Strangely enough, Jake said the accident turned out to be "the best agent I ever had. Everybody knew I was hurt. People to this day ask, 'How are you? How's your leg?' "
With a new titanium rod in his leg, a new girlfriend and a new perspective on life, he's back to his regular routine, playing hockey in a league once a week and working as much as he can. Last July, stunt coordinator John Medlen hired him to play a zombie on "Buffy the Vampire Slay- er," his first job after the crash. "I almost wanted to break down and cry, I was so grateful. It was amazing to be on the set working again," he said.
On the relatively low-budget production for the stunt awards, Chambers blended in with the other drivers as they repeated the toy car exercise and various stunts until 1 or 2 the next morning.
With a motorcycle camera following the action, Jake drove through the intersection for the fourth take. After a few nail-biting seconds of burning rubber and squealing tires, director David Ellis, a former stuntman himself, hollered, "That was beautiful. I can't thank you enough."
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How many: 6,000 registered with the Screen Actors Guild.
Professional organizations: Stuntmen's Assn. of Motion Pictures, Brand X, Stunts Unlimited, International Stunt Assn., V10 (for women), among others.
Age range: 7 to 75
Estimated number of women: 25%.
Salary range: $40,000 annually for beginners; $300,000 with residuals; $700,000 for top stunt coordinators and second unit directors.
Estimated serious injuries: Two per year.
Estimated deaths: One every two years.