#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 …

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#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 …

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#27 Training Your Brain to Fight

#27 Training Your Brain to Fight

We are used to training our bodies to do physical tasks like stage combat or sports, but have you ever considered how much your brain is working when you fight? This week’s episode examines how our brain’s processing capacity can be overwhelmed by all the information bombarding it during each moment of a fight, and …

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#25 Working With Young Fighters

#25 Working With Young Fighters

Many of us find ourselves designing theatrical violence for high school or middle school productions or teaching stage combat classes to theatre programs that focus on younger performers. Or perhaps the play you’re designing has a child involved in the violence. You may quickly discover that working with younger fighters can be a very different …

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#24 How to Nail (or Run) a Fight Callback

#24 How to Nail (or Run) a Fight Callback

You’ve done your audition and gotten a callback! But the director tells you that not only will you be reading from the script to see how you work with specific characters, but that there will be a fight callback to assess your stage combat skills as well! What’s that going to be like?

#23 Three Ways to Make Your Fights Work

#23 Three Ways to Make Your Fights Work

Today, let’s discuss the dramatic work that your fights should be doing. Fights do more than simply move the plot along. Fights should also: 1) reinforce the setting and underscore the tone, 2) reveal character 3) cast the future of the play into doubt. I also cover how to use you fights to reinforce the …

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#22 Book Review: Meditations on Violence

#22 Book Review: Meditations on Violence

Today on episode #22 of the Violence Design Lab podcast, I’m discussing a book I think every violence designer and fight choreographer needs on their bookshelf: Meditations on Violence by Sergeant Rory Miller. I consider it a foundational work for those on our field, so I want to make sure you’re up to speed on …

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#21 Working With Older Fighters

#21 Working With Older Fighters

Today I want to talk about something I never learned in a stage combat workshop or a college theatre class. In fact, it took over twenty years for me to really understand it. What is this mystery topic? Working with fighters who are middle-aged or older. Now that I’m a few months shy of 50, …

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#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 …

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