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  • 5 Ways Stage Combat Enhances Acting

    Jared Kirby is a fight director, fencing instructor, and choreographer of stage and screen fights across the globe. He leads workshops and seminars focusing on stage combat and storytelling in NYC.
    Where does stage combat fit into an actor’s overall learning? With more training, people will understand how these things can be brought into a show. These are not things an actor necessarily needs to learn, any more than 18th-century period costumes or dialects. It’s a tool in the arsenal. The training actors should really be focused on is how to make the violence both realistic and safe. You don’t do anything that’s not safe.
    How do actors benefit from combat training?When you get into any physical art form, whether it be dance or martial arts or any physicalization of art, you end up becoming much more physically aware of what your body expresses. Training in stage combat will ground an actor in a different way; you’ll start to understand why this person has presence and you don’t. That person is evenly weighted 50-50 on their feet, while you’re cocked over on one hip. A little weight shift like that tells a completely different story to an audience.
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