FOR THE LOVE OF THE STUNT

Athleisure - - For The Love Of The Stunt - JESSIE GRAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Paul Farkas STYLIST Kim­mie Smith MUAH David Stella

Think back to your fa­vorite movies and we guar­an­tee that there are some ac­tion se­quences. Al­though there are some ac­tors that do their own stunts, most en­list a stunt per­son to make the scene tru­ly­look and feel as next level as pos­si­ble. This month's cover girl is celebrity stunt­woman and ath­letic per­son­al­ity, Jessie Graff.

Jessie has been in a num­ber of movies and TV shows. In ad­di­tion, if you're a fan of NBC's Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior, then you have seen her crush­ing cour­ses on this TV show as well while don­ning a Won­der Woman cos­tume. We spent an af­ter­noon with her shoot­ing her for our cover and this en­er­getic woman show­cased her ath­letic abil­ity while also shar­ing anec­dotes how she got into the busi­ness, where we have seen her as well as how she has honed her craft over the years.

ATHLEISURE MAG: What was your jour­ney to be­com­ing a stunt woman from child­hood to ac­tu­ally se­lect­ing this ca­reer?

JESSIE GRAFF: I wanted to be a su­per hero, like Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer and Xena War­rior Princess. I loved the phys­i­cal part most, but didn't know that stunts were a sep­a­rate job, so I al­ways thought I'd be an ac­tress. Af­ter ma­jor­ing in theatre in col­lege, I learned that the ac­tors don't usu­ally get to do their own stunts, so I im­me­di­ately re­searched ev­ery­thing I could about stunt peo­ple. I read ev­ery ar­ti­cle I could find, stud­ied the stunt player’s di­rec­tory, and found out where stunt peo­ple trained. Then I got pho­tos, made a demo reel, moved to LA, and signed up at ev­ery gym in where I could find stunt peo­ple. Then I copied ev­ery­thing they did, learned ev­ery­thing I could, and even­tu­ally, earned my place in the com­mu­nity.

AM: What type of train­ing does one en­gage in or­der to be­come a stunt woman?

JG: Fights, falls/wipe­outs, weapons, park­our, gym­nas­tics, rock climb­ing, ev­ery style of mar­tial arts, wire work, rig­ging, tram­po­lines, bi­cy­cles, air rams, Rus­sian swing, high falls, scuba, sky div­ing, cars, mo­tor­cy­cles, fire burns... There's so much to learn!

AM: Ob­vi­ously, you're in great shape, what work­outs do you sug­gest for great abs, glutes and arms?

JG: I or­ga­nize all of my work­outs into a 3 day cy­cle of push day, pull day, and leg day. It al­lows me to push each mus­cle group to the limit, and give it 2 days to re­cover, while I'm train­ing the other 2 main mus­cle groups.

I sug­gest FOR­GET­TING about how you want your body to look, and choos­ing work­outs based on what you want to be able to do, and how you want to feel. If you want great arms, get hooked on rock climb­ing, gym­nas­tics, or cal­is­then­ics. Set goals like climb­ing at a cer­tain dif­fi­culty level or learn­ing to do a kip on bars. Then do all the drills, pro­gres­sions, and strength train­ing to get those skills, and make a new goal 1 level higher. Want great glutes? Work on, bound­ing agility ob­sta­cles, im­prov­ing your ver­ti­cal jump, or learn­ing park­our. When you get pas­sion­ate about a hobby that re­quires those mus­cles, ev­ery work­out is more in­spir­ing, and there is no end. If you want an 8-pack, and you get there, how do you stay mo­ti­vated to work out and eat healthy? How do you main­tain it? But if you suc­ceed in your goal of 10 pull ups, great! New goal: get 12, or 15 or 20.

AM: What are your go to foods be­tween your trav­els, work­ing out etc?

JG: I al­ways carry B-up pro­tein bars and roasted sea­weed with me, be­cause fruit/ carbs are easy to find, but pro­tein and veg­eta­bles are harder to grab on the go.

Ba­sic struc­ture of any meal is 1-2 servings pro­tein, col­or­ful veg­eta­bles, 1 serv­ing of carbs or fruit, all on top of a huge pile of dark leafy greens.

AM: What's on your playlist when you're in the gym?

JG: Jessie Graff's Won­der Woman Playlist on DC Comics and "Try Ev­ery­thing" from Zootopia.

AM: What movies have we seen your work in? JG: Look for me with pur­ple hair in Fu­ture Man on Hulu, and Bright on Net­flix. Other projects are Won­der Woman, Su­per­girl, Trans­form­ers, The Dark Knight, Marvel's Agents of Shield, G.I. Joe, Die Hard...

AM: What is the process like in terms of cast­ing when you are go­ing into be­ing a stunt per­son in a film?

JG: If there are lines, we go to au­di­tions as ac­tors. We send demo reels or they are sub­mit­ted by the stunt co­or­di­na­tor, so that they know we are qual­i­fied to do the stunt re­quired for the role. We are given lines any­where from the day be­fore to at the au­di­tion, read for cam­era, maybe have a call back, and are booked for the act­ing role. The au­di­tions to be the main stunt dou­ble on a big ac­tion movie are the most fun. It's of­ten a whole group of us in a gym, learn­ing fight chore­og­ra­phy, and show­ing off kicks, flips, weapons, and any other ap­pli­ca­ble skills for a cou­ple of hours.

AM: How do you pre­pare for the roles that you par­tic­i­pate in?

JG: I rarely get more than a week's no­tice for a job or big au­di­tion usu­ally 1-2 days. I have to guess which skills are most likely to come up, and pre­pare for EV­ERY­THING, so that no mat­ter what comes up, I can be pre­pared (hope­fully). Train­ing con­stantly in so many dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines, im­proves my abil­ity to learn brand new move­ments faster, so that even if some­thing to­tally new comes up, i can adapt.

AM: What is the think­ing be­hind wear­ing the Won­der Woman cos­tume dur­ing your Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior run?

JG: My first year, I dressed as a chicken to ad­ver­tise my short film 'Epic Chick Fight,' but a par­ent mes­saged me on Twit­ter about her 6-year-old daugh­ter, who had never been very phys­i­cally ac­tive. Af­ter watch­ing me, she said 'I like her. I like her out­fit' then promptly

I sug­gest FOR­GET­TING about how you want your body to look, and choos­ing work­outs based on what you want to be able to do, and how you want to feel. If you want great arms, get hooked on rock climb­ing, gym­nas­tics, or cal­is­then­ics. Set goals like climb­ing at a cer­tain dif­fi­culty level or learn­ing to do a kip on bars. Then do all the drills, pro­gres­sions and strength train­ing to get those skills...

dressed her Bar­bie like me, and went out­side to climb the jun­gle gym with her. It made me re­al­ize how much im­pact my cloth­ing choices could have on kids. Now, I choose out­fits that seem most likely to in­spire kids to be healthy and strong.

AM: When you're not train­ing, what is your per­sonal style when you're out and about ver­sus when you're in the gym?

JG: My per­sonal style is pretty much Un­der Ar­mour shorts and sports bras, or maybe a tennis skort to shake things up. The world is my gym, so I dress for

work­outs at all times.

When I'm at work, I wear what­ever the cos­tume de­part­ment puts me in. For su­per fancy red car­pet type events, I re­quire that the mid-sec­tion be fit­ted, and stretchy, with a full cir­cle skirt that al­lows for full range of mo­tion. I al­ways wear shorts un­der my skirt, so that I can flip and kick with­out wardrobe mal­func­tions. Other than that, I don't un­der­stand why I would ever wear any­thing other than work­out clothes or swim suits.

AM: We love your videos on In­sta­gram with your pup and your pig, it's a great way to show your physique and to get to know your per­son­al­ity, how long does it take to do them?

JG: It takes about 30 sec­onds to toss spinach around the floor, to keep @ Sam­moHog oc­cu­pied and in frame, and 20 sec­onds to 5 min­utes to shoot the video...well... up to 1 min for In­sta­gram, but Face­book videos al­low for longer work­out clips. It rarely takes more than one take. Un­less it's a com­pi­la­tion of mul­ti­ple at­tempts. Those may take 30 min or so of try­ing and fail­ing 20 times be­fore I suc­ceed, and an­other 5 min­utes to edit.

AM: Are there any char­i­ties or phi­lan­thropy that you are a part of that you would like to share?

JG: I re­ally want to do more to help ed­u­cate peo­ple of all ages about healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cise habits, and how to make them feel fun and ef­fort­less. I cur­rently do that by shar­ing my own tips, tricks, and ex­pe­ri­ence on so­cial me­dia, but would love sug­ges­tions on spe­cific char­i­ties that deal with those top­ics.

AM: What ad­vice would you give to a girl that is look­ing to get into the world of stunts?

JG: Don't pur­sue stunts un­less you RE­ALLY love it. You will get beaten up. You'll be cold and wet, fall­ing down con­crete stairs at 3am, or sweat­ing in a full leather suit on an over­heat­ing mo­tor­cy­cle, on a 110 de­gree day in the desert. They will con­stantly throw crazy and un­usual chal­lenges at you, and you'll have to think on your toes, to fig­ure it out on the spot.

If work­ing out 5-8 hours/day, and fight­ing to achieve seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble feats sounds like a dream job, do it. Work your butt off. Learn ev­ery­thing. Be smart. Be hum­ble. Lis­ten. Pay at­ten­tion, and be help­ful. If you are ta­lented, work re­ally hard, and have a great at­ti­tude, you will have an amaz­ing ca­reer, a life­time of ad­ven­ture, and be­come friends with some of the most in­cred­i­ble peo­ple on the planet.

We get to be the un­known heroes of the film in­dus­try.

Our pho­to­shoot with Jessie Graff took place at Henry Hall in NYC's Hud­son Yards. We took a mo­ment to find out more about the in­ter­est­ing con­cept of this res­i­den­tial prop­erty that also makes you feel like you live in a ho­tel as well.

ATHLEISURE MAG: What are the ameni­ties of­fered at Henry Hall?

HENRY HALL: Henry Hall fea­tures a unique ameni­ties pack­age fo­cused on the build­ing’s club and lounge ar­eas and elite food and bev­er­age of­fer­ings. As part of its in­no­va­tive pro­gram­ming, Henry Hall will de­but De­li­cious Hos­pi­tal­ity’s new restau­rant, dubbed Legacy Records. The restau­rant, bar and lounges will be spread over the build­ing's first and sec­ond floors.

In ad­di­tion to the restau­rant and sec­ond floor lounge, Henry Hall res­i­dents will have ac­cess to an ar­ray of sought-af­ter ameni­ties, including a “jam room,” res­i­dent’s club room, pri­vate din­ing rooms and wine room, roof-deck, state-of-theart train­ing cen­ter as well as ex­clu­sive ac­cess to Henry Hall Concierge for 24hour ser­vice.

Henry Hall will also pro­vide res­i­dents with Echo Dots con­nected to Ama­zon Alexa. The posh rental has equipped each of the 225 res­i­dences with an Echo Dot and cre­ated an Alexa skill tai­lored specif­i­cally for Henry Hall res­i­dents. Build­ing Link, the lead­ing on­line res­i­den­tial man­age­ment sys­tem, has de­vel­oped a cus­tom skill that gives Alexa the abil­ity to an­swer numer­ous re­quests that per­tain specif­i­cally to res­i­dents. Voice com­mands that res­i­dents can make in­clude the fol­low­ing: “Alexa, ask Henry Hall if I have any pack­ages”; “Alexa, ask Henry Hall if there are any events in the build­ing to­day”; and “Alexa, ask Henry Hall when the gym will be open.”

AM: What is the con­cept be­hind the de­sign of the build­ing?

HH: De­vel­oped by Im­pe­rial Com­pa­nies, on be­half of the joint ven­ture part­ner­ship with Shoren­stein, and with in­te­rior de­sign by the renowned Ken Fulk, Henry Hall is Hud­son Yard’s new­est des­ti­na­tion rental. In con­trast to the glass tow­ers dom­i­nat­ing the Hud­son Yards neigh­bor­hood, Henry Hall gives a thought­ful nod to ‘Old New York’ with its brick and steel façade. The 33-story build­ing in­cludes 225 stu­dio to two-bed­room units with prices start­ing at $3,350.

Henry Hall is a new wave res­i­den­tial ex­pe­ri­ence in­spired by bou­tique ho­tel cul­ture. Eric Birnbaum, Co-founder of Im­pe­rial Com­pa­nies, and the vi­sion be­hind Henry Hall, says his imag­i­na­tion was sparked by stays at The Bow­ery Ho­tel and The Bat­tery SF, among other prop­er­ties. “At Henry Hall, we take de­sign and pro­gram­ming cues from bou­tique ho­tels. I fell in love with the idio­syn­cratic charm of their lob­bies - the de­sign el­e­ments, the way peo­ple move through them,” Birnbaum says.

Henry Hall cre­ates so­cial pro­gram­ming

for like­minded peo­ple, com­mu­nal spa­ces to re­lax and recharge, ex­quis­ite meals & bev­er­age, all with grand dé­cor and a rooftop view.

AM: There is a dis­tinct bou­tique ho­tel vibe to this res­i­dence - why is that and what of­fer­ings does the prop­erty pro­vide to those who are not res­i­dents?

HH: Henry Hall will of­fer a res­i­den­tial op­tion that merges New York’s nightlife and bou­tique ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence with lux­ury res­i­den­tial liv­ing. The res­i­dences were out­fit­ted as a mod­ern take on tra­di­tional grand ho­tels and in keep­ing with that theme the pri­vate lounges, jam room, rooftop deck, gym—were all cre­ated to ex­tend the holis­tic ex­pe­ri­ence of a bou­tique ho­tel. Launch pro­gram­ming fea­tures a summer mu­sic se­ries, “Tues­days at Henry Hall,” which wel­comes res­i­dents and friends to en­joy a ro­tat­ing cast of no­table and so­cially in­flu­en­tial DJs.

AM: Within the space that was in­cluded within our pho­to­shoot, who dec­o­rated it?

HH: Ken Fulk, who has been dubbed “Sil­i­con Val­ley’s cre­ative dis­rup­tor,” and whose cred­its in­clude The Bat­tery SF among other high-pro­file res­i­den­tial and hos­pi­tal­ity projects, worked with Eric Birnbaum to de­sign the res­i­dent ex­pe­ri­ence through­out all as­pects of Henry Hall, from the eclec­tic lobby to the el­e­gant lounges to the cus­tom fin­ishes in each res­i­dence.

De­sign el­e­ments in Henry Hall's grand lobby in­clude a floor made of three dif­fer­ent types of mar­ble set in a her­ring­bone pat­tern; a 10-foot-di­am­e­ter cus­tom brass chan­de­lier retro­fit­ted with 24 cut-crys­tal globes from the 1930s; hand-scraped teak wall pan­el­ing with brass ac­cents; a sa­lon-style in­stal­la­tion of vin­tage oil paint­ings and frame pho­tog­ra­phy; tribal rugs; and an­tique fur­nish­ings. AM: What are other sell­ing points in this build­ing?

HH: Henry Hall is truly a first of its kind: a des­ti­na­tion and a com­mu­nity sim­i­lar to a bou­tique lux­ury ho­tel or a mem­bers’ only club.

The res­i­dences in­clude fin­ishes such as ash hard­wood floor­ing through­out and over­sized win­dows that flood the res­i­dences with nat­u­ral sun­light and pro­vide sweep­ing city views. Gourmet kitchens are equipped with stark white quartz coun­ter­tops and back­splashes, pre­mium brass fix­tures by Wa­ter­works and stain­less steel ap­pli­ances by Bosch and KitchenAid. Cus­tom hexag­o­nal tiles line the bath­room floor and are ac­com­pa­nied by a medicine cabi­net with in­te­grated van­ity light­ing and pol­ished nickel fit­tings. Each unit is equipped with a Bosch washer/ dryer.

"Ev­ery space, how­ever unique, pub­lic or pri­vate, is con­sid­ered an essential part of the Henry Hall story. They be­come a defin­ing el­e­ment of the res­i­den­tial ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Eric Birnbaum, Co-Founder and Part­ner at Im­pe­rial Com­pa­nies. "So many peo­ple would love to live in their fa­vorite ho­tel or have the City’s new­est restau­rant be just down­stairs - Henry Hall makes that a re­al­ity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about Henry Hall, please visit www.hen­ry­hall­nyc. com.

AM: For those that are res­i­dents, what are the neigh­bor­hood sell­ing points?

HH: Lo­cated at 515 West 38th Street, the site of the for­mer Legacy Record­ing Stu­dio, Henry Hall is at the epi­cen­ter of Hud­son Yards and is re­defin­ing lux­ury for a new gen­er­a­tion of New York­ers. Hud­son Yard’s close prox­im­ity to the ma­jor trans­porta­tion hubs of the re­cently com­pleted 7 train ex­ten-

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