Stuntman Benjamin Patient, a 26-year-old UVSC freshman, almost had his dream come to an end last December when he was in a collision with an SUV on his motorcycle.
Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive; and after nine months of medication and rehabilitation, he’s finally back to his old self.
Patient began to feed his need for thrills early in his childhood, starting with martial arts and even competing at the young age of five.
He progressed rapidly and eventually earned an invitation to the World Championships in Las Vegas. He competed well enough to be invited back the next year, where he finished in the top five in his division.
Shortly thereafter, he went to a different league that took him to nationals, where he finished second in his division.
The opportunities continued when he heard about an audition for Universal Studios.
"Around the same time, I was still perfecting and fine-tuning a martial arts routine that I created. It was really intense. It was then I thought, ‘Here is the chance for me to do this and just get out there and perform," Patient said.
"I wasn’t even going to the audition to get the job. I was going out there to perform, and I thought that would be it."
After the audition, Universal invited him back to do his routine the next day. Two months later, they called and asked if he wanted to go to Japan to work in the Universal Studios Terminator 2 3-D show.
"I was there for a year and seven months, doing an average of seven- to 10- shows a day, five days a week," Patient said.
After his work in Japan, Patient journeyed to Australia to work in an upper-scale training facility. For five months, he trained for eight- to 10- hours day on perfecting his stuntman repertoire.
Patient said, "From the start of the day, till the end of the day, we trained."
Benjamin Patient has also worked in live, old-western shows in Old Tucson Studios, where some of the John Wayne movies were filmed.
Patient has a well-rounded resume with his stuntman career: He has worked on multiple commercials, taking falls from towers as high as 30 feet, ran around in a fire suit covered in flames, and even jumped motorcycles and cars.
He recently worked on the special features for the old John Wayne flick Rio Bravo (1959), which was digitally remastered.
But after his near-fatal motorcycle accident, Patient figured this would be an excellent time to take break from his physically demanding stuntman lifestyle to start on his academic career.
Patient returned to Utah, were he was born and raised, and enrolled at UVSC to start working toward his career.
Patient is aiming for education, but he said, "For now my focus is on school, but stunt work is something I’m passionate about, and you should always pursue what you’re passionate about. If the right opportunity presented itself, it may catch my attention."
Photo credit: Ben Patient
Cut-line: Patient, all ready for a hard day’s work