Bill Pugh is a man of many talents and skills. Internationally ranked under Grandmaster Seikichi Odo from Okinawa in Martial Arts, serving in the United States Marine Corps, Pugh is no stranger to hard work. In fact, he has made a living out of it.
With all of his tournament trophies, 2 bronze medals from the World Olympic games in 2004, you may not think of him as a movie star, but none the less Pugh has had over 20 years’ experience in the industry working on TV shows and movies like Sex and the City and Jersey Girl, just to name a few.
Pugh got is start back in 1995. Fresh out of the Marine Corps he was cast to be on one of the first reality TV shows “Who Wants to be the Next Action Star”. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after the 2nd episode, but this got Pugh thinking about a new career in stage combat and stunt acting.
Fast forward to the present, Pugh now manages his own Martial Arts Studio, works in construction and a few times a year holds seminars on how to break into the film industry by learning stunt acting.
“Most people that are actors think they can fight, most Martial Artists think because they know karate they can stage a fight. None of this is true, and that’s what I’m hear to teach.”
In the seminars Pugh teaches his students everything from body reactions to physical expression. But it’s not just about acting, Pugh keeps safety at the top of his mind. Learning how to fall, using props in fight scenes all require the proper training and safety equipment to master.
In addition to the seminar Pugh has also invited a few film producers and directors from Philadelphia to scout new talent.
Pugh uses his seminars not only to teach his fighting techniques but to also educate his students on where to go and who to see in the film industry.
“I learned the hard way and have made good connections over the years; my goal is to guide people in the right direction”
Pugh is a humble man, walking through his Martial Arts Studio ‘Open Call Fitness’ on Route 183 in Reading, you would never know he has met famous actors or won countless tournaments. He keeps it simple, as he describes ‘it’s about his students and their training, not a shrine to his skills’.
Of course, that all changes when you walk into his office. Weapons, photos and trophies line the small room. Almost like a museum, Pugh perverses his own piece of history.
“It’s funny I think I’ve cursed myself, I can’t watch movies the same way anymore without pointing out how fake some of the fight scenes look.”
Pugh’s long-term goal is to help put Reading on the movie map by opening up a film studio. As he explains Reading is sitting dead center between several major east coast cities, which makes it the perfect place. Overall Pugh teaches his seminars to not only help people break into film, but also help his students find themselves.
“I love to help people, but I can’t do that unless people walk in my door, they need to take the first step”