As a freelance storyteller, I work in several mediums. Follow my past and current projects here.
I just got home from three hours of great play with Jackie and Adam. They very graciously introduced me to the basics of single-hand rapier fighting. As with my experience on Henry V, I am very impressed with how similar the discipline of Stage Combat (SC) is to the discipline of actual martial arts study. While SC is very stylized for dramatic effect and actor safety, it seems to require the same sort of mental acuity and focus as classical martial arts training.
After my rapier lesson, I did my best to introduce Jackie and Adam to some of the fundamentals of Japanese swordsmanship.* Mostly, we focused on basic sword ettiquette (how to hold, carry, exchange blades), simple cutting mechanics/postures, and historic/societal dynamics; all of which I hope may be of use to them if staging a duel, battlefield or “dojo-challenge”.
Everyone enjoyed our “play time”. I hope Jackie and Adam got as much out of the time as I did. At the behest of both of these talented fight coreographers, I took a look at www.safd.org, the website of the Society of American Fight Directors. The following blurb is lifted from their site and outlines what SAFD is all about. I intend to further investigate and perhaps participate in a workshop over the summer.
The Society of American Fight Directors is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safety and fostering excellence in the art of directing staged combat/theatrical violence.
* Disclaimer: Out of respect for my teachers, I need to be clear that I did not introduce any specific techniques from either Shinto Muso Ryu or Muso Jikki Den Eishin Ryu, nor did I present myself as a qualified teacher of either art.
For strike, Jay (my buddy) and I took charge of the storage space, making sure that items were correctly and appropriately stored. It also involved a fair amount of heavy lifting.
Really? All I recall is Drew shooting the proverbial shit while everyone else worked their backsides off. 😉
In all seriousness, Drew worked hard that evening. All of us did. That said, I am told it was a relatively light strike; as our set was rather spartan as sets go.
As chronicled elsewhere in this blog, Henry V was my first theater experience and it was a joy. From the first fight call to last call at the last cast party, I had nothing but fun. Everyone was wonderfully supportive of this first-timer and I made friendships which I am sure will carry forward.
I just realized, it is Friday night and I do not have fight call.
/me gets a little misty.
I have intentionally decided not to blog about Henry V for at least two weeks. I want to let the experience sink in; particularly in light of the war in Iraq. Until then.
Well, we closed the second week of our three week run of William Shakespeare’s Henry V. The show is going very well. Each show has brought a larger crowd, which I think speaks well of the buzz it is generating in the local theater community.
I have to take a moment to say how fortunate I am. This is my first theater experience and I am really blessed to be around such talented and decent folks. Though I have never “trod the boards”, I have been welcomed at every turn and help is always just a question away.
While I fear I am spoiled for future productions, I most definitely have “the bug” now. I am looking forward to actually opening my mouth on stage to utter more than a roar (I play a French Soldier and “killer of the boy”).
If you are in the Greater Cincinnati area, I strongly recommend you check out this production. Sure I am biased, but I am also a theater fan. 🙂 For more information, check out Falcon Productions: Henry V.