In the last edition of The Cutting Edge I provided tips for locating fight-specific scenes. Now let’s narrow our search from the vast quantity of scenes to a playing field of only the best quality. For a Skills Proficiency Test (SPT), choreography comes first to ensure that the proper techniques are included within the fight. Following these lessons in technique and choreography, the scene selection process begins. In a traditional acting class, the scene selection occurs first and is followed by the explored action. So even though the cart may be before the horse, as it were, with an SPT, it doesn’t mean that it won’t help in actor training. In fact, a result of dealing with different kinds of training obstacles could be a great tool in providing new opportunities for growth for an actor. Still, there are frustrations that must be overcome in reversing the order. The best way to reduce this frustration is to locate strong scenes for acting. After all, we are working towards the title of Actor/Combatant. When choosing a fight scene for a skills test consider the following to ensure that your work will have the necessary elements to excelas both an Actor and Combatant. Acting One by Robert Cohen is a great starting point that provides solid baseline criteria for selecting acting scenes.
Burns, T. Fulton. “Fighting the Elements: Determining the Best Scenes for Skills Proficiency Tests,” The Cutting Edge, vol 19, no. 6, 2008, pp. 6-7.