An Awfully Shaky Sword: I'm Too Old For This...

A great man once said, "I'm too old for this ..(expletive deleted to maintain family friendly atmosphere).." That man was Roger Murtaugh. The fact that he is a fictional character created and portrayed by Danny Glover (my brother from another mother) does not lessen the veracity of that statement. I AM too old for this stuff. Many of us are too old for many things. You may be too old to have a MySpace profile (not you, Mom, you're perfectly young enough). Perhaps you're too old for your car (really, fellas, a Maserati at 72?). In my case I may be a little too old to be learning new tricks. At least tricks with a sword.Swordplay (particularly the pre-choreographed, stage and screen kind) relies on confidence. Right now, I am not very confident with my swordplay. It's been a long time (somewhere around four years) since I've even picked up a sword. I'm clumsy, a little skittish, and probably pretty dangerous to be around (but not in the cool deadly way, just in the I might accidentally put your eye out way).

The good news is, I have three of the very best teachers an actor could ask for, and a good base of knowledge about stage combat to reclaim. I used to know how to fight, and I haven't really forgotten it. It's all there, deep in the muscle memory, I just have to root it out.

This morning I also got to break out another set of skills that haven't been used in a while. These I feel infinitely more confident with. I used to be a pretty good actor. I still am. I got my first real scene work today (up until now, it's been all blocking and bull whip practice) and I rocked. It was a lot of fun to be walking the boards again. Making choices, seeing opportunities for moments, getting a couple of laughs. If there was ever anything that felt like riding a bike (just get back on, and it all comes rushing back to you) for me, this is it.

So, let's recap: Joel the actor is in full effect. Ready, willing and able. Joel the fighter is on his way, but it's a long road 'tween here and there.