Piercing, Puppets, and Pre-orders

Had a two hour guest spot for an acting class at Pierce College on Monday- very successful I think.  Students were a wide mix of people interested in going into theatre, people doing this for the fun of it, and people who apparently were just looking for an easy credit course and weren’t sure how they even felt about acting… but I think they all had fun, and learned something, and all sounded pleased.  Sounds like I’ll be getting a copy of the workshop on dvd, which will be interesting, in that morbid post-mortem analysis sort of way.  There’s always (for me at least) the initial knee-jerk reactions to seeing myself on film, which are on the pretty shallow (but still useful) level of ‘crap, is my posture always that bad when I’m not doing specific moves?’ or ‘man, I sound goofy’, but once you get past that ego stuff, there’s usually good things to be learned from it.  I’m really wanting to work on my teaching this year, so perhaps that will help.

I’ve also been on a bit of a retrospective/reflective kick lately, noticing how my perspective has changed over the last 11 years of doing stage combat, my perception of my various peers and instructors has or has not changed in this same time, my reactions to various things that come up in classes, etc.  Interesting to be able to start seeing patterns and paths now, at least in retrospect.  Even if it makes me feel a bit old.

I’ve been (briefly) participating in a web series pilot pitch as well with some of the local stunt community.  Been a while since I did much acting, and I really haven’t done much that didn’t involve dying in the first two seconds on screen.  I’m sure it’ll be both educational and humbling.  I’d love to get better at it and do more, but in that acting joins a very long and imposing list…

Went to see The Lion King last night, thanks to Christmas and Birthday presents of tickets.  If you can afford it, go; amazing design work, great puppetry and movement stuff to look at and think about, and a couple great performances.  The African woman playing Rafiki is amazing, and it was great to hear someone rattle off those clicks and glottal stops so naturally- they don’t exist in the romance languages, and when we tried to speak them in Banff years ago, with Marie Helen-Coetzee teaching Zulu stick fighting, I’m sure none of us ever really got it right.  The fight scenes were a bit of a disappointment- Dance doesn’t need to get technical fight moves right, but it really ought to nail the emotional qualities of the conflict, and I think it missed that for the most part in this production, but the dramatic falls from the cliff (done with wire rigs) were perfect.

A couple more updates on the Cold Steel training swords I mentioned in an earlier blog post- the release date has been pushed back to end of March, but CEO Lynne Thompson tells me they are intending to expand their synthetic training sword line further, which could mean cutlasses, great swords, grosse messer, basket hilts, tomahawks, more knives… all sorts of good niche training tools that haven’t been in mass production otherwise.  Prices are great too- I’ve seen the hand and a half swords listed online for under $40, and these should last longer than a wooden waster.

One last share- many of you have been at least peripherally aware of the Galatea Films production “Reclaiming the Blade”.  It’s now got a DVD release date, and is available for Pre-Order.

Out of curiosity- how are folks who read this coming across the blog?  Drop me a line in your venue of choice.  I’m curious to know who finds this through MySpace, who finds it through Facebook (I’ve tried to add the blog application there, but I’m not sure the feed works- suggestions welcome), who finds it through www.fightdesigner.com or elsewhere.  There’s just too many online networking sites now, and while I want to make the most of that, I also don’t want to have to duplicate or repeat myself too many times.

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