Variety Acts Category Judge
Petra made the incredible leap into La La Land with her extremely dangerous Stunts. She slams into walls, gets hit by cars, falls from balconies – or flies through space with Brad Pitt. Petra was in front of the camera with Stars such as Owen Wilson, Charlize Theron, Will Smith and Tom Cruise. She is currently shooting a stunt acting role on LOKI, Marvel’s newest TV series.
Former Cirque du Soleil trailblazer Petra Sprecher is of Nigerian descent, but was born & raised in Switzerland, speaking five languages; Swiss-German, German, French, English and Italian. She has spent her childhood training and performing in the Circus Arts.
When she was just six years old, Petra saw a children’s Circus show in a packed tent located in the most beautiful park in Basel, Switzerland. The Circus bug bit big and she begged her parents to sign her up. Petra immediately joined the troupe called “Youth Circus Basilisk”, a nonprofit Circus company for school-age children and young people, that travels through Switzerland during the summer school holidays. She trained and toured with them for ten years, taking part in several duo or group Acts like fixed trapeze, flag spinning, Spanish web, equilibristics, acrobalance, trampolining, Human pyramids, unicycle, slack rope -and tightrope walking. Life on tour was filled with abounding experiences as well; the most notable ones being the many late-night swims in rivers and lakes, countless sleeping bag races around Midnight, making lots of money from additional street performing on days-off and even a special trip to Istanbul, Turkey to perform for its maire Bedrettin Dalan – and also selling him gummy-bears! The Circus became Petra’s School of Life!
At 17 years old, Petra attended the two-year professional program of Comart, Zürich’s Premier private school for physical Acting. Its curriculum is modeled after the late French Jacques Lecoq, Europe’s Best-loved and most influential Theatre teacher. Petra has always had a deep-felt desire to portray all kinds of human beings for various visual mediums. She learned to create unique Characters. Some of them would move in a strange, irregular way, speak in an unknown language, but got their feelings and messages heard nonetheless – or even more so.
When starting to work as a Stuntwoman in Hollywood at the turn of the 21st Century, Petra has booked similar roles. They are called stunt-Acting parts and sometimes come with several lines. For the past four years, Petra has shifted her attention to focus on the classical close-up, on-camera Film-Acting training with Jeremiah Comey, Margie Haber and Joy Rinaldi to be fit for today’s demands and expectations of the modern Screen-Actor. …all of which has come in handy, when she booked her first legit Co-Star role on The Muppets, as Miss Piggy’s Aerial Silks instructor.
In due course, Petra was one of 7 students world-wide to be accepted into the renowned and highly- competitive “L’Écôle Nationale de Cirque” in Montréal, a Pioneer School for Circus Artists. She trained with the unmatchable Victor Fomin, the Russian head Coach of Aerial Appartus’. It was during these formative years of training that Petra created an explosive and dangerous Act called Cloudswing. While still a student, she was selected to represent Canada at the “International Acrobatic Festival of Wuqiao”, in China, also winning the Bronze Lion for her performance.
Petra had set the stage and was very quickly recruited by Cirque du Soleil. She soloed in their touring show “Quidam” where she performed for over 2.5 Million spectators in a 14-City tour. In 1999, Petra moved to Los Angeles, still performing internationally on various other Circus productions, before entering the World of Stunts.
At present, Petra is an accomplished Stuntwoman getting hit by cars, crashing through glass ceilings, falling through quicksand or flying through dark alleys on Hollywood film sets. She has worked on features such as Minority Report with Tom Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean’s with Johnny Depp, Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron, Flight with Denzel Washington, and on Independence Day: Resurgence, which was directed by Roland Emmerich, to name a few. She has also stunt-doubled Rosario Dawson on Eagle Eye, for which she was double-nominated by the Taurus World Stunt Awards for “Best High Work” and “Best Overall Stunt By A Stuntwoman”. Likewise the Action Icon Awards have nominated her work in the “Stuntwoman of the Year” category. This phase of Petra’s life started by wanting “Bigger – Better – Higher – More”! While on tour in Chicago with Cirque du Soleil, Petra came across a magazine featuring African-American Stuntwomen. She immediately knew: “That’s what I’m doing next!”
After moving to Los Angeles in 1999, she embarked upon a career in Stunts. Her first gig was for “Minority Report”, and she was flying from a giant 400-foot long and 50-foot high truss which was set up on the backlot of the Warner Bros. studios. “It was extremely exciting to be on set every day and to get to work with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. It was all thanks to Stunt Coordinator and Second Unit director Brian Smrz, who knew she was the right person for the job. After that, more big budget films like The Time Machine, Men In Black II, Pirates Of The Caribbean’s: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Scary Movie 3
Petra was flown to Vancouver to double Queen Latifah in a spoof of the Character “Neo” from The Matrix), Aeon Flux (Petra was flown to Berlin to work with Ms. Charlize Theron on flexibility and Cirque-style fight choreography), Hancock (She works in a tight room directly with Will Smith and director Peter Berg), Eagle Eye, Flight, Independence Day: Resurgence and Ad Astra were on the horizon, as well as many Television series like Star Trek: Picard, Loki, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grey’s Anatomy, Alias and many episodes of Tyler Perry’s shows on which Petra works as a Stuntwoman, Stunt-double or Stunt actor. Petra’s detailed and most updated résumé can always be viewed on www.IMDb.me.com/PETRA.
In 2019, a whole new type of position and experience arises: Petra accepts to be an international expert judge representing her native country Switzerland, on Mark Burnett & Mike Darnell’s first-of- its-kind global talent competition reality TV series “The World’s Best” on CBS, Season 1, alongside American judges Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill and Ru Paul. The show is hosted by James Corden.
Petra has six years of experience teaching Circus Arts to young children and three years of experience teaching Yoga to adults. She is registered with the US Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 200, RYT-500. Petra also lives in the garden of a Hindu temple nestled in the Hollywood Hills and therefore has been immersed in Indian culture & philosophy. She has been singing Indian Bhajans & Vedic Mantras for 10 years with the temple group called Vedanta Bhakti. https://www.petrasprecher.com/yoga
“The Petra Show” (Talk Show Pilot) Currently in pre-production. This show will have a new twist on the “regular talk shows” with Meditation at the end, amongst additional other concepts. It is currently in development for YouTube and 6 episodes will be shot at Petra’s Quarantine in-house talk show studio. Looking to sell to Netflix or equivalent.