Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Interviews Interview with Kevin McCurdy by DJ Forrest


Interview with Kevin McCurdy

How did your interest begin for this career path, and was it your first choice of career after leaving school?

Kevin: I'd always been acting (did my 1st play when I was 3 years old playing a knight and holding a sword and shield, so my mom said) and acting, singing and dancing was all I knew. I was into movement when I was growing up, and I used to breakdance and body pop and do robotic dancing (Tic and Toc were my inspiration). Then I got into drama college at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (before it was 'Royal'), did my 1st combat lesson and fell in love with it. And it went from there.

I would imagine it's very intense training, have you ever been hurt while training, has it ever been serious, such as a break or loss of teeth, and how much training must you do to become a fight co-ordinator?

Kevin: Training was intense and it's also very long (I trained in all nearly 9 yrs. 5yrs to become a stage combat tutor and 3.5 yrs, under the British Actors Equity Fight Directors Scheme). It was hard and expensive and I loved every bit of it. During training, you take a few knocks but nothing serious. I'm trained in martial arts (kickboxing and TKD, both 1st dan level (represented Wales at club level for TaeKwonDo), and have a lot of experience in many others and have my sport fencing proficiency awards in foil and sabre. Never broke a bone or lost teeth Did have my jaw dislocated in a TKD match (still won it). Am training nearly every day and I teach at Royal Welsh College as well, teaching the actors how to fight for stage and screen.
Courtesy Teddy Smith - Whovians TV

The worst injury I had was rehearsing a dance piece whilst doing my fight training. We collided in mid-air, I landed on my head and snapped the fibrous tissues in my neck. After the check-up and 2 scans at the hospital, the doctor looked at me and said 'you are very lucky'. I stopped dance for a while after that hahaha.

To take on such a role must require a lot of physical fitness, do you have a special diet, or is it a case of healthy eating and counting calories?

Kevin: As stated above, I'm training nearly every day and when I'm not training I'm choreographing so you could say I'm working my body nearly 6-7 days a week. Food wise, I try to stay as healthy as possible but I will have the odd "treat" once in a while

You were in Torchwood episode Day 1 as fight director. Was this the fight scene with John Barrowman's Captain Jack and the possessed Carys brandishing weapons, in her escape from the Hub?

Kevin: No. I did the sequence in which she killed the guy in the bathroom then she killed another 2 guys after that. The girl (Sara Gregory) was one of my ex-students from Royal Welsh. Great fighter.
You were founder member and examiner with the Academy of Performance Combat, when was the Academy set up, and what a cool list of patrons onboard. Have you worked with any of them?

Kevin: And now Chairman hahah. The Academy was set up in Sept 2009. Yeah, we have a cool list of patrons. I haven't personally but one of our senior teachers has worked with Henry Winkler.

When you were growing up, who or what influenced you into becoming a fight co-ordinator?
Courtesy Kevin McCurdy
Kevin: When I was growing up, I loved Bruce Lee and a lot of the old school martial arts films and I was hugely into action comics so that sparked my interest in becoming physical.

What advice would you give to someone who was looking to take up a career in your line of business?

Kevin: Advice wise.... take your time. Everybody wants to rush. You can't afford to rush in this line of work. Talk to people, apprentice with them, bleed people dry of information but literally, take your time.

What project are you currently working on, and where might I write to for a signed photo of you Kevin???

Kevin: Project wise at the moment I'm technical rehearsing Taming of the Shrew & Othello here at The Globe, I have Macbeth & Twelfth Night playing at The National Theatre, I'm working on Conquest of The South Pole & Romeo and Juliet at Liverpool Playhouse and I'm also working on the Hollyoaks series.

Kevin, thank you so much for an awesome interview  

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