Crystal Santos on board games
by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Bird on a wire: actor and stunt performer Crystal Santos on board games
Actor and stunt performer, on board games
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How did you first discover board games?
Honestly, I can’t remember how early it started; board games have always been an integral part of my life. I remember games like Hi Ho Cherry O, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, Connect Four and Guess Who, to name a few.
What’s your all-time favourite board game(s) and why?
I love Monopoly! I guess I liked buying houses and hotels, it has always appealed to my competitive nature. You can own the board, what a great concept. It was the game that taught me about money and investments early.
I own several editions of Monopoly, my current favorite Monopoly is the Spongebob Squarepants Monopoly edition.
Second to that I have always loved Clue, it fascinates me, trying to guess who did it, there is a certain excitement in that. And of course I absolutely love Scrabble, it keeps me on my toes and lets me engage in strategic and quick thinking, as well as enhancing my vocabulary.
Because your day job, performing stunts for movies, is (I imagine!) quite stressful, do you find it hard to take board gaming seriously, or does it make you even more competitive?
I am absolutely more competitive and board games have been a platform from which I learned strategic and quick thinking which is vital to my career.
Since part of my job has entailed martial arts training, I have learned to channel stress not let it affect me or my work. And it has come in handy while playing a game, I can be composed and calculate my next move.
What can acting and performing stunts teach you about board games and vice-versa?
One of the early games in my life, Memory, I believe was quintessential in teaching me the required skill of memorization needed to memorize lines for acting.
Also, games like Clue let me pretend to be someone else. Games like chess helped me to look at various obstacles and find a way through which is vital in my chosen field. When I think of what helped me in board games, definitely the martial arts training in stunts. It taught me to focus, remain calm assess your opponent, and respond effectively.
Why don’t board games feature more often in movies?
Great question! I have to admit, I loved the Jumanji movie; we immediately went out and purchased the Jumanji game (fun board game, by the way).
Films like this could definitely bolster a child’s imagination and who knows what wonders they could accomplish. It also promotes more family time. I really do hope to see another film like Jumanji soon!
What other influences have board games had on you?
My love for board games and cars led me to a job as an assistant at Mattel Toys in the International Market Research department of Games and Boys Toys after college. It was a fun job and while I was there I got to see some of the newer board games, test them out, and observe focus group studies and people reacting to each game and toy.
If my path had not led me to stunts and acting, I would have stayed at Mattel and enjoyed being there. Mattel was definitely the second ideal place to work for me and of course first place goes to my current career.
When my family visits, we usually play a board game. I do not promote the use of video games in my home, because not everyone can play. While playing board games we usually involve every family member including toddlers, so we sometimes even make teams. It is definitely a way to promote family time and have fun!
You can see Crystal’s profile on IMDB here.