Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Buckling My Swash Pt. 2 (And Other Items)

Hey everyone

I was planning on posting a detailed description of day 2 of the Salem Socke- er, I mean Oregon Knockout... but I didn't keep a running 'blog that day on my Treo, and I'm pretty cramped for time this week (it's going to be mondo busy - more on that later). I will try to encapsulate Sunday a bit, though. Those of you who didn't come to the workshop really missed out.

I got up at 5 am again Sunday morning (ugh!) and was on the road to Salem by 7. I only had one SPR to do Sunday (having already taken my recertification test in Rapier and Dagger and Quarterstaff the day before... you need to be certified in three weapons to have your SAFD status upgraded to Actor Combatant), so I got to take a couple of the non-certification-oriented classes that morning. Even though I was pretty sore from the day before, I happily joined Fight Master Dale Girrard in a class on full contact stage-combat called "Landing the blow" (full-contact combat comes in handy when you're in a "thrust" or "arena" space and can't hide moves from the audience, as well as when you're up close to the house) and Seattle fight director Bob Borwick in a class on Rapier and Dagger fights in cramped spaces (an especially good class to have under my belt, since several of the spaces in Portland are too small to have expansive rapier and dagger fights moving from one end of the stage to the other). I learned some valuable stuff in both classes that I'm going to be able to apply in my own choreography as time moves on.

After lunch, it was time to train up for my unarmed combat SPR. The fight we eventually performed for the test consisted of drags, slaps, a few punches and one of Bob Borwick's favorite moves - "The Fishhook (wherein the attacker puts two fingers inside the defenders mouth and drags him/her around the stage by them. FUN move!)".

After the final test fight, we all gathered in the Willamette University theatre and said our goodbyes. The fight masters took some time before the end of the day and tabulated the results of our Skills Proficiency renewals... I was surprised to find that I'd renewed my certification in quarterstaff (which I thought was my weakest fight), but was still too rusty with the rapier and dagger. Dale and I had a good talk about what I need to work on, though, and I feel pretty confident that I can train up for another re-cert in the coming year.

So, I drove away from Salem that evening having NOT upgraded my SAFD status to "Actor Combatant" (you need to be certified in three weapons, and I was only able to re-certify in two), but feeling confident in my skills as a combatant, and my ability to use stage violence to help tell a story. Plus, I learned some bitchin' new moves... remind me to show you the new open-handed-slap I learned some time. All in all, a very satisfying weekend.

I know I've said this before, but if you're an area-actor or director, I'd strongly recommend going to next year's workshop if you can schedule it. I think that Jon and the crew at Revengearts are going to continue holding the workshops on Memorial Day weekend. We don't have a lot of shows in Portland that contain huge sword fights, but almost every play has the potential to contain a shove, slap or punch (and many have more prolonged periods of combat on stage). Learning the basics of stage combat can help you prepare for that eventuality, and give you the vocabulary to work with the fight director on those moments. It's a valuable tool to have in your repretoire.

It's a good thing that the weekend was so satisfying, because this week is going to be BUSY!!! Because of Memorial Day we're facing a "short" week, which always makes things more difficult. Trish is going to be working all week at Lana Veenker casting on a big project they've got going. I'm going to be running all over town putting out fires that have popped up at my clients' offices over the weekend, AND we're shooting my first scene in Sum of the Parts this evening. I've also got a gig at OHSU tomorrow for the school of medicine (this time I have chronic headaches).

We're going out of town on Friday to go visit family and friends up in Washington; we'll be gone all weekend. Then, on Sunday, we'll be attending a house party for Rob Brading who's trying to un-seat our current Speaker of the State House, Karen Minnis.

So... yeah, it's gonna be a busy week. I don't know if I'll be getting on the ol' blog much in the coming week.

Hope you're all doing well...