For those of you who don't know me, my name is Scott . I am an actor and stage combat enthusiast living in Indianapolis. For the past 2 years I have been working very hard to become a fight choreographer/teacher in this city, as well as a recognized teacher with both The Society fo American Fight Directors (SAFD), and Dueling Arts International (DAI).
In 2010 I was introduced to my first stage combat class while in conservatory, and fell in love with it. When I moved back to Indianapolis, I realized that there really was not a strong stage combat presence in the city, and I wanted to help fill that void.
Why stage combat? Because it is the climax of a scene, and often of the play. Because it requires a partnership and trust with your fellow actors that you can not duplicate. Because you must DO THE WORK, or someone gets hurt or worse; there is no phoning it in. Because audiences deserve to see actors who work so hard. Because every fight tells a story within the story, and should leave an audience on the edge of their seats, rooting for one character or another. Because the audience should NEVER feel scared for the safety of the actor and be pulled out of the play. Because it is SO MUCH FUN TO DO!
While there are a few choreographers around the city, none of them have offered training sessions, to my knowledge. The closest thing that I have found in the central Indiana area was in Bloomington at Indiana University. In 2013, I traveled two hours a day for 2 weeks to learn the skills of the smallsword in the style of Domenico Angelo. Beyond those two weeks, I have spent time away from my wife (and sometimes with her; she is the most wonderful, loving, and supportive person I know) traveling to Chicago, Michigan State University, New Orleans, and most recently to central Illinois, in order to seek trainings and improve both my performance in several weapons disciplines, as well as to learn how to become a better teacher of this craft. My last venture left me away from my wife for 3 weeks while we entered the last month of her pregnancy with our first child. She insisted that I go, and I am forever grateful that she did.
Our journeys are never over. An opportunity has been placed in front of me. In August of next year, for the first time, 5 of the worlds most recognized stage combat organizations are coming together for 3 weeks of training, testing, and adjudication in Toronto. And I have been given a place at their table. For 3 weeks I will be working with masters from The Acadamy of Fight Directors Canada, The Society of American Fight Directors, The British Acadamy of Stage & Screen Combat, The Nordic Stage Fight Society, and The Society of Australian Fight Directors, Inc., focusing on broadsword, eastern uanrmed/knife, smallsword, and rapier/dagger at Level 2 (there are 3 Worlds levels). With your help, not only will I become a certified actor combatant within these organziations, I will be able to bring back a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with everyone in this city, to help actors be better actors, and to give audiences the thrills that they deserve. And in the future, I hope to be able to have a regular training camp for actors in this city while offering my services as choreographer to regional theatres.
I am trying to raise $4500 to help cover the cost of the workshop itself, as well as travel, lodging, and food expenses for 3 weeks. At the time of the workshop, I will be the very happy and proud father of a 1 year old, and my wife and I would love nothing more than to be able to stay together for those 3 weeks.
It goes without saying that gaining these certifications will no doubt help me be recognized as an experienced, trusted, and trained choreographer in the midwest. As I hope to one day transition into a full time actor/choreographer, gaining these experiences are a crucial part of my growth. When I look at my mentors, I see people who have been practicing for 25 years or more, and so to reiterate something I said earlier, our journeys are never over. I plan to spend the next year until the Worlds training hard to gain the level of Advanced Actor Combatant within the SAFD. And if luck shines on me, I may be able to enter the Worlds at the highest level, Level 3.