marketing and social media. I find this takes a lot of the pressure off of auditions, when I have additional revenue sources coming in.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success is doing what you love, spending time with family and friends, being able to laugh often, inspire others, to constantly challenge yourself and to be the best dad and husband possible.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first time I went to the premier of a movie I was in, at the Mandarin Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, was a great memory. Getting to see the finished product on the big screen for the first time with the director and the rest of the cast was a great experience. Also, the first time seeing one of our songs featured in a film was amazing.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t ever base life decisions around money. People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. Life is too short to wait. Do what you love and are passionate about. Put yourself out there, follow your dreams, take chances, fail, get back up and keep trying. Life is a story; make yours a bestseller.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
More often than not, if I get a chance to wine and dine my wife, I pick a home cooked meal followed by champagne and a bonfire in our backyard or at the cottage. If I was to pick a nightspot in my hometown of Winnipeg, without a doubt it would be Nicolino’s restaurant. They have some of the most amazing home-cooked Italian food anywhere, with a wine selection that is just as impressive.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Me time is all about my wife and 8-year-old son, Jayden, and two boxers, Ace Frehley and Axl Rose. We try to spend every second we can at our cottage or travelling, experiencing new things. I love to fish, snowboard, play hockey and everything else a prairie boy does in the winter. I also recently began working with reclaimed wood, creating furniture and other things in our house.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
For short trips, without a doubt, Vegas. It’s the perfect place for me to fit as much madness as I can in a few days. For an extended stay I’d have to say Thailand, or Huntington Beach, CA.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Party Hard by Andrew W.K. (coincidentally, it was also my wedding song).
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t work in the film industry, I would be attempting to grow my hair out!
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Definitely! To mention just a few that have been consistent in my life: The Winnipeg Humane Society as well as the Winnipeg Boxer Rescue. I am a huge dog lover and anything my family and I can do to help, we do.
What to you is notable?
An outlet to share my story, and hopefully inspire others to do what they are passionate about.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad and Apple everything…