31 October 2006

Joe Eigo

Tuesday 5:29pm 31Oct06

I met Joe Eigo in 2001 (when he was barely legal )because I work with his father. He was a nice kid, friendly, looked me straight in the eyes when he spoke to me. He had plans then. He wanted to do his thing freelance (he was selling Tahitian Noni) and looking for ways to take his talents to the next level. He's since been in a Jackie Chan movie, was in The Mirvish production of the Lord of the Rings and the sky really is the limit for him.
Someone commented after he left that he was arrogant and had his head in the clouds. "He should go and get a job like every normal person does."
Sometimes people confuse self confidence with arrogance, the arrogant brag about what they can apparently do boring you with their seemingly wonderful stories about how great they are, the self confident just do it.

Here's what they had to say about Joe Eigo in today's Toronto Star... (click the title to get the Toronto Star page and full article )...

Off the wall flips
T.O. flipmaster's online video puts him in the money
`I get hungry before I get tired,' stuntman says
Oct. 31, 2006. 05:37 AM

Joe Eigo points to the dent his foot made in the ceiling.

It was a stupid thing to do: A three-kick standing backflip gone awry. The 8-foot ceiling of the Black Belt World martial arts studio at Bloor St. W. and Ossington wasn't high enough.

Now he takes stunts like that to the alley, where they belong.

In 2002, he uploaded a video clip of himself flipping off of vertical rocks at Ryerson University. He was jumping vertical distances most people can't climb. He looks like a video game character on acid.

The video went viral, garnering millions of hits. Now, thanks to an incentive program from a wannabe YouTube killing website called Metacafe, Eigo's received a fat cheque for his labours. For every 1,000 views, the producer of any video on the site receives $5 (U.S.). So far, Eigo has banked $23,000. That's 4.6 million views of his clip "Matrix for Real." Metacafe's owners hope the incentive program will pull the best content to the site, making it an online trafficker of the most addictive and distracting. Eigo's film earned its cash in a trial run of the program and has received the highest payout to date.

His tricks look fake, a product of camera tricks and wires. They're not. Eigo trained in competitive gymnastics for four years, between the ages of 9 and 13. "That's how I overcame the fear."

Raised in Aurora, now living in downtown Toronto, the 26-year-old stuntman can jump onto a platform his own height. Eigo is quiet and lean. He practises in torn black sweats. On request, without blinking, he jumps, flips and somersaults in the air. He lands like a cat....

... Eigo does about an hour and a half of intense workout every day and now says he can do stunts for about five hours straight. "I get hungry before I get tired," he says.

He's broken fingers and toes and has developed arthritis in his ankles. Sometimes passersby chastise him for attempting such complicated stunts on the fly, over pavement.

When he speaks about his abilities, he talks like he's in a video game. He "powers up" and tries to reach "new levels," he says. He's inspired by Bruce Lee. "Anything is possible," he says.

No one's quite sure how much better Eigo can get. His mentor and agent Tommy Chang says Eigo's mix of acrobatics, gymnastics and martial arts is the best in the world.

"We all have different talents. I love to jump and flip. Who knows what other talents I can unlock?"

With Chang, he's now working on a new stunt jumping over a moving car. No one's been able to do that. Yet.

For more of Eigo's videos, see http://www.multilevelmoves.com

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