Profile: Angela Meryl
It’s not every day that you meet a stuntwoman, in fact. few of us know they exist. The truth is that many of the action packed movies that we pack out the theaters for are brought to life by stuntmen and women. These are the people who take on the more dangerous stunts. Angela Meryl has been in a number of movies as a stuntwoman. She shares her story on life in Hollywood and life as a mom.
I was born in Philadelphia raised in Willingboro, NJ. I have nothing but great childhood memories from growing up in Willingboro! That was when we could actually play outside without our parents being worried that something bad might happen to us. When the street lights came on—we knew we better get our butts home.
Back then, there were a lot of fun things to do. You name it, I either did it or wanted to do it! I started running track in middle school—like everyone else in my family. We grew up watching our homeboy Carl Lewis become a track & field star and Olympic Games legend.
As I got older my interest turned to modeling. My mom put me in this group called “Girls On The Move.” We were models in local fashion shows at the malls and banquets. Shortly after that, I started to branch out. I did print work for Boscovs and other stores, and extra work in commercials and films in Philadelphia. I eventually started commuting to NY for work.
I have an 11 year old daughter, who wants to be a Director when she grows up. My daughter is already putting in the work—she’s been filming since she was 5 years old.
Arian: What is your line of work and what are your goals?
Angela: I am a stuntwoman, actress, author and motivational speaker. I have been performing stunts for more than 20 years. I love what I do and I want to continue doing what I love as long as I am able to.
I have doubled for some of Hollywood’s elite actresses; Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Vanessa L Williams, Beyonce, Rihanna, Gabrielle Union, Vivica A Fox, Paula Patton, and many others.
I have worked on a number of movie and TV shows; Fast and Furious 7 and 8, Kill Bill, Obsessed, Super Girl, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, NCIS LA, and Blackish, just to name a few.
Not only am I a stuntwoman, I’m also an actress. I’ve worked with Kevin Hart, Melissa Benoist, Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, and others. I’m looking forward to doing more acting roles!
Being successful at whatever I do is my goal—and I’m definitely putting my time in to make it happen!
I’m the proud author of the book “Stunts: The How To Handbook Secrets from An Award Winning Hollywood Stunt Woman.” This was my way of giving back to up and coming stunt performers and everyday people. Over the years, I had been asked by people of all ages how I got started and what they should do. In the book I tell my story, give guidance, the do’s and don’ts, how you can become a stunt person, and I motivate people to do something to get them closer to achieving their dream!
As a stuntwoman and actress I want to continue to grow in the entertainment business and share my inspirational stories as a motivational speaker around the country.
Arian: How are you able to balance being a mom and a stuntwoman?
Angela: It took a moment, but I figured it out. What I do is make a “To Do” list to make sure I accomplish things throughout the day. I put aside time for work and time for my daughter—and then of course there’s “me” time! It doesn’t always work out perfectly all the time, but the “To Do” list gives me piece of mind, something that is needed in my line of work. Keep in mind, I do give myself some leeway, just in case something unexpected comes up and I have to deviate from the list.
Arian: What does an average day look like for you (working and being a mom)?
Angela: If I’m working, I make my daughter lunch the night before and either drop her off at school the next day. If I can’t take her to school, I have the baby sitter take her. If I’m not working, most days I go to the gym, workout with my personal trainer, or my training involves other things, depending on what day of the week it is.
I also attend Toastmaster meetings and go to an Acting class. I make calls, read and send out emails, and send postcards to let Casting Agencies know that I’ve booked a job or I thank them for an audition they booked for me. If I’m not working I’ll pick my daughter up from school and we do the mother-daughter bonding. We talk about our day. After that its homework, dinner, play, watch a little TV, and then it’s off to bed for little missy. For me, I usually take that time to finish whatever I was doing earlier in day and prepare for the next day. I truly believe that preparation meets opportunity!
Arian: How do you set boundaries to ensure quality of time is spent with your daughter?
Angela: Most days after school it’s all about my daughter. I do my best to shut down, shift into mommy mode, and focus on her. But, there are times when I have to send an email or take a phone call for a job. It’s just the nature of the business I’m in. With that said, dinner time is just us!
Arian: What does your me-time consist of?
Angela: When I do take time for myself I like going to the movies, shopping, or the Spa! Ummm, I love those types of days!
Arian: What encouragement would you give other moms struggling with the daily responsibilities of work and home?
Angela: I reminded of what author, life coach, and TV personality Iyanla Vansant said, “Take a Breath.”
You have to realize that you may not get everything you want done in a day done—and it’s ok. Focus on what you did get done.
Mark things as priority and things that can wait till the next day. If you need help ask someone. If there’s no one to ask—then take it one day at a time and focus on the moment.
Check out our Profiles section for more inspirational mom stories.