So after my very wordy post from Friday, I figured a nice video would be a good break on a Saturday. In my post yesterday, I mentioned that in my senior year medieval festival I played "Bobo", a depressed drunken jester. At that same event, I fought on the chessboard against the gypsy Nicu (aka my friend Tom). If you want to just watch the video, go ahead, if you want to know a bit more back story, just read below.
I didn't fight on the chessboard my freshman year, something that I regret now. I had done boffer fighting a bit, but it didn't catch my interest, and I thought that stage combat would be similar. I was ON the chessboard and participated in the melee at the end (mostly shouting nonsense and trying to kick my friend Zach), but that was it.
Sophomore year I was required to fight. I had the final (winning) fight against Tom; pirate whore against gallant knight. I threw myself into learning stage combat 100%. Sure, I thought it was something I wouldn't enjoy, but if I was going to do the damn thing I was going to do it RIGHT.
I LOVED IT. It had the violence and deadly grace of martial arts with the choreography and showmanship of dance...my two biggest hobbies back in high school. And I was so lucky to have Tom as my fight partner, someone else who was experienced in sparring, not afraid to take a hit and willing to put in the crazy amount of extra hours of practice we did. In my three remaining years of college medieval reenactment, I always fought him (although one year I fought him AND my friend Elysse, a video and story I will probably post later this month). The video above is actually from my least favorite fight of ours, but since I was just talking about my character from that year, I thought this would be a nice transition.
For people who haven't done stage combat before, a lot of it comes down to trust (well, probably 2 parts insanity and 3 parts trust). In the video above, at about 2:30 in, Tom swings his shield mere inches from my face two times in quick succession. In a bar fight we did the year before he lifted me up by the throat and slammed me into a table. Sure, we did get scraped up quite a bit over the years, but I never felt like I was in danger and I was always having fun.
For this fight in particular it was a bit of a challenge for us. Neither of our characters should really know how to fight, so we were trying to fight but also look like we didn't know how to fight. It was a very odd experience. Plus, to add humor and to fit my character I was supposed to be getting progressively drunker as the fight went on. I think my favorite part of the fight is actually all the stuff that happens once we get rid of the swords: me hitting him with the flask, him slapping/punching me, our dialogue.
It is a dream of mine to do reenactment again, and largely because I want to do stage combat again. I have two lovely stage combat swords just aching to be used. I know for a fact that if Tom lived closer we would probably choreograph random fights for the hell of it, but alas. Hopefully next year I will be able to fit working in a Renn Faire in my schedule and will have more insane stage combat stories to write about.