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Swords Fighting

A sword fight is NOT a fight between two swords. Always remember that the two people are fighting to the death, and they’re using very effective tools to do so. Otherwise, your fights become dances.   I hope in these clips you can see that most of the time, the actors look like they’re choreographed […]

Pause for Effect

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, […]

Skill Retention Tips

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 […]

Infinite Things to Learn

Does the list of things to learn seem endless? It is. The more you think about the possible shows that require fight choreography and their potential needs, it can seem like an impossible task to be prepared for it all. One hand, two hands, look ma, no hands! When it comes down to it, you’ve […]

Things To Do With Your Mouth for Valentine’s Day

You might not associate the mouth with fighting, except maybe to “slug them in the kisser”. But there are plenty of actions that a desperate person might do in combat using their oral cavity. Here are a few suggestions for your maw: Spitting is an Option Spitting can be a taunt or a direct insult. […]

Keep Your Method Out of My Combat

Stage combat and Method acting don’t mix. What do we mean by “Method acting”? Here’s part of what Wikipedia has to say: Strasberg used the term “Method” to describe his philosophy of acting and his techniques of training actors, which built upon some of Stanislavski’s early ideas. Strasberg’s method is based upon the idea that […]

Ego in Performance

Do you get stage fright? Have you ever delivered a performance, and thought that the audience hates you? Today, I want to remind you that it’s not about you. It’s about the performance. The audience isn’t judging you. Think about a clown. Laughing at a clown is not insulting to the clown. You’re not laughing […]