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Drew has been a gymnast since 1984, when he started Mommy & Me classes at age 2. When he was in fourth grade he was asked to join team, but wasn’t allowed by his parents because of his horrible grades in school (which really is a true story, and his grades never did get better anyways). Still, he routinely attended classes one hour a week during the school year until he was 18, when an ankle injury on tumble track forced him to stop for several months. When he came back, there were no longer any classes for his age and so he simply worked out whenever he could and also started to train other gymnasts at the gym he had attended since he first started. He’s been coaching since 2001.
While he didn’t start taking classes in martial arts until 2000, Drew did much self-study of various styles while he was growing up, including Jiu-jitsu, Kendo and the always alluring Ninjitsu. The practical form that he studies now is known as Beikoku Karate-do Goyukai (BKG), which is best described as a mix of Shotokan and Jiu-jitsu – combining heavy attacks and strong defense with close-in grappel techniques. It was founded by his uncle’s father, Grand Master Issac Henry, Jr. Being “in the family”, the style means a great deal to him and he finds time whenever he can to further his practice and study of the form.
In 2004 he was called down to Six Flags Great Adventure on behalf of a friend who had landed a job at a live-action Batman stunt show. One of the selected cast had decided to not show up for the first day of rehearsals, and they needed a replacement. With no prior audition, Drew showed up for a script read with the rest of the cast and came back the next day to start fight/stunt training. With his previous experience in gymnastics and martial arts, the director was soon satisfied after that day he was a suitable addition to the cast. The show featured Batman and Robin, Catwoman, The Joker and two of his henchmen, one of which was played by Drew. The show was the first Batman stunt show at the park in many years, and drew large crowds all the way through to the very end of the season in October. Some of the key stunts Drew performed during the show were a 23′ back fall, a backwards heel flip, and (as funny as it sounds) driving a Segway.
While the show was still in production during the month of Fright Fest in October, Drew also took some extra time on his off-days to participate in the Haunted Hayride, where he was planted on the wagon and then grabbed during the ride by a monster and thrown off the rear of the moving haywagon.
Drew returned to Six Flags the following year for another season of Batman, with a new director and a slightly altered storyline. One of his favorite additions was a dirt bike and quad for the Joker’s henchmen, of which he rode the 250cc Yamaha YZF. Having only ridden sport bikes for a year, it took him all season and many hours backstage between shows to master the handling of a dirt bike, including power slides, wheelies, jumps off a ramp and not stalling out during shows (which happened too often for his liking). One key stunt involving the bike was a controlled crash into a pile of dirt. Another key stunt was his high fall (a header) from a 25′ building roof.
Also in 2005 he became more involved with the pyro/technical side of the show, working his off-days as a technician and helping to set and load the charges around the set including gerbs, white star mines, claymores, flash trays, photo flash and comets. He also handled the firing computer during shows, as well as the 360 sound effects system that produced the show’s sound effects, like kicks, punches, explosions, gunfire, etc. He even accompanied the Six Flags pyro crew to set up a complete fireworks display for a local town’s celebration.
Unlike last season, the show (while still popular) was not extended into October, and shut down at the end of September. However Drew stuck around once again for Fright Fest. He helped to manage a short fire stunt show that took the place of the Batman show, that ran 2-3 times a night over the weekend as the Hayride queue line wound through the stadium. He ran lights and sound as well as handled set issues like making sure the propane tanks for torches were filled. He also participated in the Terror Trail, where he and a fellow Batman cast member switched off pretending to be hung up by the neck as they were winched 40′ up wearing a body harness underneath their clothes.
In Feb 2006 he auditioned for a stunt role in an upcoming Spike TV commercial, but was only called back as a stand-in for another segment, which never aired. He auditioned for several more parts, mainly calls in NYC, but was never cast. Expecting to return to Batman soon anyway, he was dissapointed to learn that Six Flags had decided to not renew the show. Instead, when Fright Fest once again rolled around in October, Drew once again provided set/tech support for the fire stunt show, but also became more involved with the show, dubbed “Torch!“, including wearing airbrush make-up, performing outside the theater between shows, and even performing in some shows to replace regular cast members when they were unavailable. He performed fire-breathing and high falls with a double-tipped baton and staff, poi and handheld torches, which he used for fire eating.
In the summer of 2009 Drew worked on an independent film Cold Blue Eternal by indie director Ian J. Keeney as the stunt coordinator. He was charged with coordinating two simple fight scenes, a domestic fight inside a house and a brief brawl on the beach. Given that the fights themselves were not very complex, he was instead primarily in charge of making sure the actors carried out the fighting in a safe manner, and working with the director to establish the best camera angles to shoot from. He was also responsible for getting props needed for filming the scenes.
In November 2011 Drew was cast as a background stunt actor for The Dark Knight Rises, in which he performed brawl-style fight routines as a thug in Bane’s army against the Gotham City law enforcement in what has gone on record as being the largest scene to be filmed in NYC that used paid extras. His previous experience placed him among roughly 250 other background extras (out of around 1,100) who were used closest to the camera behind the principal stunt team members. Full account of his time on set can be read here when the film is released.
Currently Drew is looking to make short action/fight movies with fellow indie film makers in his area, as well as continue to get into TV/Movie stunts and live-action shows whenever possible.