updated 01/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Eugene Moye, 28, was a third-grader in Greenwich, Conn. when he asked his mother if he could study an instrument. She suggested the cello, and when Eugene asked what a cello was, she told him to look it up in the encyclopedia. Today Moye is described by the New York Times as "one of the foremost cellists of his generation" and has soloed with major orchestras around the world. The son of a teacher, Moye not only started late but also claims he "never took the cello too seriously. I used to arrive for lessons and unwrap bloody bandages from my hands because I'd injured them playing baseball." In 1969 he enrolled in Juilliard but dropped out after two years ("They taught you how to make music—but not how to make it part of your life") and took a job in the pit with the New York City Ballet Orchestra. During a State Department-sponsored international tour, the black cellist made headlines in 1974 when he refused to play for segregated audiences in South Africa. Moye, who lives with fellow cellist Janet Hamilton on Manhattan's West Side, is no musical snob. His favorite fantasies: giving a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden and cutting a classical single that makes the Top 100.

Michelle "Micki" Allen is 70 pounds of steel. She can tumble down a flight of stairs, be dragged 40 miles an hour by a car or fall 25 feet from the roof of a building and walk away tall—or 4'7" anyway. Such feats have earned Micki, youngest member at 10 of the International Stunt Actors Association, the nickname "Stunt Runt," which she has emblazoned proudly on her warm-up garb. The daughter of a Riverside, Calif. mailman, Micki first got hooked while watching her brother Bill, 15, the family trailblazer in the trade. On Halloween night 1978, Micki passed up trick-or-treating to get her first lesson on how to fake taking a punch in the face and a kick in the stomach. Toughing out a course in which 80 percent quit, she now performs daredevil feats at state and county fairs and was recently featured in an NBC special, Tinseltown and the Big Apple. Far from blasé about the risks, Micki was petrified with fear when first called upon to bail out of a moving truck—she eventually took the plunge (above left)—and still smarts from the time she toppled off a horse. "I landed on my butt," she winces, "and it certainly rattled my cage a bit." Idol Kitty O'Neil keeps her going, and the two have more than moxie in common: Kitty is deaf, and Micki was born with a 10 percent hearing loss in her left ear. For now, Micki's parents have ruled out any roles involving fire. Explains Stunt Runt: "They can't find an asbestos suit small enough."

From Our Partners