stage combat  Tag Archives

She Kills Monsters

Posted on by David McCormick

The play She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen is a show breathing new life into theatre. Its reliance on sword fights at important moments is making the study of stage combat more popular, and because the story focuses on two sisters, it encourages women toward action-hero roles. Here's the short synopsis from the publisher, Samuel French: A comedic romp into…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , |

Sword Fight Filming with Adorea

Posted on by David McCormick

I am a big fan of Adorea Olomouc, a stage combat troupe from the Czech Republic. I've shown their YouTube videos to Academie Duello's Demo Team for both stage combat training goals and filming sword fighting. I have to apologize to my regular stage combat students that I didn't direct you to them sooner. What you'll notice right away is…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , |

Simulation over Style

Posted on by David McCormick

My approach to stage combat has three priorities: Safety, Simulation, and Story. This is a small but important departure from the standard Fight Directors Canada version that students will see in their glossary: safety, storytelling, and style. Here is why I believe simulation beats style and gives us a clearer understanding of what we do as actor-combatants. We Agree on…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , |

Emotion in Action Film Editing

Posted on by David McCormick

As combat performers, we often get obsessed with the improvement of our physical performance. We often assume that the emotional aspect will happen by itself. But, it's important for both choreographers and performers to incorporate the anger and fear and pain and exhaustion of battle into your rehearsal and practice. I've expounded on this before. However much you have worked…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , , , |

Four Strategies to Combat Technique Repetition Boredom

Posted on by devonboorman

"The difference between an advanced action and a simple action is that an advanced action is a simple action done very, very well." A student and colleague of mine reminded me of this quote recently. I very much enjoy its sentiment every time I’m exposed to it. It reminds me of how much of my energy is best served in…

Posted in Personal Development, Programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What Did You Call Me?

Posted on by David McCormick

When we start to work on choreography, we don’t have specific scenes in mind. We don’t have a script to tell us our character’s motivations or what words to use. We often fall back on silly arguments to get our choreography started, and then we take the entire fight less seriously. What are some good, simple scenarios to get a…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , |

What Are You Simulating?

Posted on by David McCormick

In stage combat, we have three priorities: Safety: all movements must have built-in safety so the risk to actors is minimized. Simulation: every movement should look genuine and feature authentic-looking intent. Storytelling: the combination of movements should match each character's personality, level of aggression, goals and further the plot of the story if possible. The problem with some methods in…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , , , |

Theatrical Deaths with No Blood

Posted on by David McCormick

Blood adds horror. That's the single reason to add a blood effect to a death scene. So, the only creative question in whether to consider a blood effect is: does this scene need more horror? In Romeo and Juliet, for example, do we need Mercutio's death to be horrific? I'd say yes. Do we need Juliet's death to be horrific?…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pause for Effect

Posted on by David McCormick

Recently, the most effective tip I’ve been giving actors again and again is “take a moment”. It’s very easy to go to the next move in the fight choreography. However, there are important times to pause for effect. Laugh Lines You shouldn’t build a pause into your performance expecting that the audience will laugh. However, you know where the jokes…

Posted in News, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , , , |

Skill Retention Tips

Posted on by David McCormick

Any skill you want to keep should be rehearsed weekly. Any skill you want to improve should be practiced daily. Spaced repetitions In the case of learning new vocabulary, or memorizing names, we have a lot of good data from psychological studies. It is well known that there is a certain frequency of reminders that will optimally solidify your recall.…

Posted in News, Personal Development, Stage Combat | Tagged , , , , , |