Kristina Baskett was born and raised in Normandy Park, WA where gymnastics became an important part of her life at a very early age. After becoming a Junior Olympic Champion, she earned a full ride gymnastics scholarship to the University of Utah, where Kristina finished her college career as an NCAA Champion on the uneven bars, 12-time All-American, and earned 7 NCAA medals all together. Graduating with a degree in Mass Communications, Electronic Journalism, she also earned academic success as a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
After graduating, Kristina started to explore the world of entertainment as an acrobat/dancer in Sea World San Diego’s stage show ‘RipTide’. She then accepted an acrobat position in the Franco Dragone aquatic show Le Reve at Wynn, Las Vegas. Baskett got her first taste of Hollywood in the ABC Family Channel show ‘Make It Or Break’ it where she performed gymnastic stunts for the lead actors. Deciding to pursue stunts for television and movies, she moved to Los Angeles while continuing an on-call position at Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Viva Elvis’.
Kristina now lives her passion in Los Angeles as a stunt performer for major motion pictures, commercials, and television shows.
NCAA Champion gymnast who transitioned to stunt work for major motion pictures, television and commercials
I’ve had so many gymnastics influences growing up, from the older girls that I looked up to at my club gym to the 1996 Olympic gymnastics team that won the gold medal. But I think the most influential and important heroes have been my coaches and teammates from club gymnastics and at the University of Utah. I’ve spent so many hours of important developmental times in my life with my coaches, who have been with me through the ups and downs in my career, and my teammates who supported and pushed me through my journey. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing about my gymnastics career because of these people.
Martial Arts style/Training:
I guess the only “style” I would say I have is a mixture of everything. I didn’t grow up as a martial artist so I’ve had to do the best I can without the hours of training behind me in this business. I’ve meet so many amazingly talented people in the stunt business who are trained in martial arts and I am fortunate for any opportunity I can get to train with them. I love new things and it has been fun to take on the challenge of so many different styles and skills that are different than gymnastics. Although I will admit that it’s extremely frustrating as well, when you have the mindset of an athlete you want to be good at everything, and I’ve had to work on my patience in learning a whole new art form!
Fave Stunts to do:
My favorite job so far has been the Nationwide Insurance commercials. I was able to use my gymnastics experience in a whole new environment…as in there are no more uneven bars and vault horse, but kitchen counters and furniture. I also really like doing wire work which I got my first experience in performing at Le Reve in Las Vegas. It was also a water show, and one of my favorite parts was the scuba and swimming elements, so I love anything I get to do involving water.
(Kristina did all the stunts for actress Jana Kramer)
Fave Action Movie: To be honest, I’m more of a book worm than a movie watcher. I’m a sucker for science fiction and fantasy, so those are the types of movies I love watching and always want to be a part of! I could never get enough of ‘Lord of the Rings’, and would really want to be a part of an all girls fantasy action like ‘Sucker Punch’, ‘X-Men’, ‘Avatar’; movies that aren’t necessarily heavy martial arts but demand an imagination!
Embarrassing event on set: I was rehearsing for the first Nationwide Insurance commercial and I had on the leather pants that they wanted me to wear – to try them out. We were walking through all the stunts with the directors and coordinators and production and the first thing I tried, I completely ripped the crotch of the pants open. By the time we finished our walk through I pretty much had no pants left…so we definitely had to go with a stretchier option.
Any tricks or moves you have not yet mastered: Oh the list is endless! One of my favorite things about stunts is that there are no limits on skills you can learn. I feel like I am overloaded at times because I want to learn so many things! There are experts in every aspect of stunts so I can always be better at something. Right now I am focused on improving my martial art skills all around, fighting for camera, learning how to be comfortable flipping off axis and connecting tricks like those mind blowing trickers out there. I always just want to be a better dancer, at parkour…I have a whole list that just goes on 🙂
To learn more about Kristina, visit: www.kristinabaskett.com