Well-Rounded Role Models

In thinking about how we can promote positive, healthy masculinity, if we don’t want to raise sons who think that all art/film/literature began in the 21st century it’s worth thinking about what classics exist that already promote positive (masculine) identity. Brit Marling’s recent critique of film tropes and Ross Douthat’s piece from last year in…

The Best Money I Never Spent

I have a confession to make: I use a flip-phone. Not sometimes, as a break from my smartphone, not as a statement of fashion, but every day, as my phone. I’m probably not the typical non-smartphone user: I’m 34 years old, I first got a Facebook account while in college (though I rarely use it)…

How Opportunities Arise

When I was in eighth grade, I (along with about seven other students) took Geometry (and at a local high school first thing in the morning, then bused back to our school, where we’d wait in a windowless room (and ostensibly do homework, though I remember one kid playing with a lighter, and us mostly…

Reading and Reputation

If you’re like me, there are books that you enjoy having on your shelf because other people may think you’re smart/deep for having read them, and others that you don’t read in public (or hide the titles if you do) because they don’t fit with the image you try to project. Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch…

December 2019 Stage Combat Opportunities

I’m teaching two stage combat workshops in December: 1. Disarms: Disarms are a great way to end a fight without death or injury, but introduce their own risks due to changes in distance and potentially flying weapons. We’ll cover techniques for disarming swords, knives, and blunt objects ranging from the flashy (but unrealistic) to martially…

Growth and Reconciliation

I’ve fallen behind on these posts (and on my reading) again. It’s hard to sustain setting aside time for such development when there are immediate demands (including a few stage combat gigs, thankfully!), but I believe it’s important. Important for me, personally, to keep growing through this particular challenge that I set out for myself…

Institutions and Evil

What do we do when we believe that people we disagree with are not only misguided, but evil, and a threat to our society, values, or even the world? If we believe that the depth of the threat excuses actions we would otherwise condemn (e.g., violence, humiliation, theft, separation of families), we are confronted with…

July 2019 Stage Combat Opportunities

I’m teaching two stage combat workshops this month: 1. Moving like a Master: Brief intro/review of the basic attacks and parries with a sword, learn a simple sequence, then work on how to add physicality and nuances that convey different levels of skill/background. No experience necessary, some prior exposure to stage combat and familiarity with…

Weapons in Shakespeare: 2019

To promote this summer’s Ithaca Shakespeare shows, I wrote the following piece trying to share some context on the weapons we use on stage.   One of the innovations of Renaissance drama was the recognition that scenes of physical conflict can convey a character’s virtues, foibles, or identity more vividly than words alone. In ancient…