Lots coming together all at once here.  Small video gig on Saturday, and two separate sets of workshops coming up.

First round is a Crash Course in Stage Combat through Balagan theatre:

WHAT: 4 week on-going drop-in class
WHEN: SUNDAYS February 8-March 1, 12-2pm
WHERE: Balagan Theatre, 1117 E. Pike St.
COST: $30/class or $80/all 4
min. class size: 4
max. class size: 10

This is intended as a four part intensive, each day building upon the previous lessons.  Those with little to no experience with stage combat are more than welcome, but must be present from the first class onwards.  Those already familiar with the basic technical skills of stage combat are welcome to come for whichever days most interest them, on a space-available basis.

Day 1: Striking February 8th, 2009
A quick intro hits, kicks, slaps, reactions, blocks… unarmed blunt trauma, or the foiled intent to do so.  As this is a short time to cover a lot of ground, the focus will be on the concepts behind the moves rather than trying to cover every conceivable technique.  Actors should be able to take these principles and apply them to their own scenes down the road.  Learn how to throw a convincingly strong punch, and to fake the violent impact of body parts!

Day 2: Grappling and Falling
February 15th, 2009
Wrestling, choking, shoving, falling, rolling, joint locks… this is where learning the mechanics of your own and your partner’s bodies is vital.  Emphasis is on creating the safe illusion of force on one side and lack of control on the other, while maintaining both people’s balance and control.  Getting to the ground safely is one of the most important skills you can learn in stage combat, and here’s where we’ll learn a variety of ways to do that.  The techniques in this class are also key to staging fights on a thrust stage or theater-in-the-round.

Day 3: Building the Fight on Your Stage February 22nd, 2009

Building on the skills from days 1 and 2, we’ll start working on how these come together to create a staged fight, and how to safely and successfully pull it off on stage.  This includes such skills as awareness of audience sight-lines, fighting on and around a set, the introduction of props, staying aware of other actors and managing the timing of a group fight.  Timing, rhythm, and spacing are key this day.

Day 4: Acting the Fight March 1st, 2009
Here’s where we get to transcend mechanics and really get in to what makes a fight a fight.  Bring on the context!  We’ll look at some fights within known scenes, try some improvisation exercises, some discussion and exploration of the psychology and physiology and martial concepts that can inform our choices as actors portraying a fight.  Here’s where you learn how to make it good!

Kevin Inouye has been doing fights for both stage and screen for the last decade, including choreography for Romeo & Juliet, Big Love, and Search & Destroy with Balagan in 2008.  His stage combat training has primarily been with the Society of American Fight Directors, but has also been heavily informed by his studies of both Asian and European martial arts, a psychology and research background, and by additional stage combat and stunt training from the International Order of the Sword & Pen.  He is sole proprietor of Fight Designer, LLC, providing fights, instruction, and prop weaponry to the Seattle area and beyond.


Then right after that, we get into a series of workshops aimed more at film and video, held at Lee’s Martial Arts in West Seattle.  It’s a great space, and the owner is someone I’ve worked with before (although I just discovered last night that she went through the stunt school years ago, with Lacy!).

The first two sessions are scheduled, and the plan is to follow up with some more after Easter.  I definitely want to get in a Firearms for Film/Video/Theatre workshop this Spring, some time after Easter.

Cost is TBD, but will be in the neighborhood of $40-50 per session.

March 28th, 1-5pm.
Intro to Film Fighting
This class is perfect for the martial artist or stage combatant wanting to learn how to adapt their skills for fighting on camera.  Topics covered include camera awareness, playing the angles, basic on-set protocol, and how to use the medium to make your fights look good.  Everyone will get time in front of the camera, with time to analyze the results as a group.

April 4th, 1-5pm
Tricks of the Trade
This class delves into how we can use video or film to really push the limits of what we can show in-camera.  Creative use of angles, editing, props, and some very minor stunt gear can help us make superhuman stuntmen/women out of just about anyone.  Our hits can be harder, our falls can be higher, our moves flashier, or our violence more convincing.  The emphasis here is on techniques that could be available to the typical low budget Seattle area production.  While the stunt performers will get to have the most fun, this class could also be of great interest to anyone wanting to direct, shoot, or coordinate action scenes, and we may get participants from several areas of production.


Anyone wanting more information, or wanting to register for any of these, should contact me at  I’m getting excited- these are going to be hard work, but a lot of fun!  I’ll be posting links and more information as it becomes available.


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