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Protégée

Updated: Jan 17

This is Mark DeAlessandro teaching my five year old granddaughter, Laileigh Rose, at his Action Acting Workshop at Comic Con 2023. Kailie Duncan is sitting on the floor.


Quote: "Mark is best known as Sylvester Stallone's stunt double in 30 of his films. Mark has 37 years experience as a SAG/AFTRA stuntman, actor, and stunt coordinator in 380 Movie/TV shows... Mark was the body double/stunt double and personal friend of Sylvester Stallone (beginning in 1982) for over 23 years.


Mark has also doubled: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Charlie Sheen, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Tyler, Robert Deniro, Danny Trejo Michael Landis, Mickey Rourke, Frank Grillo and others.


His awards include: Taurus World Stunt Nomination: Best Performance Fight in 2006 Rocky Balboa; 2010 Taurus World Stunt Nomination: Stunt Ensemble for Titanic Pirates Of The Caribbean III, and a 2013 SAG Awards Stunt Nomination: Stunt Ensemble for The Amazing Spider-Man.


Mark's slogan is: "The Right Place, the Right Time, and the Right People."


Kailie Duncan is Lane Leavitt's protégée. We met in 2021 at Mark's Action Acting Comic Con Albuquerque Workshop (I've attended the past 3 years). Lane Leavitt was at Mark's workshop and was co-teaching and I met him at that time as well. Laileigh met Kailie the next year in Oklahoma at another of Mark's Action Acting Workshops. While we were there she taught Laileigh her "2nd stunt" - climbing a tree. Mark had taught Laileigh her first stunt.


Lane Leavitt doubled the T-1000 on Terminator 2 - Judgment Day.


Quote: "Three-time US motorcycle trial champion. Lane turned stuntman in 1980 on The Fall Guy (1981) TV series, doing a wheelie down the railing of a bridge. He designs, builds and invents stunt equipment and has been before the Motion Picture Academy 3 times for consideration of a technical achievement award for the Airramp, Leavittator, and High Speed Desender. Lane is currently a governor at the Television Academy for the stunt peer group. He has also served on the SAG stunt and safety committee."


His wife is Debbie Evans Leavitt, who doubled Trinity in the Matrix, and is considered one of Hollywood's top stunt women (7 x Taurus World STUNT Award Winner ).


Quote: "In 2002, Debbie won two Taurus World Stunt Awards for doubling Michelle Rodriguez in The Fast and the Furious, and has continued with the franchise, and actress, in the subsequent films. Debbie has won 7 Taurus World Stunts Awards, one of the highest acknowledgements in her industry. She has also been inducted into the American Motorcyclist (AMA) Hall of Fame, The Hollywood Stuntman's Hall of Fame, along with many other awards and nominations... A few of her most notable sequences were for Carrie Anne Moss, in Matrix Reloaded where she drove a Cadillac CTS and rode a Ducati 996 in the famous freeway chase sequence. Also doubling for Michelle Rodriguez in the first Fast and Furious driving a car under a semi-truck, crashing and flipping it off the embankment into the field below. Debbie worked on many other Fast and Furious movies in all the female driving sequences Fast films 1,2,3,6,7, and 8. She has doubled for many of the leading ladies in Hollywood and was the stunt driving double for Angelina Jolie in Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Taking Lives.


Mark taught Laileigh her first stunt when she was 4 months old. I was holding her on my lap at our home, "The Island on Lake Travis," as Mark and I sat on the pier overlooking the lake. I was interviewing Mark for my television series, "Texas Tales from a Lone Star." He was talking about his work with the late David Wilkerson and Teen Challenge. As he spoke Laileigh was watching him intently. Mark noticed, and he leaned over and said to her, "Say Hallelujah." Laileigh understood. Her baby mouth shaped the words and as plain as day she said, "Hallelujah." I filmed it.



After the interview I said, "Mark, teach Laileigh a stunt!" He took her in his arms and I immediately sent out an emotion of "is this a wise move on my part because he is known for breathtaking stunts and we are sitting 3 stories off the lake." Mark felt my emotion and assured me, "I'll be careful."



We walked together up the stone staircase. Next to the pier was a glorious waterfall that fell from the yard down into Lake Travis. A second waterfall, just as glorious was right beside it.


In my mind I was thinking, "What a glorious location for a stunt." Then in my mind I was thinking, "He has my new baby granddaughter now," and alarm bells were going off that he could feel in the air around me. He simply leaned out, mostly pretending to lean out, over the edge of the wrought-iron fence, at the top of the waterfalls, holding Laileigh. I must type here for my daughter, Skye's, sake, "It wasn't dangerous." But it looked stunning. That was Laileigh's "first stunt" taught to her by the Hollywood Stuntman Hall of Fame Mark DeAlessandro and we call it, "Leaning out over the waterfall." Age 4 months.




Kailie Duncan taught Laileigh her 2nd stunt, how to climb a tree. This was in 2022 when I took her to one of Mark's workshops in Oklahoma and Kailie was there assisting Mark. Kailie grew up around her father's family business of landscaping and tree trimming, Custom & Moore Tree Experts. Kailie climbs trees for a living, notice her muscles. Kailie also skydives and jumps dirt bikes for fun. When Laileigh saw the photo of Kailie jumping out of a plane she said, "I can do better than that, I'll walk out on the wing and jump off." Three year old Laileigh, who had been watching videos of Mark DeAlessandro and going to his workshops since babyhood said that, and meant it.


And that comment from a baby girl who has no idea of the quality of the people and deeds who are around her, no idea of what is actually involved in the lifetime of devotion to a craft and skill set is what this short-story of mine is about. There is a scripture that I often thought about as I raised my four children, and now that I have a granddaughter. It says: "Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 King James version. This is what it means. Whatever you envision for your child or grandchild is set in motion from a very young age. YOU set it in motion.


Laileigh comes from a genealogical line of outstanding athletes. That's important. That influenced my deciding to surround her with Mark and his circle of friends, when I met him. But that was not my ultimate goal. Mark is more than a top stuntman and athlete. Mark is a man who loves God and tries to bring Jesus into each and every situation in his day to day life. He has done this for years. He has a reputation, hard-earned, for this. He is one of the reasons why Sylvester Stallone's Rocky movies have scenes where Rocky prays.


So whether or not Laileigh becomes a stuntwoman is not my goal. My goal is Proverbs 22:6 One of her very first words was "Hallelujah." That is a story she has heard a dozen times, it is part of her, she's "Hallelujah Baby," as taught by Mark DeAlessandro. Ultimately, what I hope is for Laileigh to be God's protégée. Surround your children with the very highest aspirations, examples, thoughts, and dreams that you can, from a very young age. Train them in the physical world, but more importantly train them in the spiritual realm.


They are your protégés.


Copyright 2023 Angel Isaacs All Rights Reserved

Written at 5:19 pm January 17, 2023

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Mark DeAlessandro -- Stunt Reel


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Quote: "Let’s introduce you to Kailie Duncan..."

https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/news/local/2017/06/04/former-granger-woman-makes-her-dreams-come-true-as-a-stuntwoma/45708663/



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Terminator 2 Stunt - Lane Leavitt - Police Motorcycle Driven Up A Flight Of Stairs


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Inspired by Fast & Furious 8 Castrol EDGE presents Titanium Ice w/ Debbie Evans & Michelle Rodriguez


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