Friday, December 31, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Michael Dufays

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES. Because, as we all know, knowledge is power. As is the ability to kick ass.



Michael Dufays
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Châtaigneraye (Le Coup), Kyokutei (Two Swords), Crazy Ninja Death Squad (One)




How long have you been fighting. Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
I started Tae Kwon Do at age 7 and got my black belt at age 11, so it really affected the way I move. When i went to acting school in New York the physicality of the Stage combat class there really appealed to me, and engaged me in such a way that I stuck with it until i became an instructor in 2003. So, I guess about 18 years now?...Crap, dated myself...

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
At my school there was stage combat 2 days a week for 2 hours a pop. Consistent and well organized enough that I really felt the learning building on its self, seeping into me. It gave me confidence that I was acquiring a "usable" skill that I was good at so I just kept at it; not to mention we had three fantastic teachers who had a very entertaining and example based way of teaching. They may have made the difference in my book.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
Well I'll tell you a little story: I was performing in a production of R and J, and I had a fight with the guy playing Tybalt. There was a knife kill that was designed very safely , but at one run we were whipping along and the knife attack came and I hit the guy about 5 millimeters above his left eye but just inside the crest of his ocular cavity with the point of a rebated an aluminum dagger... He fainted. When he came, to we went to be with people in separate rooms and talk about the experience and get checked out. I was shaking and in tears fearing that the other actor would never trust me again, I had ruined the show and I was unworthy as a stage fighter etc, etc. And after getting to the root of how scary the event had been I kinda wandered out into the hall for a breather where the other actor had sort of meandered on his own. We sheepishly came together, and I said, "I can't tell you how sorry I feel. That just scared the shit out of me, " and he said, "me too". Then we looked at each other and we kinda just cleared the air in that moment. After that we redoubled our efforts to examine the moves, get the safety technique down, and slowly built the speed and the trust again to the point where we were exhilarated every time we came off the stage. That was not only a memorable fight for me (which i think we only twice performed Perfectly, the rest of the time we had to think on our feet about how to get through the obstacles together - four months of shows BTW) but an important theatre experience - and personal experience: how sharing an open honest heart about an event can let people rise above the worst challenges and repair oneself and a relationship and excel - and be free of it.

Favourite weapon (and why):
Oh, balls... Well, I really enjoy choreographing the needle point articulations of small sword, however I wish I were a knife fighting expert! ...But I seem to always get asked to play with the bashy bashy weapons that need two hands...Excelsior!

Favourite Fight film/play:
There's just too many out there but I truly go back again and again to the movie , "the duelists" for the sense of reality and visceral reaction it evokes, exquisite. In other genres, The big brawl, The Matrix, OngBak, The protector, Killzone, Inception, and others - these movies brought great invention and innovation to the fight performance realm.

Favourite famous fighter:
I would have to say at this point, Donnie Yen as a technician and a fight designer - though I gotta give props to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for his tireless rollercoaster fight on Inception.

Role you wish you could have played:
uh...boooooooooooooooooooooop...sorry, get back to me...

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Is Spirulina considered a drink? ...And then a 1,000,000 push ups, I'm so pumped for this show!!

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Stay tuned for upcoming work from Riot ACT, Toronto's premier Action Creation Team!! If you like what you see, share, re-tweet or just stand up and shout! Yeah!!!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Sabrina Kolbegger

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES. Because, as we all know, knowledge is power. As is the ability to kick ass



Sabrina Kolbeggar
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Dancer (La Maupin), Make-up Girl (Egos and Idols)




How long have you been fighting. Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
About 4 months.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
I took a class in my first year of theatre school and it was fun so I thought 'Why not?' I also think it's a very useful skill for any actor to have.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
The first time I did a shoulder roll right. It seem like something so simple but it's really hard!

Favourite weapon (and why):
Quarterstaff because it's such a simple, yet versatile weapon.

Favourite Fight film/play:
The Matrix.

Favourite famous fighter:
Bruce Lee. Fists of Fury = awesome!

Role you wish you could have played:
In this show? I definitely wish I could do Siobhan's part in The One. I can dream...

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Whiskey sour, please and thank you!

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Nope, just Duel of Ages. Come and see it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Christopher Mott

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.


Christopher Mott
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Caizon (Le Coup), Wild Bill Hickok (The Pen and the Gun), Errol Flynn (Egos and Idols)




How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
Since 1996, so 14 years.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
Got into fighting at the old Ontario Renaissance Festival, which was my first paid acting job, straight out of High School.  Todd Campbell taught me my first parries, back in his long hair days.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had. 
So many!  Some of my favourites have to be the shenanigans I got up to with Tom Plott, a friend and Fight Director from Baltimore.  Flaming Quarterstaffs, Breakaway tables...

Favourite weapon (and why):
Favourite Weapon:  the human body.  I finally took up an actual martial art (Tai Chi Mantis style Kung Fu, specifically) and the more I learn about various unarmed styles, the more fascinated I become.  And the more I learn how little I actually know...

Favourite Fight film/play:
The Duellists-  Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel, Directed by Ridley Scott and Fight Direction by William Hobbs.  Beautiful examples of the various weapons and styles of Napoleonic era duelling.

Favourite famous fighter:
Jackie Chan- entertainment at it's best. Lots of people can do comedy or action.  Few can do both.

Role you wish you could have played:
The title role in Zastrozzi.  And will one day, hopefully!

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:

Scotch (neat) or any Belgian beer. And thanks!



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rehearsal Pics - THE PEN AND THE GUN

The Pen and the Gun
Written and directed by Daniel Levinson

Bat Masterson . . . . . . . .Stuart Constable
Wild Bill Hickok . . . . . Christopher Mott
David Tutt . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Robinson
Red . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Leaver
Blackie . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Sironi
Tex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nathan Bitton

Bat Masterson and Wild Bill Hickok: two men on parallel paths of violence. Each is a mirror of what the other could have become. One lived by the pen and one died by the gun.

























Sign up for the Basic Stage Combat Workshop!

So you've read about some of our fighters (and there are many more to come, fear you not), seen the awesome trailer for the show and what these fighters can do.  Maybe, just maybe, you're now looking to do a little stage combat yourself?

Well fear not, my friends!  Your salvation is at hand:



It's time to sign up for Rapier Wit's Basic Stage Combat Workshop! (echo echo echo)

Yes, these glorious fighters weren't born that way, it took years of training and dedication.  So why not take the first step, and chose a career enhancing, body building, soul enriching workshop at Rapier Wit, Canada’s oldest stage combat school?  Our classes will help you become the dynamic actor you have always wanted to be.  Join a Rapier Wit class and start improving your physical acting technique immediately in a safe, supportive and fun environment!

Like with any skill you work your way through Basic, Intermediate and Advanced classes - learning to use a wide variety of weapons and fight techniques from around the world.

In Basic you are introduced to Single Sword, Quarterstaff, and of course the totally kick ass Un-armed.  You also learn how to look totally awesome doing it, and totally punched in the face.  Oh yes, there's a special technique for looking totally punched in the face.  After all, stage combat isn't just about learning how to kick ass, it's also learning how to look like your ass has been kicked :) .

And now here is your opportunity to try for your certification as a Basic Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada.


*Fight Directors Canada’s Certification Classes

Basic includes Single Sword, Quarter Staff and Unarmed

Tuesday and Thursday nights 6-10pm
January 18 – March 31
Exam on Sunday April 3

·       $1067.85 (includes HST) for members of FDC, Equity, Actra, and Rapier Wit
·       $1695 for non members

Certification includes exam training days, all paperwork, and adjudication fees.


A $100 non-refundable deposit is needed to hold a space. 
Payments may be made in instalments $100 per week.

All fees must be paid final class

*Dates and prices subject to change.
Class minimum is six and a maximum of ten students

Please e-mail or call for more information about FDC certification or course material.

For more information, or to book classes, please call Daniel Levinson at (416) 534-1947, or e-mail 
Daniel@rapierwit.com.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Scott Leaver

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.


Scott Leaver
Writer - TWO SWORDS
Roles in DUEL OF AGES:  Dancer (La Maupin), Red (The Pen and the Gun), Assistant (Two Swords), Stage Hand (Egos and Idols)



How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
Since high school.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
I was directing a show for the London Fringe Festival in 2000. It was a Commedia dell’ Arte show that required extensive slapstick combat and I knew it needed to look fantastic. I had to bring in some experts.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
It was the same Commedia show. The moment was during one of the performances. A woman in the audience stood up and cried out as one of the actors was hit by a shovel. This was quickly followed by the whole audience roaring after realizing it was intentional. That was the moment I knew we had done our job correctly.

Favourite weapon (and why):
The pen. 

Favourite Fight film/play:
Favourite good fight: Ridley Scott’s The Duelists. The final sabre fight where both men have been fighting so hard and long that they can barely breath as they continue to try to kill each other

Favourite bad fight: The infamous Star Trek episode where William Shatner is using his Kirk-Fu on some poor actor in a rubber lizard-man costume.

Favourite famous fighter:
Bruce Lee

Role you wish you could have played:
Since I was a kid, I have wished to be a guest on the original Muppet Show. Does that count?

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Beer.

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Our next performance! Bring your friends!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rehearsal Pics - LE COUP

Le Coup
by Denis McGrath
Directed by Dean Gabourie
Fight Directed by Kevin Robinson

A retelling of the famous Duel de Jarnac, said to be the last judicial duel in Europe and containing elements of the duel of chivalry, trial by combat and the duel of Honour. This celebrated sword and buckler duel also contained one of the most famous ‘Botta Segrettas”, the infamous ‘coup de Jarnac’.

Caizo . . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Mott
Jarnac . . . . . . . . . . . .Daniel Levinson
Châtaigneraye . . . . . Michael Dufays
Herald . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Robinson
King François I . . . . Stuart Constable






















Get To Know Your Fighters - Andrew MacMaster

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.


Andrew MacMaster
Roles in DUEL OF AGES:  D’Entragues (Le Duel des Mignions),  Davey (The Last Duel of Rob Roy), Roberts (The Pistoleers)



How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting? 
Since 1986 (Holy Crap! That's 24 years, almost 25!!!)

What got you interested in Stage Combat? 
Movies on a Sunday Afternoon = Errol Flynn's "Robin Hood" + Tyrone Power's "The Mark of Zorro" + Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Frank Finlay's "The Three Musketeers"

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had. 
Simon Fon and I created sword fight for either a fund raiser one of the FDC National workshops, or one of Simon's classes (Although we performed it at all three I think) and we decided to do an eye kill. Simon was brilliant, and the sound every time from every audience when the kill happened was brilliant! It ranged from the macho "Oh yeah", coupled with a nervous laugh to a frightened scream. What a pay off! Wouldn't think of trusting anyone else Simon!

Favourite weapon (and why): 
Swept Hilt Rapier - I'm a musketeer at heart

Favourite Fight film/play: 
Film: Has to be the 1973 version of "The Three Musketeers", hands down. 
Play: Toss up between Dreaming and Dueling for its impact at a very influential time in my life and Dangerous Liaisons for the combination of drama and sword!

Favourite famous fighter:
Tyrone Power
 
Role you wish you could have played: 
The Scarlet Pimpernel
 
Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages: 
Oban (if you're buying)





Monday, December 20, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Christian Feliciano

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.

Christian Feliciano
Roles in DUEL OF AGES:  Gentleman (La Maupin), Crazy Ninja Death Squad (One)



How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
I've been fighting for about 7 years now.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
My interest was sparked as soon as I had my first Stage Combat class in Theatre School. Being at the top of the class
(for once) for the Stage Combat unit, helped.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.

The most memorable fight for me is the first time we did La Maupin in 2007. During one of the shows our music cut out completely. For anyone who saw the show the first time around, you know that the music is uber important to both the timing of the fight AND dance, and the overall badassness of the scene. So having the music cut out pretty much at the beginning of the fight wasn't a fun surprise. And those of you who know me, you know I like surprises. Luckily I was in the presence of TRUE professionals. We took it in stride and STILL timed out perfectly. It was the most exciting and terrifying fight I've ever been a part of. That said, I don't actually wish to go through that again. 

Favourite weapon (and why):
Small Sword has to be my favorite weapon. I say that because it demands precision while fighting at break neck speeds. And who doesn't like precision and broken necks? I do!

Favourite Fight film/play:
It's hard to answer this one because there are so many good films and plays with amazing action. If forced to answer, (he says while Casey points a gun at his head) I'd probably have to say Pirates of the Caribbean. So much swash buckling and rum! :)

Favourite famous fighter:
They aren't actor combatants, but GSP (George St. Pierre) and Manny "Pacman" Paquiao are my favorite fighters. Is Will Smith's kid considered an actor now that he's done Karate Kid? If so, then Jackie Chan is my favorite.

Role you wish you could have played:
All roles that I haven't played yet are the roles I wish I could play. Deep.

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Spiced Rum and Tonic. Shut up, it's an amazing drink!

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Sometimes I like to plug my lamps into the wall. 




Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rehearsal Pics - TWO SWORDS

Two Swords 
by Scott Leaver
Directed by Rosanna Saracino

A Japanese father instructs his son in the ways of honour in the last days of the samuari.

Cast:

Kyokutei . . . . . Michael Dufays
Gosuke . . . . . . .Olaf Sham
Officer . . . . . . . Simon Fon
Assistant . . . . . Scott Leaver




















Friday, December 17, 2010

Check Out Our Postcard Art!

So we have our official postcard art!  It was a fun photoshoot, raiding Daniel Levinson's armory (at Rapier Wit) and lying out the weapons in all their glory in different patterns to find the most effective image for our purposes.  And then climbing a very tall ladder to take the aerial shot.

And here's the end result:






Here too were the ones that didn't quite make the cut (heh, "cut", funny . . . 'cause it's also something fighter-y) but have their own kind of awesome:






Get To Know Your Fighters - Casey Hudecki

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.


Casey Hudecki
Producer of DUEL OF AGES
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Maupin (La Maupin), Crazy Ninja Death Squad (One)




How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
I caught the fight bug at the tender age of sixteen... though I guess I wasn't THAT tender, even then :) So I've been teaching, performing and directing for thirteen years... don't do the math.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
I was doing a show called Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and I had to sword fight as Mercutio and Desdemona. Dan Levinson came in to fight direct and I loved it so much in the next three months I had already gone through and passed my Basic Certification Level. I never stopped. I love physical storytelling, and fight scenes, for me, cut to the very heart of characters - how do they face death and pain? What lengths will they go to to survive?

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
There are so many. Those moments when everything goes wrong (as everything invariably tends to do) but you stay connected with your partner(s). It's like any scene - if someone flubs a line, or misses an entrance - the energy of the actors just goes on overdrive as you work to keep the story moving. When that happens in a fight - it's the same thing only of course there's the potential for real danger - so when you overcome it the feeling is epic. This has happened twice in La Maupin (which you guys will see in the show) once I actually disarmed one of the guys while all three were fighting me, and I found an opening to pick up his sword, hand it back to him, we saluted, and then all picked up the fight at the same moment - and still timed out with the music! It was awesome. And in 2007 at the Fringe, in the same scene, the music cut out early on. All six dancers, we four fighters and the lady just kept it going and we had done it so many times that we were able to still, without any musical landmarks, finish the fight with no dancers stabbed and with the audience totally unaware. It could have been ugly.

Favourite weapon (and why):
Everyone will say I love the smallsword best, and yes, the smallsword and I have a deep and meaningful relationship. It's so pretty, and so devastating. But I also have a two handed longsword, named Zornhau, and sometimes I just need to get in touch with that primal, low, full body weapon style. Feels good. There's nothing wrong with having it out hand to hand either, something so pure about that.

Favourite Fight film/play:
I really love the fight in Rob Roy - Colichemarde vs. basket hilted broadsword - watching those two different weapon styles go at each other is fascinating. And the way Tim Roth moves in that fight.... well... yeah, it's really good.

Favourite famous fighter:
I grew up watching Harrison Ford - he plays the 'ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances' (to steal a phrase from the Legend, Anthony Delongis) so well. I loved the original (as opposed to the CGI animation the "Crystal Skull) Indiana Jones movies because when he gets hit, he gets HURT - and he just keeps trying. He's human, but he's fighting. And then there's Jet Li (So beautiful to watch!). And Jackie Chan (King of selling wounds! and Ingenuity).

Role you wish you could have played:
I really wanted to be Eowyn... but... yeah

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Belgian Beer! Preferably Leffe Blonde... Barring that, Rickards Red, or a Heineken (only in the bottle), gin and tonic if it were the summer, but in the winter Red Wine (Shiraz, preferably Long Flat) ...but I"m not picky. :)  And if Todd Campbell doesn't answer this question - he likes Rickards White/Blanche de Chambly - with an Orange. Lots of it!

Anything else you'd like to plug:

If you like what we do, come get some training! Classes at Rapier Wit, or with me? Contact me through www.caseyhudecki.com Enjoy the Show!!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get To Know Your Fighters - Simon Fon

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.


Simon Fon
Fight Director/Martial Arts Adviser for DUEL OF AGES
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Gentleman (La Maupin), Officer (Two Swords), Big Bad (One)




How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
25 years

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
I was really good at it at a time in my life when other things were not going so well.  Fencing as well.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
I'm pretty proud of our award winning fight WANTED.

Favourite weapon (and why):
Escrima sticks.  Nasty and quick.

Favourite Fight film/play:
Film - IP MAN  
Play - Zastrozzi

Favourite famous fighter:  
Donnie Yen

Role you wish you could have played: 
Anything opposite Donnie Yen or Gary Oldman

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in DUEL OF AGES:
25 year old OBAN single malt scotch.....double please.

Anything else you'd like to plug?



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WE HAVE A TRAILER!

The official trailer for DUEL OF AGES is here!

Check it out:


Get To Know Your Fighters - Daniel Levinson

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES.  Because, as we all know, knowledge is power.  As is the ability to kick ass.

Daniel Levinson
Writer/Director/Fight Director for DUEL OF AGES
ROLE in DUEL OF AGES:  Jarnac (Le Coup)



How long have you been fighting.  Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
 I first took training in 1988 and began to work for myself in 1991.
 
What got you interested in Stage Combat?
 I had no idea I was going to be making stage combat my life.  I took it in school with the rest of my class but when I graduated I thought I would do it on the side. Very quickly I realized that I really liked the story telling and the problem solving.  I was getting calls from people who liked how I worked and how I made them feel about performing fights.
 
Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
 I remember putting together a sixteen person fight where the weapons were really pole arms and the whole action took place on the very front of a stage that had its curtain closed to hide the set.  With very little room but tremendous acting the performers made the audience feel like they were watching hundreds of people trying to drive each other's army off the field.  It was a really amazing moment.
 
Favourite weapon (and why):
 The one in my hand and the next one I am going to pick up.
 
Favourite Fight film/play:
 I always loved the three and four musketeers with Oliver Reed and the Ray Harryhausen films.  Oh and the Quiet Man with John Wayne. 

Favourite famous fighter:
 Todd Campbell
 
Role you wish you could have played:
I'll let you know later.
 
Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
 It is an amusing little cocktail called tickets for the next show.

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Rapier WitCanada's oldest stage combat school and production company.  We have basic classes starting January 18 and run till March as well as an intensive in June running 12 to 26.