Thursday, April 30, 2009


Look what happens when you do a Google Video search for "Stage Combat Colorado." Who do you think shows up top of the list? Yup, that's right, the MSCD Stage Combat Club podcast. And you only have to scroll down a little way to see the D&D Day one. Nice.

We're on J!nx again!

Another one of our cute Stage Combat poses has been posted by the folks at J! to celebrate their deliciously geeky products. Check it here. If you want to buy any of their wonderful stuff, use the small, tasteful banner in the upper left corner of this blog. It'll send a message to them saying "bonzuko sent me" and we'll all get rewarded with good things. ~Jenn

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Movement pic

It's time to dig into the movement image archives...hmmmm what do we have here? Ah!

I know a sledgehammer isn't the first weapon one thinks of when one thinks of a ninja, but a sometime-member of the Stage Combat Club (Aaron) had this realistic-looking-yet-light-plastic version that was as delightful as a rubber chicken. So a ninja will use any weapon at hand. Image: Aaron begging for mercy, Jenn as ninja bringing the hammer down. From MSCD Stage Combat Club 2009. Doesn't it make you want to join?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Depp + Burton + Carroll = dark goodness

Kinda like dark chocolate. Continuing in the Alice-in-Wonderland-is-haunting-Jenn vein, here's a picture of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Apparently Burton's upcoming Alice will be in 3-D, and, well, if you've seen any of his flicks you'll be happy to hear the pithy puzzling weirdness of Lewis Carroll's world will marry well with Burton's Goth-like celebrations. Here's an article from the LA Times from a while back where Burton discusses Alice. My favorite quote:

With "Alice in Wonderland," the defining pop-culture version of the story for modern American audiences is the 1951 Disney animated adaptation with its little blond Alice in her blue dress with white pinafore. That film was met with acidic reviews by the literary world (especially in England) for its bland and blunted vision of the Carroll classic. Burton is not a fan of the film, either, and, as with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," it appears his mission is to reclaim a children's classic, resharpen its edges and remind everyone that sapping the weirdness out of a tale often renders it flat and forgettable.


Alice in Wonderland

This YouTube clip surfaced once in Children's Lit---during the Student Presentation, one student was taken by this and shared it with the class. This week was Alice in Wonderland week again in Children's Lit, as well as rehearsal week for the cast of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast. I guess this amazing piece of literature is weighing on my mind, this creative music video in particular. Enjoy, lovely lurkers. ~Jenn

Event info: Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast
What: a theatrical piece based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by last semester's Theatre Ensemble class
When: Sat., May 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm
Where: ARTS 271 on the Auraria Campus
$: none. Canned food donation requested.

Image is Arthur Rackham's interpretation of the Caucus Race. Jenn pirated it from somewhere or other.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Highlights From Friday

How to begin, how to choose from so many great pictures? Friday's belt test at the Boulder Quest Center was 1) enormous, and 2) exciting as all get-out. Remember recently when I wrote about what must have been the biggest test ever? Yeah, no. This one was huge! Highlights from the evening included:

  • a million billion White/Yellow students getting promoted. Earth Power!
  • So nice to see Ian and the Santa Fe (wait, is that where they live?) crew back again. Those guys are so good to work with, and we're all glad Ian will be local soon!
  • Kim's demo went very well, with Bonzuko's own Jenn as uke. Ukemi extraordinaire!
  • Back-to-back free response! This was Jenn's favorite part!

Images from the event: Jenn kneeling on a guy's kidney (Ian, we think) and Kim facilitating Jenn's air break fall. A fun time was had by all.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fight Clip Club

Another group wall-fall. Also funny. Also from the MSCD Stage Combat Club April 25th. Enjoy.

Random Latin

ex libris
- from the library of; used for bookplates.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

MSCD Stage Combat Club April

The next podcast the MSCD Stage Combat Club is concocting will be focused on jumps, falls, and rolls. We took a bunch of footage today for said podcast, and one clip in particular continues to make me chortle out loud. I'm not even sure why I find it hilarious, I just do. I hereby share this clip with you, lovely lurkers: I hope you get a laugh from it as I do. Oh, there is one barely-audible mild swear word which may be NSFW or little ones. ~Jenn

Spring Fling Part Two: Wednesday

Wednesday the MSCD Stage Combat club had an electrical connection and a TV playing some old performances from past classes and events. And Lego ninjas. When are they not appropriate table dressing? Before you answer that, know that Team Bonzuko had Lego pirates and ninjas adorning their wedding cake. Here are a couple images from Wednesday: the view of the Spring Fling Scene from the table, and the Legos. Apparently they are susceptible to wind, says Nick. I guess they don't have green belts yet? :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fall Clip Club

Wednesday, the Mythbusters tested the old banana-peel slip gag. Much actual falling (in padded equipment, thankfully) ensued. Since we at Bonzuko are constantly talking about the importance of knowing how to fall, this video can show you the mechanics of falling. Plus, it's fun.

Mythbusters Banana Peel Highlights

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shakespeare's birthday

In honor of Shakespeare's birthday today, I give you three images of me in some interesting costumes. FYI: I had a quick change from the Hippolyta outfit into the fluorescent-green fairy outfit, which was a challenge. If only because of singing in two layers of corseting.

To close, Shakespeare's friend Ben Jonson's elegy of him:

I loved the man, and do honour his memory (on this side Idolatry) as much as any. He was (indeed) honest, and of an open and free nature: had an excellent Phantsie; brave notions, and gentle expressions: wherein he flowed with that facility, that sometime it was necessary he should be stopped:…His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. …There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned.

God bless Craig Ferguson for praising amateur productions of Shakespeare tonight. I so agree with his story of what an audience actually watches. ~Jenn

Images: Jenn as Peaseblosssom from 1996, Hippolyta and Moth from 2002.

MSCD Spring Fling Part One: Thursday

Yes, Part One is Thursday and Part Two will be Wednesday. So I can go back in time. Maybe I'm a Time Lord. Well, I like jelly babies anyway...

Thursday was quite fun, as we guarded our ninja stars with our lives, passed out more flyers, got nearly sunburned, and posed for some interesting pictures involving fake throat cutting and Lego ninjas vs. wrestlers. And the sunburns were the deadliest things of all.
Images from Thursday. Nate, Nick, and me. Stay tuned for Part Two. ~Jenn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



"Contraception is not only controversial, it is also conversational." - JAS


Earth Day

When was the last time we at Bonzuko wrote about not driving? Ah yes, it was Bike-to-Work day last summer. Well, today is Earth Day, when folks across America spend a moment to think about what they can do to improve the environment.

The Bonzuko hombu has done a couple things lately to be "greener"--using our wonderful computers and phones to explore non-paper ways of doing school and business. We brew our own beer, which way cuts down on our recycling-of-cans/bottles output.

But the main green thing we do here is something we've done since we met (and Jenn has done all her life): we don't drive, nor do we own a car.
Consider these questions for a moment today on Earth Day: what would your commute be like without your car? Where would you work if you had no car? What time would you have to have left your house today if you weren't driving to your destination? How much gasoline do you think you'll burn today? When was the last time you walked two blocks (a machine inside a gym doesn't really count)? Four blocks? A mile? What would you need to carry with you if you had no car today? How far can you carry five bags of groceries before you drop them? What kinds of errands would you be able to run today if you had no car, and how much time would it take you? How much will you pay in car insurance and parking this month, and what would you do with that money if you had it back?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday's Exciting Event

It's that time again--time for folks at the Boulder Quest Center to test for their next belts, demo it up, and uke for each other. This is a party not to be missed!

This month, there should be a few exciting demos happening (tentatively some from Bonzuko's own Jenn, but don't quote her on that), and lots of folks testing for their next belt rank. And potluck after. Fun stuff.

Here's the rundown:

Boulder Quest Center Test Nite
Tiny Chitlins: 5pm
Bigger Chitlins and Adults: 6pm
Potluck after. Maps and other info here.

Be there or be a trapezoid! Image from last month's test: Jane is very bendy.

Stunts are Dangerous.

This from the Boston Herald:

Flame on for Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris had a very close call with a tuxedo that caught on fire while rehearsing his hosting gig for the TV Land Awards the other night. E! Online reported that while the “How I Met Your Mother” star practiced a stunt with remote packs secured to his back to emanate a cloud of smoke, the apparatus ignited while Harris tried to change from his “Survivor” island-dweller rags into the tux. Thankfully, Harris was not hurt too badly. “He just had some welts on his back,” said a spy. “He didn’t have to be taken to a hospital or anything like that.”

This is also why squibs are so dangerous: having a structure that fires or smokes or something similar strapped so closely to the body can really mess you up if, okay, when it misfires. We are glad Harris didn't have to go to Doogie Howser but is okay.

Hm, dare we nominate this for the 2010 IGAGI Awards?
(see link above for quote and image credit)

Monday, April 20, 2009



"Cheating on an halitosis test is practically impossible."


This Week in Stage Combat

Spring Fling is happening this week at Denver's Auraria campus--tables and booths will abound all over the quads, with foods and goods for sale as well as all manner of school groups showing off their stuff. It's a way to be festive and let loose a little as the semester winds to a close and the weather starts to make us not want to be in a classroom.

The MSCD Stage Combat Club of Auraria will be there, showing live demos, taped events, and showing off their new mascot. Wednesday go bug Nick and Nate, and on Thursday come throw a fake punch at them or Jenn. If you're interested in the club and just never got around to stopping by a meeting, this week's your chance to let us know. We'll be brewing summer and fall schedules the next few weeks as well, so do drop by.

Affiliated Events:
Summer 2009 Advanced Class: lightsabers!
The Club is on Facebook--check us out.
Fall 2009 Fundamentals class: basic unarmed and sword for college credit.
New swords as of Fall 2009!

Nick Bove freaking rocks for designing the club mascot: Parrot Punch!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random Latin

summa cum laude
- with highest praise.


Saturday, April 18, 2009



"Educated at Eton and heir to unlimited earnings, Eddie erred in estimating erroneous endeavors."


Test Highlight reel

The highlight film from March's test at the BQC has been put up--enjoy! ~Jenn

Image is from said test: Jenn and Keegan's magic floating glasses.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fight Clip Club

More from The Stunt People ( Flying and falling. And rolling. Get inspired for our next podcast, folks!

Stunt Training - 11/22/2008 - The Stunt People from Eric Jacobus on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fight Clip Club

Here's some stuntmen working on Discovery Channel's Time Warp. This is extra footage that didn't appear in the show itself.

Time Warp "Stuntmen" - Extended Action Footage via Flip Video from Eric Jacobus on Vimeo.

Sketch of the Day

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Editing Fights in Film

I came across this article about the evolution of how fight scenes are shot and presented in film. Please to enjoy. ~Jenn

The Evolution of the Fight Scene

Fight Clip Club

This is a current commercial, about a man and his friend on a boat. His friend begins to look like a peanut, and actual rapier-style swordplay ensues. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We have a winner!

The first annual IGAGI Awards are hereby concluded, and the winner is...

Dracula Stabbing!

The great ideas in this heinous stage combat debacle include:
1.) Using a real knife onstage. Why oh why do directors continue to think this is a good idea?
2.) All the legality issues. Weapons need to be registered with campus police, which they didn't do. They were legally employees of the scool at the time of the injury. Or not. But yeah, they were. Or were they volunteers? Etc.
3.) What the heck is Dracula doing getting killed with a bowie knife?? Don't you kill vampires with stakes, or sunlight? Isn't a knife incongruous to the storyline?

Even though this event happened more than ten years ago, it's worthy of the first of the IGAGI awards. Er, congratulations?

Flight Clip Club

No, it's not a typo. Since I have been working on clowning with the MSCD Stage Movement class, I have been looking at some of the best performances in this field lately. Bill Irwin is the master, of course, but then there's also Rowan Atkinson, especially his "Invisible Drum Kit."

And now my good friend Ricky posted this link in fb:

It's absolutely exquisite. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

MSCD Stage Combat Club Podcast

Technical difficulties notwithstanding, we had a great time Saturday watching the podcast bits we've done so far. There are two podcasts finished, one nearly so, and one in the works. Our first podcast is up in YouTube, and it's our disclaimer. The second is actually unexpected--we had so much fun on D&D day that we made an extra podcast involving swords and dice. The third I post here--it's actually our first real instructional one. I had technical difficulties and so the first part of it is silent still, but it should be fun to watch anyway. Once I overcome the technical issues, you'll see all three of these on YouTube as well. Here 'tis: it's about pushing and pulling and head slamming. The next one will be about jumping, falling, and rolling. The above image of Nate is a preview. ~Jenn

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One Day Left!

The final 2009 IGAGI awards will be announced in one day. Make your vote count in the poll to the left!

Random Latin

modus operandi
- manner of operating (M.O.)



On Saturday, the MSCD Stage Movement Class performed their second performance of the semester--the Clownlympics! It was a blast to see how they presented events using only movement and posture. The rules for the Clownlympics were as follows:
1) No speaking! (sound ok)
2) No props or costumes.
3) Make the event clear--we should be able to tell what's happening. Funny is a bonus.
4) It should be an event that clowns would perform at the Clown Olympics.

Highlights included:

  • a vivid obstacle course with clowns as athletes and obstacles
  • clown gangstas with appropriate hand signals
  • rebellious hurdles that want to get in the game
  • clowns trying to impress the girl
  • Jessica E.'s stellar (!) crucifix rolls

Good job, everyone--I can't wait till the Seuss finals! ~Jenn

Pictured: The Ornery Hurdles piece with coach, athlete, and cheerleader; tug-o'-war with the Star-Faced Clowns. Taken 4/11/09 in class.

Friday, April 10, 2009

For Those Who Plan on Attending the Lightsabers Class

Go here and bask in the glory. They're in stock, they're on sale. If you can do it, do it. If at all possible.

Saturday's Event

The MSCD Stage Combat Club of Auraria is hosting a get-together to celebrate the launching of its first episode of the Stage Combat Podcast. We have the disclaimer already set up (here), and will be releasing the first episode here and to YouTube on Saturday!

Any Auraria campus student is welcome to join the club, and anyone at all is welcome to come celebrate our new public endeavor. And heck, if you show up, you might just be in the next podcast! Here are the details:

MSCD Stage Combat Club of Auraria Podcast Launch Party
Saturday, April 11, 2009
1-2:30ish pm
Tivoli, room 329 on campus
Image is of Jenn and Nick (instructor and President of the club) demonstrating the headslam technique and J!'s "I Fight Like a Girl" T-shirt. From the Advanced Stage Combat class, Summer 2008.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

D&D History

One of the co-creators of Dungeons & Dragons died Tuesday--roll up a character in honor of him and the game. Read the article about it here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Random Movement Pic

Going to the file folder now...drumroll around in the file....oo, got one! Ta-da! And it's...A picture from my piece of 365 Days / 365 Plays back in 2007 when MSCD did a week out of it in August. My "short play" was almost exclusively movement-oriented, and so was right up my alley. The actors had to crawl the length of the quad, on the sides of which were the other plays. An audience member would walk down the sidewalk, and then stop at each play in a row. My crawlers/rollers moved down the line in tandem with the audience, and did their focused bit there on the grass when it was time. It was a neat venue for this sort of thing--the backdrops being Victorian houses and grass. The audience moving from play to play was neat too--like walking through an art gallery. OMG, does that mean I've done performance art?? :)

MSCD actors: if you recognize yourself in this picture, comment here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ninja Sketch of the Day

Time for another sketch! This one's called "Kunoichi," which is the Japanese term for a female ninja. Enjoy! ~Jenn

Monday, April 6, 2009

IGAGI Awards

Okay, lovely lurkers: since there's a three-way tie in our voter's poll, you get one more week to vote on who is the biggest epic fail in Stage Combat. Come on, don't make us make an executive decision--make your opinion count!

SKH at the BQC

What a pleasure it was once again to take a martial arts seminar from Stephen K. Hayes yesterday here in Boulder! The one-day seminar, hosted by the Boulder Quest Center, was a pleasing mix of several different interesting facets of ninja training. I promise I won't blog about the meditation and make it sound ridiculous (those at the seminar will remember his story about that). :) What I will do is give you lovely lurkers the highlights:
  • Multiple-people scenarios. So many times in the dojo one works with just one partner. These scenarios (two attackers, one defender; two friends, one bad guy) helped to envision how these effective techniques can work when there's more than two to tango.
  • Kevin-san demonstrates his bojutsu prowess (pictured) and is rewarded with promotion to shoden level weapons proficiency.
  • Meditation on saying the right words, also changing the ending of a memory in a powerful way. Don't worry, An-shu, that's all I'm saying about it!
  • Bonzuko's own Jenn gets to uke for Mr. Hayes himself! It's an honor to be tossed to the floor by a master such as him.
  • But what stuck out most of all to me was the swordplay. Especially because the theme of using a lethal weapon non-lethally is just what has been recently on the mind and blog-posts of Daily-Cross-Swords. See here. Can you use a sword in defense, without cutting or killing? We learned a couple ways to do so. What timing, as Mr. Hayes said!

All in all, it was a great experience and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thanks again, Mr. Hayes, for coming out to Boulder! Stay tuned, lovely lurkers, for more pictures as they come in. ~Jenn

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fight Clip Club

From Big Trouble in Little China. Kung fu goodness. Breaking bones. Put a board behind the head of a guy, knee him in the face, break the board. Ah, good stuff...

These are the very Mortal Kombat-like "Three Storms."
Thanks to for the image.

Random Latin

id est
- that is. The familiar (i.e.) meaning to explain in more detail.


Saturday, April 4, 2009


"There is no talking stick, but there is a shut up shoe."
- Charlie, Two and a Half Men

Fight Clip Club

These are two scenes from two different stage clown shows starring brilliant master clown Bill Irwin (and also David Shiner). Just know that he can really do this--I took a class from Irwin back in the day wherein he taught us the hat tricks and especially the "clown boogie," and it ain't easy. An absolute master of movement. I can't even tell you how much I admire the talent here. And MSCD Stage Movement students, take note: this is the epitome of what we're doing in class the next couple of weeks. :) ~Jenn

Image is from the Daily Camera back in the day. Proof that I indeed took a class from Bill Irwin! Look! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

One More Day!

The IGAGI Awards poll will close at the end of today, so vote now! Break that three-way tie!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stage Combat Club March

The MSCD Stage Combat club spent most of March taking footage for our upcoming regular podcast! A launch party for said podcast will take place April 11th, during our normal club time (1-2pm). I don't remember what room we're in, but we're in the Tivoli on the Auraria campus.

Here's a clip from our footage fun times, for your amusement:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Diviners Movement

So I went and helped out with the MSCD production of The Diviners yesterday--colleague Jay asked for help with the drowning scene. Remember way back last May when I ranted here about how you should never have slow-motion fights onstage? Well...

Okay, for one thing, this wasn't a fight but a drowning scene. For another thing, the slow-motion bits were choreographed to happen only when the character(s) were underwater. This is one instance where the slow-motion not only looks cool, but is actually the strongest choice for the scene. It even makes sense! I mean, you do basically move in slow motion when you're underwater, don't you?

And it was Brian K. and Ben C. as the two mime-swimmers, so of course it's looking way awesome. Those two are both quite talented physical actors. One basic movement thing that added to the illusion: keeping the arms up. For some reason, it added to the floaty imagery, and took away any betraying solidity in the actors' movements.

Closing note: it's really hard to do a slow-motion back roll with no hands! Also hard to do a complete crouch-to-stand-and-back-again on one foot!

(sorry no images--I'm sure there's some rights issues or something.) :)