Look at this kid’s structure! In a way, it’s not surprising. We keep talking about “look how kids move”, so if she’s been using martial structure from the time she was beginning to move, no wonder she’s on it!
Take a look at this playlist. It’s a collection of several martial arts — mostly Eastern — so that we can analyze style.
Back to maintaining fitness. Here’s a series of workouts you can do in a relatively small space, with no equipment other than some rags or washcloths!
… and be mindful of your structure! You want quality over quantity.
One of our tasks as actors, arguably the prime task, is to commit. “What am I fighting for?” is a more passionate re-phrasing of “What’s my intention?”. The purpose of the re-wording is to remind the performer that it’s not enough to know what you need. You must commit to the pursuit of that need.
A lack of commitment is painfully obvious in fight scenes. You can put all of your energy into executing the proper technique in your choreography, but until you enter the scene and commit to the tenacious pursuit of a goal, fully experiencing all of the success and failures along the way, your fight will lack “Zah!”.
Working your drills is not enough. Becoming proficient at choreography is not enough. Commit to the goal.
Tomorrow: how to practice this in class.
After an intensive day of filming last weekend, I was reminded of the importance of cooling down.
When I got home after fighting on set for several hours, I took a hot bath with Epsom Salts and then did various self-care activities for almost two hours. These activities included stretching, massage to work out muscle knots, hydrating and some gentle movement to keep the blood flowing. The next day I developed a tiny bit of soreness, but nothing like what I have felt before when I hadn’t done a proper cool down.
Stay sensitive to what your body needs. You’ll drastically reduce your discomfort, as well as increasing the health and longevity of your instrument.
FDC’s National Workshop begins tomorrow!
How are you feeling on your way into the workshop? I hope you’re brimming with excitement, and are ready to adapt to any and all curveballs. I know I’m excited and I totally wish I could be there with you!
Remember to find the enjoyment in the experience and approach every moment with curiosity, even during the times when you may be exhausted, frustrated or fried!
After the workshop, whether you pass the test or not, maintain your hunger for learning. It’s not the piece of paper that makes you good at this art form, it’s the continued practice. Let this intense period, when you get to be surrounded by exceptional teachers and colleagues, be a sustaining force after the workshop is over. Let it be the beginning (or continuation!) of a consistent practice. Look for people to practice with, and seek out training opportunities (classes, workshops and private lessons, for instance). Find a way to do something related to stage combat as often as possible.
In my own life, while intensives were instrumental to making my technique leap forward, it was in the practice time after workshops that maintained and further developed my ability.
So, over the next couple of weeks, soak up as much information as you can, and enjoy this time of immersion, remembering that it’s an exciting beginning (or continuation!) of living the #FightLife!
Remember to look back at the posts from last year’s FDC Nationals for some day-to-day advice and encouragement: http://www.burningmountain.ca/connect/archives/767
Always come from a place of curiosity.
Yes, we want to get every detail down correctly. But it’s too tempting to be hard on ourselves, particularly in the intensity of a rehearsal or workshop situation. Too often we think, “I should be able to get this”, and become our own worst critics.
Instead, by being curious and allowing every moment to be a discovery (“cool! That didn’t work and I learned something”, “Cool! That was really close to it!”, or “cool! That worked and I learned something!”) we train ourselves to enjoy the process, and find excitement in learning. Conversely, by being hard on ourselves and beating ourselves up, we condition ourselves to dislike the process and resent learning and rehearsal.
Endeavour to find the balance between objective self-assessment and a positive outlook while training and rehearsing. This way, you’ll be able to improve upon your weaknesses, while still enjoying the process of developing, training and rehearsing. This way, you’ll maintain your joy for making art.
Many thanks to Bob Charron who first instilled this approach in me.