Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stage Combat Enhances Your Acting


I’ve spent the last five years learning and teaching Stage Combat alongside one of the top combat instructors in the country. I was very fortunate to get involved straight out of acting school and although I have never been crazy about teaching, only recently I realized how much this experience has enhanced my acting as well as my whole creative being. Where some people would take this skill for granted I have grown to believe that it is an essential part of the training for every actor especially for the one who intends to have a career on the stage.

One of the things that really stood out for me as I was observing actors during combat class was how much this skill informs one’s acting. Although some people took it more seriously than others, there was a clear point being made over and over again that the actor who was able to do the combat at ease was also a good actor overall. In general the attributes that gave people advantage were previous movement skills such as dance or martial arts but that was not always the case since I saw students with no such training do just as well as those who had if not better. Therefore the main factors which I think connect the combat with one’s acting are listening skills, being grounded in your character and self control over every action you play.

The reason I point those factors out is because I found that teaching actors, who knew how to listen, were also grounded and had full control over their physical actions made it very easy to create an effective dramatic or comical scene. This is also why I believe that combat and acting are very connected and one informs the other. When actors are really listening, their fight choreography looks flawless and effortless and so does their acting and there is no fear of safety because they are living the scene moment by moment while being in full control of their bodies as they remain grounded in the characters that they are playing.

So I really hope that this gives a better idea of what stage combat is about and how it relates to acting in more ways than one. What a great way to keep the actor’s instrument in shape and at the same time have so much fun while being creative and inspired by every new move you perform. It keeps me curious, on my toes and asking for more. It is the reason why I believe that acting at its best should be described as Fearless!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment