Category: Business Practices

#29 Choreographing Fights Alone

#29 Choreographing Fights Alone

This week on the podcast is something of a milestone: we’ve crossed the 5,000 download mark! Thanks to all of my loyal listeners around the world for your support and encouragement!

Fittingly, this episode was inspired by listener mail. Alex wrote in about the challenge of choreographing fights alone. It can be difficult to imagine both sides or multiple opponents when you design without the benefit of a fight partner on the other end of the sword. How do you keep everything straight? And because your fight isn’t “tested” with a partner, how do you know it will work when you give it to the actors in rehearsal?

#28 Training to Design

#28 Training to Design

Unlike other theatrical design specialties such as lighting, sets, or costumes, violence design suffers from a lack of formal instruction and training available to those who would pursue a career in fight choreography. The potential designer often has little recourse other than to take the “sink or swim” approach in trying to transition from a performer who knows stage combat to a designer responsible for conceiving, teaching, and staging the violence for an entire show.

Internships or apprenticeships are a great way to bridge the gap. This week, I have a panel of people with personal experiences as apprentices:

Victor Bayona, who began as an apprentice for R&D Choreography in Chicago (and went on to become a partner in the company), Chloe Baldwin, an intern who trained under Victor and is now working as a designer on her own, and Almanya Narula and Nicolas Cabrera, who are currently interning with R&D

It was a great interview, with lots of information for both potential apprentices and for experienced designers considering become mentors to train the next generation.

#26 Should All Actors Train in Stage Combat?

#26 Should All Actors Train in Stage Combat?

The first in a series about training actors to do stage combat. The first questions we need to address: SHOULD all actors train to perform violence? The answer is not as cut-and-dried as you might think, especially coming from a violence designer.

In the episode, I discuss reasons FOR and AGAINST actors training in stage combat. Knowing these arguments will help you better understand your potential students, what they need, and who to target for your classes.

#20 Managing a Weapons Inventory

#20 Managing a Weapons Inventory

Start designing fights for productions, and the need for weapons quickly arises. Where do those come from? The theatre? A rental house? From you? What happens when the actors break your toys?
Today I talk with R&D Choreography founder Rick Gilbert about the ways a weapon inventory can benefit the working violence designer. Rick also brings to bear his thirty years of experience to provide some strategies for building up your stockpile, how to make it earn money for you, how to track where your weapons are and when they should be back and many other essential topics.
Give it a listen!
#1 When to Transition From Fighter to Violence Designer

#1 When to Transition From Fighter to Violence Designer

Since this is the first post for this podcast, I thought my first topic should relate to beginning your career in fight choreography: When Can I Transition From a Fighter to a Violence Designer?  It can be a really awkward time on your artistic journey, because often there’s not a clear jumping off point to get to that next level.

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