[Ansteorra] Coxcomb Academy Invades Gulf Wars

Henry Best fashoo at coxcomb.org
Fri Feb 1 05:59:06 PST 2002

Sound the trumpets! Bar the doors and windows! Sharpen your blades!
Hide your women! Bake extra custard. Fire the cannons! (They were
overpaid anyway.) Cry Hiccup and let slip the Fools of WAR!!!

The Coxcomb Academy of the Performing Arts, a Pennsic institution
for five years, is invading Gulf Wars. The fine folks at the Middle
Eastern pavilion have made an offer of classroom space and we have
taken the opportunity to expand into a new venue.

	So for three hours every day, Coxcomb will offer classes on
the variety performing arts. We have old classes, honed thru time and
practice to a razor sharpness, yet never seen among the Gulf War
kingdoms. We have fresh, new, experimental classes, which we will set
loose upon an unsuspecting populace. We plan to teach, to learn, and to
have FUN. And we invite you, and you, and yes even you to come share in
what we are doing.

Dr Henry Best, OP
Chancellor, Coxcomb Academy

The full class schedule may be seen at http://coxcomb.org/gulf2002.htm
but here's the basic course descriptions:

Coxcomb Open Session -Dr Henry Best & Capt Matthew Christopher
An open session for variety arts performers, jugglers, magicians,
puppeteers, et al. Come perform your act, be it polished or a work in
progress, in a safe supportive environment and receive informed, gentle
critique and help from full-time professional performers. Come see other
performers and learn to be a good and helpful audience for them. Come
meet your fellow performers and share tricks of the trade. Come have

Juggling for the Hopeless, Doomed, and Unteachable - Dr Henry Best
Do others laugh when you try to operate a pencil sharpener? Are you the
last one picked to play volleyball? Were you told not to buy a
stickshift because it required coordination? Well, your chance for
vengeance has come: learn to juggle. Amaze your friends! Confound your
enemies! Yes, if your hands and eyes work normally, you CAN learn to
juggle. Juggling balls will be provided free for use during class and
you can walk away with them for a materials fee of $5.

Intro to Conjuring -Capt Matthew Christopher
The performance of magic, presented for the beginner. You will learn the
conjuring theory necessary to take a cheap, cheesy trick and transform
it into a true piece of magic which will dazzle and mystify your

Stalking the Wild Audience -Dr Henry Best and Capt Matthew Christopher
An audience is an oft misunderstood creature, fickle and dangerously
temperamental if mishandled; yet deeply rewarding if proper care is
given. Let's take a brief trip into the jungle that is performing, where
your Faithful Tour Guides have encountered more than one audience and
lived to tell the tale. We will discuss the equipment needed for a
successful hunt, prime habitats where an audience may be stalked, how to
capture an audience, how to train and care for it in captivity, and
about releasing it back into the wild, unharmed, to be profitably hunted
by the next performer. A must for any performer wishing to understand
and tame the beast out there in the seats.

Acting! -Capt Matthew Christopher
Acting for those who haven't done it, but wish to and those who have
done it, and want to again. The rudiments of acting as it pertains to
both persona play and theater. There will also be a discussion of the
various opportunities for acting in the SCA.

Building an Act -Dr Henry Best
In Stalking the Wild Audience, we recommend you "have an act" before you
inflict your performance on a poor unsuspecting audience. In this class,
we will explore what that means in more detail and work out how to build
a good, short act. Learn to routine an act from start to finish.

Warmups and Improvs  -Capt Matthew Christopher
Individual games and exercises designed to limber up your mind and body,
preparing you mentally and physically for performing.

Anatomy of a Street Show –Capt Matthew Christopher and Dr Henry Best
In this class, we will first demonstrate, under street conditions, a 20
minute street act, from gathering the audience to passing the hat. Then
we will return to the classroom to dissect the performance and see how
it all goes together and why.

Performing: the Quest for a Period Style -Dr Henry Best
A discussion of the special problems and compromises inherent in
researching and recreating ephemeral art forms such as performing. How
do you recreate a thing, centuries old, that vanished the instant it was

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