A: Have you always wanted to be a shark handler?
B: Well, I actually got this role by accident! When I was 19,1 was an experienced diver working on film sets. Then one day I was asked to get in the water with tiger sharks! I thought they were out of their minds, but then they offered me $150 for it. As a teenager in 1979, that was a pile of money!
A: What was your first experience working with sharks like?
B: Honestly, I was scared to death! During the first take, the shark escaped. I was secretly relieved, but pretended to look for the lost animal. Amazingly, I found it struggling at the edge of the set, trapped in a net. I grabbed it and it tried to bite me! Then it relaxed and I swam it back. After that, I became one of the chief shark handlers. However, I never told anyone that I’d found the shark in a net!
A: Isn’t your job extremely dangerous?
B: Yes! For some shoots, we simulate shark attacks, which involves strapping food to a suit and letting the sharks tear it off. That’s dangerous because they can actually rip your wetsuit and flesh. I have been bitten three times; once on the hand. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.
A: Isn’t this crazy?
B: Well, it is but for fame and fortune you don’t mind doing anything!