Fight Designer Sole Proprietor Kevin Inouye is a Certified Teacher and Theatrical Firearms Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors, an Assistant Professor of Acting, holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy, and can offer SAFD certificate courses or stand-alone workshops in a variety of topics. He literally wrote the book on Theatrical Firearms, available through Focal Press or on Amazon and elsewhere. He has taught a variety of ages and stage combat/stunt subjects (as well as acting), including theatrical swordplay, movie fights, prop weaponry for film, and general introduction to stage combat, from ages eight to adult, from large classes to private lessons.
Kevin's specialty is helping actors to better interact physically, whether that be with each other, with their props, or even with their own bodies.
International Paddy Crean Workshops, 2015-2019
UWYO Stage Combat Workshops: University of Wyoming, 2015-2018
ACTF Region VII: Rhythmic Rumble: The Beat-down's Beat and Physical Partnering, 2015
Virginia Beach Bash @ Regent University (Assistant Coordinator 2014 & 2015)
Cease & Desist: Eastern Kentucky University, Spring 2014
Crawfish Broil: LA Tech University, Spring 2014
SETC 2014: Workshops in Pratfalls and in Playing the Body Fantastic: Portraying the extra- and non-human.
Sample Workshop offerings:
I am happy to offer intro, intermediate, or advanced classes in any of the SAFD standard disciplines of
Rapier & Dagger
Sword & Shield
…as well as the relatively new Theatrical Firearms workshop, a 2-day intensive culminating in a Certificate of Completion from the SAFD.
Some workshops do require specialized equipment that may not be standard at all SAFD regional workshops. In most cases I can provide equipment through Fight Designer, LLC given sufficient budget for checked bags, or a close enough workshop within driving range of Laramie, WY.
Rumble Rhythm: The Beat-Down’s Beat - Can be Beginning or Intermediate
Using a basic set of unarmed stage combat techniques, we will explore the use of rhythm in fight choreography and the storytelling of conflict. Both martially and theatrically, tempo and rhythm play a huge role in our experience of a fight scene. No prior experience necessary, but anyone unable to follow instruction safely may be asked to sit out.
Battle Rattle: Orchestrating War - Intermediate or Advanced
Using rhythm, vocalizations, and our full range or available live foley sounds, we’ll play with staging our epic Act IV battle with an eye –and an ear- towards the sound design experience for the audience. This class will require students to develop basic elements of their own choreography with sword & shield or other weapons, so please be honest when rating your abilities.
Intro to Firearms - Beginning
Basic introduction to firearms, including types and their function, ammunition and blanks, theatrical equivalents and their uses, and basic safe handling. Can include chance to fire some if there's budget for that.
Handgun disarms and Retention - Beginning
An introduction to drawing, holding, retaining, disarming, and counter-disarms. Great for anyone who ever hopes to play police, military, or other trained combatants in a modern story.
More Power, Less Work - Beginning
This will be art active class in how to make the best use of your body both when generating force
for direct effect (such as in unarmed or armed strikes) and for dramatic effect (to give the illusion of
force). Punch, wrestle, and whack like you really mean it - and like you really know how - without
over-reliance on arm strength. Make use of skeletal alignment, stance, core muscles, and other
keys to a solid [or believably solid-looking] hit.
Physical Partnering 101 – Open to all levels
How to be just the pain in the ass your partner needs to make them step up… and give them the perfect level of obstacle they didn’t realize they needed. From how hard to hit (answer: it depends) to the gift of play and the benefits of finding what you can really do instead of pretending to do, this class will help you go beyond being a nice partner… into being a GOOD partner.
-or the more acting-focused version:
Physical Partnering: A Tangible Exploration of Objective/Obstacle/Listening:
This will be a hands-on exploration on being a proper hands-on partner, as well as a tactile metaphor for our larger acting principles. Specific activities include a highly structured directly oppositional partnering exercise involving pushing/pulling and tactics therein, Meisner-based touch-response activity, and other active exploration of that fine line between making your partner feel safe and making them feel complacent. Observers are welcome, but participation will be a physical endeavor; movement clothes are ideal.
This workshop is an amalgam of lessons I use in acting classes, workshops I do with stage combat students, and more. It can help lay the groundwork for more physically engaged performance, while also connecting student's movement lessons with our foundational acting concepts of objective, obstacle, tactic, acting as reacting, etc. The techniques themselves can assist with devising blocking, slapstick comedy, etc., and to get actors who might be in a bit of a rut excited again about the potential in working with a scene partner.
Sentiment du Fer - Open to all levels
Speed up the transition from your stage weapon being an object in the band to an extension of
your body! A mix of theory and practice, this class will incorporate aspects of proprioception,
Stanislavski-based ideas of focus, chi/ki and other elements to help develop the feel of the steel, whatever your weapon may be.
Combat Psychology for Actors / Acting the Fight from an Inside-Out Perspective - Open to all levels
Through lecture and discussion (and perhaps a few sample explorations) we'll explore the
psychology of conflict, including social issues, effects of adrenaline, injury, PTSD and more. This
will be presented using the language of actors, and with an eye towards how this can inform our
choices as actor combatants and fight directors.
More Life in your Death Scenes - Open to all levels
A lesson in acting pain, fear, existential panic, and other elements of injury and death. Includes physiology, psychology, and a range of other sources of acting choices. To quote Samuel Goldwyn, “The scene is dull. Tell him to put more life into his dying.”
Falling For It – Beginner
Come as you are... we're all gravity's bitch when it comes to that big end-of-fight moment where you go to the ground. Whether new or wanting a refresher or an answer to specific challenges, we'll work on ways to get down, from the swoon to the splat, the ninja roll to the power-drop.
Chekhov's Rapier - Open to all levels
Using basic rapier choreography, we'll explore the acting lessons of Michael Chekhov as applied to stage combat. Bring a sense of beauty, ease, entirety and form to your fight!
Understanding the Quarterstaff Intermediate
This class has grown out of my desire to help the quarterstaff gain more respect; so much more
than the "Parry/Dodge/Spin/Ha!!" of Daffy Duck's Robin Hood, the quarterstaff is a deadly and
versatile weapon, Beyond the basic targets & parries, it's, important for us to understand the martial
logic of-the weapon - and that's just what we'll be exploring.
Grappling with Guns - Intermediate or Advanced
Whether wrestling over a live weapon, out of ammo, or searching for less-lethal alternative uses, the most exciting part of many dramatic gunfights is when the combatants enter grappling distance. We'll play with both handguns and long arms, learning disarms, takedowns, locks, chokes, arm bars, counters, all the grapply goodness you may or may not know and love... now with added firearms!
Learning the Ropes: Flexible Weapons - Intermediate or Advanced
Use of flexible weapons (and no, not your biceps!), either purpose made like the manriki-gusari or improvised weapons including chains, jackets, or belts. Learn how to strike, choke, bind, block, wrap, and otherwise make use of the momentum and flexibility of these objects.
Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Balisong - Open
Butterfly knives or Balisong knives are flashy and theatrical yet also highly functional. We’ll mostly play with a number of ways to flip them open and closed, then see if we can work those tricks into a short fight.
The Fight in the Dark - Open
Based on a popular Chinese Opera routine, this is a basic, highly theatrical comedic fight routine that works well as a Commedia del Arte lazzi or other slapstick style piece. Combat clowns come out & play!
The Combat Moulinet - Advanced
Moulinets can be, at face value, gratuitous flash - but they can also be a training tool in weapons
handling with immediate martial/stage application to fights. We'll explore different ways to
incorporate that motion in choreography to help your fights flow better, faster, and easier. We'll also
be making full use of the oft-neglected false edge cuts!
Axe and You Shall Receive - Advanced
Exploring the combative potential and choreographic joy of the axe, tomahawk, and similar hafted weapons
Broadsword for Non-Swingers - Intermediate
What do you do when your sword is long and wide but your stage isn't? There's lots of ways to use a broadsword besides hacking and slashing. Informed by equal parts historical Ringen am Schwert, sentiment du fer, and purely theatrical contact improv, this will have you getting up close & personal while armed.
Have Fight, Will Travel - Intermediate or Advanced
Sometimes you’re stuck fighting in a small box, and sometimes you get to think outside the box. We’ll play with sequences that move, whether working their way down the aisle of your proscenium or a part of a chase scene or wicked long dolly shot on film.
To inquire about booking Fight Designer for workshops or classes, email email@example.comOr use the website form to contact Kevin.