2018 National Stage Combat Workshop
2018 Benenson Award Winner George Lucas
I used the funds provided by my 2018 Benenson Award to pay for the tuition required to attend the 2018 National Stage Combat Workshop put on by the Society of American Fight Directors in Ruston, Louisiana. For three weeks, I trained with their expert fight masters and support staff alongside around forty others seeking to learn more about the art of stage combat. With broadswords, rapiers and daggers, and with our bare hands, we learned to create and use drama and intention to bring scenes to life using some of the most compelling techniques brought to bear on theater or film. I had the opportunity to learn other weapons styles and acting strategies throughout the duration of the workshop, but became certified as an actor combatant in the three styles I listed at the top of this report. This will allow me to pursue further certifications in weaponry that serve to set me apart as an actor in a highly competitive artistic field, and for that I will always be grateful. The instruction went far deeper than simply teaching us how to wield our weapons, touching on the history of armed combat, examples of famous actors and teachers that continue the traditions, and more than a few ways of using what we were taught to inform all sorts of other acting skills. Furthermore, the spirit of the people involved at the workshop was nothing short of inspirational. The vast majority of people I came into contact with were deeply passionate and possessed skills that make them the highest form of unique, not only coveted for what they can (now) bring to the stage but easily valued as figures of energetic determination to improve and spread their teachings and mindset.