We had the good fortune of connecting with Joey Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joey, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Deep down I believe I am a play-it-safe kind of person that understands the importance of taking risks. Without risk, there is no growth. In order to grow as a person or a business you need to explore the unknown or uncertain. I like to have back up plans and a safety line to mitigate the damage from whatever risk I take. For example, when I was getting my degree in film, which some may label as risky, I also minored in CIS and gave myself a technology background in case my film career didn’t work out. While building my business, I maintained a steady income to support myself until my business showed enough growth. Currently, I am in the early stages of my stunt career, yet I continue to build on my experience behind the camera and in post production. I encourage others to take risks to pursue their passions, while also creating a back up plan not only to minimize the risk involved, but also open up new opportunities within their passion or field.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I was a little kid watching Jackie Chan movies with my dad, I knew I wanted to be a kung-fu master or samurai. Obviously kids are dreamers, but some of us never loose that passion. I never lost my passion for martial arts movies, and started to train as soon as I found the opportunity. During school, I would turn school projects into video projects to make them more fun and along the way I found I was quite good. Since I enjoyed making goofy home videos, I pursued a degree and career in film and video, hoping to one day bring the two together, which I am currently doing through developing my career in stunts. I have found that most challenges can be overcome through dedication, time, and a little patience. I have learned many lessons over the years, some harder than others. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is you can learn something from everyone. So, be a good listener and be receptive to new perspectives. Additionally, learn to communicate! Good connections are crucial to success in every single industry. However, don’t forget to remain true to yourself and your vision. The foundation of my business is built on authenticity, honesty, and integrity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As for touristy places, I would take them to the Aquarium and the Botanical Gardens (especially during the winter). We would definitely explore Piedmont Park and the Beltline as those are places I regularly spend time at. Some places I would go to eat are probably Wagaya in Midtown, Sufi’s Kitchen, Shoya Izakawa, For drinks, I would say New Realm Brewery or Ladybird on the beltline and ASW Distillery. For concerts, I would go to Believe Music Hall, the Tabernacle and the Masquerade. For outdoor activities I would take them to shoot the hooch, Arabia Mountain and Sweet Water Creek State Park. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people deserve my Shoutout as I see so many people in my life as mentors, inspiration and support. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. My first shoutout goes to my dad and my family. They molded me into who I am and I attribute all of my good characteristics to them. Second one goes to my martial arts teachers Dan and Christian Hydrick, and the entire Chi Budo Kwon family for bringing me into the world of martial arts, as well as AJ Weimer with the Martial Arts Unlimited Association for introducing me to TFC Jujitsu and range manipulation fighting. Third one is for all of my friends and colleagues. In particular, Greg Schneider for helping launch my video career from the ground up and teaching me the ropes, Jeremy Cournyea with Foot Trail Films for making amazing, creative content, taking badass stunt headshots for me, and being an all around great person to work with, Paul Marsico for being my go to video editor mentor while being a truly inspiring and genuine dude, and Ryan Monolopolus for introducing me to the world of stunts and fighting for the camera. Finally, my girlfriend for keeping me sane and helping me edit this.
Jeremy Cournyea Ryan Monolopolus; Liam Day