Action Horizons performer Chris Morrison got his feet wet as a barefoot water skier. In fact the genes run so strong in his family that Chris, his brother, and his sister were all selected to the U.S. Jr. World Team that competed in South Africa in 2005.
Family Ride as US Jr. World Team members <> Wild Ride with World Champ Keith St. Onge
The Morrison family spent summers with another well-known skiing clan, the Tolzmanns. Chris learned about show skiing and jumping from Kerry and his son Kevin. The younger Tolzmann used his skiing skills to land a job as a performer in the Waterworld show at Universal Studios Japan. Kevin saw something in Chris, and suggested he try out for Waterworld too.
Chris’s resume was well suited for this kind of work. He was a diver at the University of Michigan, and raced pro motocross for a year after college. The only thing missing was acting and blocking (positions of actors on stage), which he made a priority and practiced with his roommate.
Hard work paid off, and Chris got a stunt performer role at Universal Studios Hollywood. Soon he was faced with the infamous ski launch. Both the jet ski and skier are simultaneously vaulted 8 feet in the air by a high-speed pneumatic ram!
“For me the launch is similar to motocross,” says Chris. “You line up in the shoot just like you do behind a starting gate. The count down starts and then you get ripped out going from 0-30 mph in about 2 seconds or less! It’s fun!”
Always a Jumper, Whatever the Ride!
Show Skiing in the Early Days, The Waterworld Launch, Throwing a Tail Whip
Morrison hopes to eventually turn his daytime job into a career in stunt work and acting. Many performers at the Waterworld show have used the gig as a place to learn new skills and develop industry connections. Perhaps the most famous show skier turned big time stuntman is Mark Vanselow, now doubling Liam Neeson. In 2014 Vanselow was named one of “The 12 Most Sought-After Stunt Doubles in Hollywood”. Dreams can come true.