Falling For The Stars also provides a magical behind-the-scenes look at the stars and moviemaking through the eyes of a woman who went toe-to-toe with the Hollywood elite, or at least walked in their stunt shoes. She knows first-hand the caring and humanity of such luminaries as Streep, Redford and Cher.
Book Title: Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales
Author: Lisa Loving Dalton
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 224 pages
Genre: Memoir, Performing Arts
Publisher: Peak Performance Living
Release date: Oct 27, 2016
Tour dates: Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13 + M
From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”
Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.
Connect with the author:
RH: What inspired you to become an entertainer? What kind of training have you received in your career?
LLD: I remember seeing pageants at my elementary school and wanting to be in them. Every year, the whole school participated in the Spring Performance. It was the highlight that I lived for. In first grade, the class did a Can Can number. We had black Can Can dresses with bright yellow ruffles. My big sister’s fourth grade class did an Egyptian themed performance. The spectacle fascinated me. By the time I was in fifth grade, I wrote, produced, directed and played a character role in “The Feast of The Annunciation”. From there, it was pretty non-stop for me.
In high school, I studied Viola Spolin’s improvisational games. In college, I trained in Classical Shakespeare, Stanislavsky, Grotowski, and Stage Combat. I did all my crew work in costuming as my mom taught me tailoring. Post-college, I went wholly into the Avant Garde theatre with Commedia dell Arte, various circus/clowning and acrobatic techniques. These are what prepared me for stunts. Then I learned Michael Chekhov’s acting technique that unified the many different approaches into such a powerful body-mind-spirit technique that I became a master teacher of it.
For my stunt work, I continued yoga, martial arts (Kung Fu, Chi gong, Tai Chi, Aikido), acrobatics and gymnastics to hone my ability to control my body in space.
I trained in high speed and precision driving on motorcycles at Pocono Raceway, and Formula Ford cars Bridgehampton and Lime Rock Raceways. I trained in stunt driving for 360-degree spins, 180 turns, etc. at Sears Point Raceway in stock cars. I also was a trained Special Police Officer with the accompanying self-defense, takedown tactics, and motor vehicle control.
As one who has had her hand in every aspect of show business, how do you keep up with your many pursuits? You appear to be one busy lady!
I love this question and I definitely have more passions than I can keep up with! So, prioritizing becomes a very important task for me, and not an easy one. Right now, writing, speaking, and teaching about healthy living in and out of the industry are priorities. Of course, maintaining my health is necessary so I do the Five Tibetan Rites as my daily yoga. I maintain a mostly dairy and gluten free organic diet and see lots of theatre. What are on hold that I would love to do more of are singing, dancing, motorcycling, painting, scuba and overseas travel for pleasure.
Please tell us about the premise of your book Falling For the Stars and why you chose to write it.
Falling For the Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales is a memoir of my career as a stuntwoman that spanned from 1980 until 1993. It is about forty-five episodes that are an easy read. I write poetry so I have included some in this book. I have a special section called “Dalton’s Dictionary-a Definitely Biased Film Industry Glossary.” It explains what the terms mean for folks who may not be familiar. That part is dedicated to my dad who was BIG on dictionaries. For my mom, she’s a crossword fan so I made a challenging crossword puzzle. There are lots of juicy stories about the stars and famous films I worked on, plus the life lessons I learned. Some of those are fluffy-some are pretty painful, like when I sustained a crippling spine injury.
You are one who is active in charity work. Please tell us which ones you are involved with and why you have chosen to work with them.
My favorite charities include Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation that has created The Rock Teen Center in Phoenix. It is an afterschool center that focuses on music, dance, art and hopefully soon, they will get theatre included. I would love to mentor their theatre teachers and help develop that. There are many afterschool programs that use sports and even technology. But the arts are sadly misrepresented and Alice, his wife Cheryl who is a dancer, and his staff are doing an amazing job nurturing our next generation of artists.
I am very fond of Barbara Sinatra’s Center for Abused Children in Palm Springs, CA. They help parents and children heal and relearn how to care for each other. They have a complete forensic facility with psychologists and social workers. This work is very important.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of course does well known work and it has been my honor to meet and delight many children in need.
Any other upcoming works you can mention (whether books or anything else)?
From December 27-January 2, 2017 I will be teaching at the University of Florida, Gainesville. We are offering the 24th Annual National Michael Chekhov Association Intensive Training. It will also be in Las Cruces, June 4-10, 2017. It is a solid week of imagination and movement based creativity for actors, teachers, directors and designers. We frequently have speakers, doctors, life coaches, musicians and other non-professionals join to experience the freedom and power of Michael Chekhov’s healing work as it applies to their interests.
On February 21, I am releasing Murder Of Talent: How Pop Culture Is Killing “It”. In this book, I reveal some of the reasons why so many stars are self-destructive and how our culture suffers from poor role models. We, the public are making it worse and we need to do better. We also need to pay attention to how bullying represses talent and the price that we pay. This book picks up, in part, where Falling For the Stars ends and shows that in some cases, being an actor, musician, artist, or athlete can be more dangerous physically and psychological than stunts. Both can kill.
If you could have dinner with 3 people living or dead, who would you choose and why?
I would choose the current Dalai Lama because I saw him speak and while I have been around many powerful people of all religions and races, he mesmerized me completely. He was so serene, peaceful and funny.
I would invite Dr. Martin Luther King to dine. I had the honor of meeting him at breakfast, the morning before he gave his “I have a Dream” speech in Washington DC. Holding his hand when we shook, connecting eye to eye with him, was my first deep mesmerizing moment of its kind in my life. I have been a strong advocate of civil rights and right now I am deeply saddened by what feels like a complete reversal of our progress.
I would invite Michael Chekhov to chow down on some good food because I know he, Dr. King and The Dalai Lama would be jovial, witty and encouraging. Mr. Chekhov’s passion and insight into the role of entertainment as a spiritual and healing act for the masses is critical to bring forth at this time. It can work for peace, acceptance and equality.
I align with the belief that these three people inspire, in all of humanity, ways to live more healthily and happily. That is my mission as well.
Thank you so much for asking these questions. I love to connect with readers so please reach out via my website where information about the upcoming programs is available. www.lisadalton.com
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