Last spring, the Ohio State Department of Theatre announced that one of the grad students would teach an advanced movement-based stage combat class, and you can bet I was down for the chance to channel my inner James Bond.
You know it’s a successful class when you get to analyze James Bond for your paper.
The class, led by a certified grad student, focused on the safe techniques used in creating fight scenes on stage and on the big screen. We spent the beginning of the semester learning various movements necessary for building a scene, using the Eye-CRAP method (Eye Contact, Contact, Reaction, Action, Principle) as our guide. We learned how to produce the sounds associated with hits, called knaps, and ways to hide them so the audience fully believes our scene partner has been hit.
Once we had the techniques and movements down, we created a short film to learn about how fighting for the camera would differ from fighting on stage. I definitely recommend checking out our
film project. Please know that the making of this film was a training project for students’ stage combat education while under the supervision of a certified instructor. Please do not try this without the supervision of trained professionals. We had a fun time recording it and watching it on the last day of class.
After the two weeks of filming, we moved on to stage presentations, practicing how the difference stage set ups (proscenium, thrust, and arena) impact the staging of a scene and sight lines of the audience.
I felt like Black Widow throughout the semester and not gonna lie it felt amazing.
Lastly, our final fight presentation involved each of us pairing up to create a scenario, based on the given movements, that we would use to test for the Dueling Arts Adjudication. Basically, this means that we are recognized for our level one training and can move on to other armed, or unarmed courses and workshops, held across the country.
These are trained actors please do not try this at home. And yes, that is yours truly.
Overall, I really enjoyed this class and though I don’t have anything on the horizon that will require these skills, I’m excited for the opportunity whenever it may present itself. And, if you were wondering, everyone survived the class. We might’ve been a little sore and a little bruised, but we survived.
Gifs can be found:
James Bond; Napoleon Dynamite; That 70’s Show; Black Widow