I stumbled into an outdoor drama gig the summer of my sophomore year of college, that happened to give stage combat classes during the day. I passed my test in three weapons and officially caught the bug. I went back to college and I was the only one with any experience so I was always asked how to do stage violence safely. I ended up working on 5 projects that semester. I realized it was the perfect marriage for my passions: telling stories and physically expressing myself. I love to tell stories through movement. Thats why I do stage combat.
Why New York? How did you make your way to the city?
It was the only place for me, I never considered going anywhere else. I came here right after graduating college with my parter and my U-Haul, just determined to tackle this city. I'm still trying to win that fight.
How do you negotiate artistic need and limited resources? Is there an artistic difference between how you approach an indie show versus a show with plenty of time, money etc?
Only as far as if we need protective props/costumes or if we need a wall reinforced so we can throw someone up against it. Technical stuff. If we really need a very specific prop to use for violence, anything that needs to be recreated, like a break away bottle, really anything that needs to break and get put back together again, that gets expensive. Indies tend to not have that luxury and have to get creative on solutions for the playwrights wishes. The combat itself can be tweaked, with or without the added bonuses. With a longer rehearsal schedule however, we can take our time and really cater the fight to the actors strengths, without worrying about time. That's a real luxury.
What's exciting for you about doing an indie show? What makes you cringe?
Whats exciting is the people and the work and the dedication, its all 100% and beyond. Its inspiration at its purest. The cringe is never really knowing exactly what your getting into- but that's exciting too!
What could the indie community do to make things easier for you? What would you like to ask of producers/artistic directors/general managers/production managers?
I think the indie community is fantastic. The only thing I'd ultimately like to ask for, is theatre to not cost so much to produce.
Tell me about something you achieved recently that makes you feel really good:
Finally working on a Crystal Skillman play!
What's coming up for you that you’re excited about?
I'm excited to help out my fight team, Unkle Dave's Fight House, with the violence on the new David Van Asselt play, A FABLE, at Rattlestick, directed by Daniel Talbott. Daniel is such an inspiration to me, I try to absorb as much of him as I can each time I'm honored to work alongside him. This will be our fourth project together!