Year One Done

Grades are in, the school year’s over, and the first hopefully-annual UWYO Stage Combat Workshop is in the bag.

The last week before the workshop, a university photographer came and snapped some shots of the broadsword class practicing for their Skills Proficiency Test. I’m hoping to work with our graphics person to make some stage-combat themed recruiting material for next Fall’s annual recruiting blitz.


Everyone who tested in Broadsword passed, with two recommended passes and a recommended renewal, and those who didn’t have to duck out to set up the Dram Prom awards event for the Associated Student of the Performing Arts were able to get a great little master-class in broadsword from Maestro Alm as a part of the SPT.

Alm Visiting

Maestro Alm in Laramie


Sadly Geoff “Jefe” Kent had to back out last-minute when a LORT theatre made him an offer he couldn’t refuse (can’t begrudge him – besides, they’re renting my props), but Alm and I had it covered. Classes included:

  • Swashbuckling Single Sword
  • Intro to Knife
  • Acting the Injury
  • Fighting for Camera
  • Western Bar Fight Gone Ugly: Bottle vs. Knife
  • Cowboy vs. Indian; Sabre vs. Tomahawk & Knife

The real drawback from the smaller teaching staff was that students just didn’t have choices in which classes they attended, something I hope to remedy next year.

We also didn’t get to do the cowboy gun-spinning class that’s become one of Jefe’s specialties. Hopefully that too will come in next year. It’s a bit of a Wyoming thing, both the cowboy (our mascot) and the guns. One thing I didn’t mention from the year’s highlights in the last post was a state tour I did with other new faculty in the Fall, which included the museum center in Cody. The Buffalo Bill museum area is of great interest to those in stage combat, showmanship, outdoor theatre, recreation, etc. but perhaps most obviously relevant to readers of this blog would be the Cody Firearms Museum. Took a number of pictures there, some of which ended up on the Facebook page I created for the Theatrical Firearms Handbook.

I’ve got a number of big ideas for where I’d love to see this workshop go if we can grow it enough, but first I need to see how many people will be willing to travel here and pay for something like that – we only had a couple people from out of town this time around, both from Cheyenne (an hour’s drive), and both took off mid-day Saturday when it started snowing. There’s an awesome off-campus location that would give us multiple stages and sets for different action-related themes, if I could ever get something like that established here.

Other plans for the future include finding ways to work with aluminum training blade makers Keen Edge Knives (semi-local; CO based), building up my gear and skills and experience with moviemaking (which could be a good pretense for some more video podcasts as I try things out), and more work on the house, which could include getting to finish setting up the props storage room and shop areas I hope. I’m also acting in two shows in the coming months and teaching a stage combat class for a high school institute run through the UW. Should be plenty to keep me just the right amount of busy – never bored, but still able to take a gig here or there if something comes up.


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