One of my closest friends is a film director, and he really likes to get into the roles that he creates for the actors in his films. Once he made a film about a duo of skydiving bank robbers, and actually had the actors go skydiving. His latest film is a movie about a man who becomes a jockey. That man is no one other than me, and to prepare for the role, he sent me to one of those horse racing syndicates to learn how to race horses like a professional. This was by far the toughest role I’ve ever taken as an actor.
I came into the role with the wrong mindset. I thought learning to ride on a horse at a professional level would be easy, because I figured that the horse would be doing most of the work, kind of like when you drive a car. I was wrong, because while the horse was doing the running, I was trying not to fall off of it. It wasn’t as difficult as one of those mechanical bulls, but I did have to tighten my grip. I had to work on my upper body strength to stand a chance.
The horse and I bonded pretty quickly, and I began to treat it like a pet. I think this bond made us better racers, because when we would go up against the other trainers at the syndicate, we would get better and better. Our first race resulted in a last place finish, which was expected for a first time racer, but each time after that, we went up in rank, until eventually we came in first place. That was one of the greatest moments of my training. When the filming for my friend’s movie finishes, he’ll really see how much of a racer I am.