Well, it’s been an excruciatingly long time since I last wrote a post, but the exciting existing events behoove broadcast! I started this blog almost 3 years ago when I received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council in order to study acting and stage combat with three different masters (and I managed to squeeze in a number of other experiences during that time!). In the last three years, I have not stopped exploring, risking and experimenting in my continuing pursuit of the best performances I can draw out of myself and my colleagues. At the moment, this means a tour of seven different cities where I will teach stage combat and/or collaborate with fellow artists to explore what we can offer each other and devise together. The first week (has it only been a week?!) has been fantastic! Visits with RC-Annie, Youngblood, and Macdonald Academy, along with various individual artists has been exciting and inspiring! More to come…
We have lost one of the greats. Rest in peace, Bob Anderson.
Matt and I have been working the smallsword fight that I used in Estonia to see what we can discover. Like the Longsword fight, we’re finding many nuances in the kinds of attacks and responses we’re making, not to mention how important it is to be specific in the time of your actions. In addition, because the time in smallsword is so short, it’s of the utmost importance to be completely focussed on your partner, actions and intents. As soon as we do a run “just to go fast”, the whole thing falls apart, and with a quick weapon like smallsword, there’s no saving it. It’s like doing dialogue comprised of one word responses. Stop listening, and it’s so obvious that nothing is really happening.
Tomorrow, Thursday May 25, 2011, is closing night for The Hobbit in London, Ontario. I had the distinct privilege and pleasure to be fight director on this show. Director Susan Ferley brought together a fantastic group of people, and made my job much easier (and I daresay, more exciting) for it!
Part of my excitement, though, was being able to use my studies from the past year and half in a professional environment. Now, it’s not difficult to get a room of 13 men to play-fight, but play-fighting with connection and intent, that’s the next step. The exercises we did in our first hour together were instrumental at establishing that process. One of the cast members specifically noted that the first day’s work made the rest of the time so much easier: “since we’d been in that personal space already, learning the fight choreography was not a big deal.” By establishing both a method of working and physical familiarity, we could get past those introductory stages get right to the intensity and intricacy of the fight scenes.