I hate being guided. I love Don Juan. So, it rarely is an issue. Running down stairs? Yeah. Hold on somewhere. Now that I'm living in the most amazing Exovest, a grip has PLENTY of real estate to grab- the set of back rods.
Get very very good at Don Juan. ( Sorry Charles ). Get very very good at switching especially at speed.
Even if I'm with a very seasoned grip/ spotter/ assistant etc, in my mind the idea that another person who is not operating the frame and is not adjusting moment to moment and step by step as I am could be one footstep away from tripping me up inadvertently makes spotters a rarity in my work life. Your mileage may vary. If I suddenly change speed because the actor did so that I can maintain exactly the same frame and actor size in the frame, my spotter won't know it. Until I trod upon his instep.
Having said all of this, I must publicly thank Adam Keith for holding on to the back of my vest for dear life when I did a switch while quickly moving down stairs on the last Election Night coverage at ABC. He Operated, I spotted him. I operated, he spotted me. Heck of a night. HIM I trusted, and even at that, I rarely wanted him holding on.
Best to all,
Peter Abraham, S.O.C.