June 12 – Kick em when they’re down.
So we are less than two weeks away from the big final performance of our scene. I feel as if we are doing as much work as we would for a whole play as we are doing for this ten minute scene. We are doing a scene from Edward Albee’s The Marriage Play. In the section we picked to do there is a knockdown fight. My scene partner Bill and I really wanted to be able to do a good fight, since it really makes the scene, so we hired one of the teachers at our school to help us choreograph the fight, and make sure we didn’t kill each other, while trying to kill each other.
The first night we got together with the wonderful Brynna Jourden to help us, she ran us through some basic moves and concepts. I’ve had three quarters of stage combat, but that was a year ago so I was a bit rusty, and Bill hadn’t had any experience with stage fighting. We started warming up with trying to touch the other person’s stomach while trying to keep the other person from touching our stomach. Our hands and forearms had to maintain some contact with each other. It’s a fun thing to do.
Then we moved on to doing some basic unarmed combat techniques. Mostly review for me, but new for Bill. He did really good on picking things up. We did some slaps, some strangling, elbows to the stomach, arms twisting, groin kicking, basic falling, and rolling around on top of each other. A good start, and we didn’t get injured, so that was good, although I’m feeling a little tenderized from rolling on the hardwood floor.
We got together a few days later and then started crafting the actual choreography. Brynna had some ideas, but took our input and modified things to our abilities as well. At the end of our two hour session we had the basics of a good fight. We are supposed to be exhausted at the end of this fight, our characters laying on the floor, and there won’t be any problem with playing that. No actual acting necessary. We were properly winded and we weren’t even going that fast yet.
I think it is a good fight, it has some slaps, some wrestling, a groin kick (scripted), some choking, rolling, hair-pulling, grasping, biting, crawling, and elbows and strangleholds. What more could you ask for. Now we have to work this into the part where we are doing the “acting”. It’s almost like working on two scenes that we now have to put together. We only have four classes left, and we are going to cram as many rehearsals in as we can.
This Sunday, we have our first full run through in front of our teacher, Robin, and this is the first time she will see the fight, and we will see how much we can actually pull off. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say. I will report back with an update .