Posted: Friday, January 21st, 2011
* Stunt pair thrive on adrenaline | (…)

Throwing yourself off a building is not the easiest way to earn a living.

But at least Patrick Morrison and Aya Sugiyama can’t complain about their jobs being boring.

The Oratia couple met at a training camp last year in preparation for filming the TV series Power Rangers. They are both stunt performers on the show.

Ms Sugiyama is the stunt double for the yellow Power Ranger while Mr Morrison plays a “mooger”, one of the main villain’s minions who is sent in to fight the Rangers.

“Basically this means getting beaten up by the Power Rangers,” Mr Morrison says.

The television series is now being filmed at locations around Auckland, including at Studio West in Glen Eden and Bethells Beach.

It will be screened in the United States.

The pair are on a short break between filming blocks and say it’s good being in a relationship with someone who knows the risks and difficulties of their work.

Despite the danger, both Mr Morrison and Ms Sugiyama love their jobs.

Mr Morrison has worked as an actor since he was a toddler and has done stunts for Outrageous Fortune, Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

He has also appeared in advertisements scaling buildings and doing back-flips.

The 24-year-old says viewers often think stunt performers have to be very strong or have martial arts training, but he says the work is much simpler than that.

“The best thing is to be able to take instructions from the director.

“You have to be able to act and it helps to know how a film set works. You walk on set and see the director and crew, the lights and cameras around and it all starts to seem normal,” he says.

Ms Sugiyama is from Japan and has performed in live stunt shows there.

The couple say any injuries are usually minor although 27-year-old Aya once split her knee open when she had to fall down some stairs.

“Adrenaline becomes really important, you couldn’t do the job without it,” Mr Morrison says