I am Amanda and this is my blog. 😀
So if you have never read my blog before (or spoken to me for like 5 seconds) then you won’t know this but I actually have two loves: the arts (as I struggle along to try to be an actor lol) and sports (but mostly baseball). In June I discovered the perfect marrying of the two: stage combat.
In order to not confuse a lot of people stage combat (learning how to safely and effectively fight for the stage) is an art and in order to make it look the most effective takes a TON of time and effort…and if you don’t believe me then pass by Rapier Wit sometime and see for yourself.
But back to my story, I decided this year, after completing my theatre program in university (YAY!) that I would begin certification to be an actor-combatant (which is a really cool title 😀 ). I decided, probably because I am crazy, that I wanted to do my basic certification in two weeks as part of the intensive rather then spread out over months…and thus began one of the hardest things I have accomplished yet.
I spent six days a week for two weeks training in basic unarmed techniques (taught by Casey Hudecki), single sword (taught by Ian Rose) and Quarterstaff (Taught by Daniel Levinson). Our day started at 8:30am for warmup, and usually ended at 6:00pm (unless we stayed for extra rehearsal in which case it ended whenever we got kicked out…but my body usually forced me to begin my journey home at 8 the latest). Basically you are working out from 9-6 and I have never loved life more.
When I arrived the first day I was nervous…it has been four years since I did any really strenuous physical activity due to the ms but since December when I was able to stop using my walker I have been getting the feeling back in most of my legs and my hips, so I thought I would be ok. I began training, and got through the first day only feeling a little exhausted. Day 2 was rough, my legs were very angry at me for not staying home like they wanted me too, but I had something to prove to myself. Throughout these two weeks I accomplished things I literally thought I would not be able to…I kept up to my classmates and excelled at most things (although my footwork was atrocious because I still can’t feel parts of my feet lol).
I began to feel like my old self, pre-ms Amanda, and she was glad to be back. During the first week I was very emotional, outside of class obviously, but not because I was sad, I was so happy and proud…I feel as though the more into remission I get, and the more time tysabri buys me to stay in remission, the more I feel like I am getting my life back. There was a moment when I was speaking with Daniel Levinson (who also runs Rapier Wit and is a fight master …making him the most kick-ass man ever lol) and I said “thanks for letting me re-live my glory days”, and he said “what are you talking about? You’re living them right now” and he was right. Folks remission time has come. This is year 5 of living with ms. Year one was rough, year two was for healing, year 3 was for another giant relapse, year 4 was depression and trying not to let my anger take over and year 5 is sweet sweet remission, and it is the first time in 5 years I have been able to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes without my legs collapsing or the world spinning.
And so with all this momentum and good vibes, I was able to test AND pass!! I am now certified at the basic level as an actor-combatant… and it feels as good as the day I hit my first grand slam in baseball.
Now if you are wondering why there is video attached, well you didn’t think I would blab on without being able to show you why you should definitely be a kick-ass actor combatant too did you?
The following fights come with a disclaimer:
- Don’t watch these if you are faint of heart
- Don’t try this at home (seriously, you will get hurt)
All fights were performed at Rapier Wit. The unarmed fight was choreographed by Casey Hudecki, the sword fight was choreographed by Ian Rose and the Quarterstaff fight was choreographed by Daniel Levinson. My sincere thanks to these people for all they do.
A final thank you goes to the people who were in the class, it was a fantastic bunch and I thank you for all the laughs and the hugs. We did it! 😀
Well that’s all from me for now. Enjoy the videos and Tune in next time to hear about the fringe show I am stage managing! 😀