Rhianna Buchanan #SheInspires

August 9, 2017

You are Australia’s first ever female Monster Jam truck driver! How did you start driving these monstrous trucks?

After I finished studying Event and Hospitality Management, I met my partner who was working in entertainment doing motorbike stunt shows. That’s where I started helping out with the organisation, then worked my way into announcing. Just before we began the 2016 tour, they actually gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in attending Monster Jam University and basically trying out and seeing what I thought of it, giving them a chance to see me in action and see if I was what they were looking for. I flew over to Paxton Illinois, and spent a week over there, learning all I could and from there they basically offered me a scholarship to go back and learn some more. Now I’m going to be driving!

What is Monster Jam University?

Basically it’s where you learn everything about the trucks and the way everything works so that you are 100% ready to jump into a tour anywhere in the world. It’s pretty much the Monster Jam version of a normal university, you’re learning and you’re preparing for everything you do in the real world, but it may be a little bit more fun than some of the other courses in normal university.

You grew up on a remote farm in Queensland driving anything you could, when did you decide you wanted to do this as a career?

I was born out at Beaudesert and then we ended up moving to Logan  where I attended school. We have strong family ties in the scenic rim area and we were always out there at my grandparents property riding bikes and driving bashers around. I pretty much knew as soon as I jumped into one of the Monster Jam trucks and when they offered it to me, I was like ‘hell yes of course’. I was hooked first drive.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I went through all different phases. When I was really young I was dancing, I wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to be a tennis player at one point, I also thought at one stage I would take over the family business which at the time running a motorcycle shop.

Tell us about working as a stunt double. What’s the best part of being a stunt double?

We’ve done some TV commercials here and overseas, as well as some movie work. The two lots of stunt doubling I’ve done in movies was in the Wolverine, which was shot here in Australia in 2012. Most recently I was in Hong Kong last year doubling Scarlett Johanssen in Ghost in Shell.

What’s been one of your proudest moments?

The moment they put me forward to drive the Wonder Woman Monster Jam truck. When they actually announced me as the driver I was super excited! I’m really looking forward to getting out there, getting dressed up and meeting all the Wonder Woman Monster Jam fans, especially in Brisbane.

What’s been a life changing moment for you?

The most influence on me in a short time frame is my fiance Jack. He’s been so super supportive and really encouraged me to get out and give everything a try, even more so than what I felt I could do.

What’s the best advice you have been given and by whom?

Tom Meents, 11 times Monster Jam World Finals Champion, my coach and mentor at Monster Jam University. The one thing that sticks with me all the time is “You don’t practice until you get it right, you practice until you can’t get it wrong”. Keep going until you can’t get it wrong, because then every time you get in a Monster Jam Truck you know exactly what you are doing.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

If you really want something, I believe you can achieve it but it takes determination and dedication. You are always going to have setbacks regardless of what you do, but it’s always working towards looking at the bigger picture, staying focused and finding a great support network.

What are 3 things that are on your bucket list?

Skydiving was one, and now I’ve done that. The next I’m about to tick off would be to drive my Monster Jam truck in the Australian Tour. Then, what I’m hoping to do soon would be a backflip on my trail bike.

What is your favourite thing to do in Brisbane?

I really love being able to go out and catch up with friends and family. We do go to Southbank quite a bit and take walks along the river. We usually then find a beautiful cafe or restaurant to sit and relax at. Also one of my favourite places in the world is Lamington National Park. Mt Coot-tha is a wonderful place too! Anywhere there is natural beauty and wildlife!

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