Obviously writing blog posts is not something I do on the most regular basis… but it’s also not the only thing I write. My most recent publication was the cover story in the Fall 2015 issue of The Fight Master, a little piece I’d been meaning to do for years, on a topic that grew out of my work on my 2012 MFA thesis: Sentiment du fer, proprioception, and using a prop as an extension of the self instead of just a dead thing in your hand.
Academia is infamous for a sort of “publish or perish” environment, but since my position is more practice than theory or research based, I’m actually not supposed to get any credit towards my tenure/performance reviews for publication (not that it hurts, especially with reviewers from other fields of academia in the chain of authority). But I do enjoy working things out on the page sometimes, sharing what I do and having something to show for it (a quality shared with screen work but often not with live theatre). And here’s the other thing: my “family” of peers, collaborators, co-conspirators, mentors, and friends, is scattered around the globe, while I’m in a relatively small, isolated community now. Writing is also a sort of letter to my friends in my field… because it gets lonely.
And sometimes they even write back, and it becomes a chance to catch up and feel close again. Take, for example, this lovely text I got from an SAFD Certified Teacher I knew from our Seattle days (neither of us have lived there now for years).
I just read your article in the FM. Fantastic! From the first sentence to the last I was transfixed and educated. I am seriously going to memorize every word and put it in my classes. So well put. Great insight. Accessible. Man, you just killed it. Thank you. Wyoming is very lucky.
…Well, any acting teacher or student would be ridiculous not to read this article, as it will truly enlighten both sides. It was just wonderful. Things over here are going well… (etc.)
Or this lovely email from someone currently in London who I’d kill to get the chance to work with professionally (but only know in person through workshops) and have stolen several acting/stage combat exercises and ideas from:
So I am sitting in a coffee shop having done the fight call on a Les Liasons I’m working on and I’m reading the FM magazine on my iPad and enjoying chilling. In particular I am reading your article and half laughing and sighing as I have two actors that are having a hard transition from prop holders to swordsman.
I hope all is well with you and that you are thriving out West. Hope we get the chance to cross swords again before too much time passes. Meantime I shall have a refill, a cookie and a re-read in hope of inspiration.