Today we’d like to introduce you to Connor Simon.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Connor. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story begins with an 11 year old boy inspired by martial arts movies, begging his mother to enroll him in TaeKwonDo lessons. Finally, my mom agreed and I was on my way to a long journey I would’ve never guessed I’d accomplish.
When I was 13, I started a sport called “tricking” Tricking is a movement art that is inspired by bits of gymnastics, break-dance, free-running, and heavily correlated to martial arts. It involves twists, kicks, flips, and a flare of your own style which is essential to identifying your personal tricking style; everyone has one, no two styles are the same. That’s what makes tricking so unique. You can do whatever you want, wherever you want, using just your body. The body moves in fascinating ways, and being a movement artist allows you to be free with your mind and body. You express your art and style through your movement. I was able to begin competing in the North American Sport Karate Association. This gave me the ability to show off my skills and compete against other high level competitors from around the world. This motivated me to perfect my craft and become better. Eventually, I wound up with a couple of world top ten titles.
Over the years, I was introduced into the industry via some close friends and mentors of mine who also do tricking, parkour, stunts, etc.. They encouraged me to chase my dreams and come out to LA to pursue a career in the industry.
I graduated high school in May of 2018.. yes, I’m 20 years old. haha. I then moved to LA in August of 2018 with the overwhelming support of my family and friends. Without that support, I wouldn’t have been able to chase my dream straight out of high school. I moved to LA to pursue a career specifically in stunts and using my “tricking” movement on stage or for commercial/music video use.
Ever since then, I’ve been grinding every day here in LA to get where I want to be. I’ve had some amazing experiences already, getting to perform with Travis Scott in the Grammy’s, flipping around in a Footlocker commercial, or getting my head sliced off by a sword in a music video! There have been too many crazy experiences to count that I’m all extremely grateful for!
Although my career is still developing, and I hope this is just the beginning of my story! I’m not busy enough to be traveling or working every day in the industry, so I’ve been working in other areas I have experience to earn money on the side. I recently started working with TikTok to be a partnered content creator for their app. I also was the marketing director for Adrenaline Worldwide – I helped them grow to be the biggest tricking company around. I took their Instagram from 10k to 60k in just over a year. I do web design, graphic design, and video editing on the side all as freelance income to make ends meet in this tough LA economy!!! Rent prices are crazy now, so everyone is hustlin’!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Along the way, I ran into a few struggles — mostly mental, but also some physical. I remember the first big challenge I faced when I moved to LA, was making connections without knowing a lot of people. I knew a few people coming into LA who helped introduce me to the community, but for the most part I had to create friendships and connections. Joining All Movement gym in Reseda, CA is a HUGE training facility that has really shaped my career as a stunt performer and professional tricking athlete. For the most part its been a smooth road physically, but mentally can be tougher. Being 18 years old, living on my own for the first time was a big change for me. 2,000 miles away from any family makes it a scarier experience. No one is close by to help me if I’m in need. That feeling of loneliness and distance between family, makes things tough mentally. Especially in one of the biggest cities in the world. Although I have been mostly able to push through that because I love what I do, and I love LA! I feel like it’s home, and I belong here. That’s a great feeling and has helped me overcome some mental challenges. As well as having some amazing friends and a loving community among stunt performers!
Please tell us about your work.
My personal brand is mainly my tricking content on social media, as well as my freelance work. Getting experience working in marketing was a huge plus. I was offered a marketing job at Facebook in San Francisco only a couple of months after moving to LA. But I had to decline because I was on another journey, chasing my dreams in LA. I’m glad I made that decision because I love every minute of LA. I got the opportunity to be a sponsored content creator on the TikTok app recently which has opened up some brand deal doors for me as well. It’s all about being multi-talented these days, and I feel like I’m trying to dip my toes in as much as I can while I’m young! So I can look back when I’m older and say, “Wow, I can’t believe I did all that!” rather than, “Wow, I wish I would’ve done more!”
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Although I still am young in the game, and I’m very much aware of that. I tend to take an outside look and stand behind my elders and mentors who have given me the advice and opportunities to get where I want to be. I am always soaking up information like a sponge. Someone who I must mention that has helped me more than he knows is Travis Wong; without Travis’ mentorship and training I don’t know where I’d be! Travis is a popular stunt coordinator, and movement athlete himself. He’s currently fight coordinating ABC’s Stumptown. I’ve had the pleasure of working on that set as well. I thank him for helping me make the final leap to LA and make that decision to fully commit to the industry as my full time career out of High School.
Another person who has mentored me quite frequently without him probably knowing is Paul Whitecotton. Paul has been one of the best friends I’ve made since I moved to LA. (He also has a Voyage article) Paul has helped guide me in decision making and life advice! Being new to adulthood and living independently is a big change for an 18 year old, just moving to LA. The past two years of friendship and advice have helped me bounds more than I could ever thank him for. So, thank you Paul, if you’re reading this!
- Phone: 937-479-2117
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/connor.simon/?hl=en
Main Photo: Kyle Appelman
Rock Photo: Paul Whitecotton
Black outfit bloody pic: Kyla Hymas.