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Thread: Jedi Academies

  1. #61
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    ttt 4 2018!

    I'm surprised this thread didn't ttt earlier with the premiere of The Last Jedi. I guess this article came out earlier and I just missed it.

    Mix Star Wars with martial arts, and what do you get? Lightsaber sparring.
    By SARAH LEESON • DEC 19, 2017


    Frank Diaz (left) spars with Dalton Smith (right).
    SARAH LEESON / MICHIGAN RADIO

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened with the bang of a thermal detonator this weekend, becoming the second-highest grossing opening weekend for a film ever in North America.

    But your local theater isn't the only place where aspiring Jedi knights can be found learning to wield a lightsaber.

    Chad Eisner co-founded a group called Terra Prime Light Armory in 2012. The group promotes traditional martial arts and weapon arts by sparring with lightsabers.

    The swords, which are custom-made of round polycarbonate, are designed to withstand a real beating.

    Stateside's Sarah Leeson went to a workshop with the Light Armory last Saturday at Liberty Athletic Club in Ann Arbor. Listen to the audio postcard she brought back above, or read highlights below.

    “We wanted some way that we could get people of differing weapons arts backgrounds to kind of mix up and fight each other and spar and have fun and stuff like that, because it’s just not so common to have people fighting with weapons nowadays,” Eisner said.

    The local lightsaber scene is a certain point of pride for the group.

    “In Michigan right here we have extremely high quality makers — Darth Alice and Solo’s Hold — who are really famous the world over for making extremely high quality lightsabers,” Eisner said. “They’re very accurate to the screen and really, really, durable.”

    For some participants like Alex Kostrzewa, it's not the fandom that's the draw, but the unique martial arts element.

    “My main interest was in the traditional Chinese weapon arts. Finding Chad, who knew what he was talking about, was a rare treat,” Kostrzewa said. “Fighting with swords is fun! I think it’s kind of weird that this isn’t like a more common hobby. Who doesn’t want to go sword fighting on the weekends?”

    That's not to say that Star Wars doesn't appeal to him, though.


    (From left) Dalton Smith, John Solomon, Chad Eisner, Rob Cocsis, Alex Kostrzewa, and Frank Diaz turned out to spar on Saturday.
    CREDIT SARAH LEESON / MICHIGAN RADIO

    “I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, like I haven’t read any of the extended universe stuff or whatnot, but it’s good — I like it. I find its place in pop culture canon pretty interesting because, as far as I can tell, it kind of invented the Hollywood blockbuster," Kostrzewa said, "So, in terms of measuring the impact of a piece of media by the amount of media that exists in relationship to it, Star Wars is kind of a keystone work of modern film because it changed the way that film was made. You can kind of break the history of cinema into a pre-Star Wars and post-Star Wars era, kind of like how you can break into a pre-Wizard of Oz and post-Wizard of Oz era.”

    Other participants, like John Solomon, are here for Star Wars above all. When asked if he'd always wanted to be a Jedi, Solomon said, “Always. Ever since I was three years old. Maybe even before that.”

    Solomon does have a background in Japanese swordsmanship though, and can appreciate the martial arts side of the workshop.

    “The interesting thing about martial arts in general, and when you apply this to something unusual like a lightsaber, it’s more interesting to see the similarities than the differences,” Solomon said. “For instance, I see a tiny bit of Italian longsword here, and the similarities between the martial techniques there and the martial techniques in Japan are remarkably similar.… And it’s really interesting to see the techniques we use which are different in Japanese swordsmanship which are used in a new and exciting way with the lightsabers and the blending of the Chinese styles into it, it’s very interesting.”

    One participant, Rob Cocsis, has an extra reason for attending: spending time with his daughter.

    “She’s 13 and she’s been coming for about a year now, on and off,” Cocsis said. “We started this out as more of a daddy-daughter thing, so it’s cool. It’s great. I don’t make her do it, it’s totally on her, but it’s kind of a family thing.”

    Some participants are even coming from across the state to attend. Dalton Smith who is from Grand Rapids drove for hours in fairly snowy conditions to make it to the workshop.


    Dalton Smith (left) and Rob Cocsis (right) face off in a duel
    CREDIT SARAH LEESON / MICHIGAN RADIO

    “I come as often as I can — at least a few times a year — but I come from almost three hours away, so sometimes it’s hard to make it,” Smith said.

    In his eyes, though, it's worth it. “I don’t get to do anything like this anywhere else, really, and I’ve always been interested in sword fighting," Smith said. "So now I get to do it, and I get to do it with laser swords.”
    Gene Ching
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  2. #62
    So where exactly is this place?

  3. #63
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    Our newest exclusive web article

    We don't know if there will be lightsabers in SOLO but while we're on the subject of Star Wars, READ Lightsaber Combat and the Value of Myth in the Martial Arts by Dr. Benjamin N. Judkins and Chad Eisner



    THREADS: Solo: A Star Wars Story & Jedi Academies
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  4. #64
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    Aiken Lightsaber Club

    Aiken Lightsaber Club teaches kids martial arts, self-defense, and fencing
    By Kristina Rackley krackley@aikenstandard.com Sep 6, 2018 Updated 2 hrs ago



    A former Aiken High School ROTC instructor is teaching fencing to kids with a twist that is out of this world.

    Tony Negron is combining his love of "Star Wars" with defensive sports to teach fencing to youth in Aiken.

    "There was a sport that started in Italy called LudoSport, and basically it was fencing with lightsabers," Negron said. "I did some research and saw that more things like this were popping up across the country."

    Negron and one of his former students, Trey Jones, started the Aiken Lightsaber Club and taught fencing to students. Most are in college or high school.

    "The reason I got started was, I taught ROTC, and when I retired I knew I wanted to pick and chose the things I was going to volunteer for," Negron said. "I knew I wanted to work with kids, but I didn't want a job."


    Tony Negron and one of his former students, Trey Jones, started the Aiken Lightsaber Club to teach fencing to students. Most are in college or…

    Negron said his club was for kids who couldn't make the time commitment for other sports teams, and to give them an activity that would draw them away from video games.

    His club originally met in parks and around the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center. They have now rented out a room in Odell Weeks to practice.

    "We've got this beautiful facility, and we're just going to build from there," Negron said.

    An under-privileged youth outreach program run through Odell Weeks allows children who cannot afford to join clubs to take advantage of some of the events happening at Odell Weeks. Aiken Lightsaber Club is one of those groups they can join through the program.

    If they have spare time during lessons, Negron will have the kids play games like Jedi versus Sith, a rapid-fire dueling round that splits the group into two teams.

    Students need to buy protective gloves, and Negron has suggestions on what kind of lightsabers to buy for the club. The cost of rental space comes mostly out of Negron's own pocket.

    The Aiken Lightsaber Club will meet at Odell Weeks every Friday evening at 5 p.m. for practice. For more information, including how to join, message Tony Negron on the Aiken Lightsaber Club's Facebook page.
    self-defense? really? are lightsabers street legal now?
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  5. #65
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    It's all about exercise really...

    The Force is strong with local fitness-minded 'Star Wars' fans
    Parker Bowman Staff Reporter Jan 19, 2019 0



    LEMOORE — Master Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no ‘try.’”

    A group of friends from Lemoore have decided that they’ll do — and what they’re doing is getting in shape while celebrating their love of “Star Wars.”

    “I’m like most people — exercise is boring and I hate it,” Melody Mar said. “So anything to inspire me to get moving and do something is great and doing it with a lightsaber is even better.”

    Mar is the lead organizer of the Lemoore chapter of the Lightsaber Team, an organization where fandom meets fitness.

    Mar joined the San Jose-based club about six months ago and found that she was the only Central Valley member of the organization that has members in Riverside, San Jose and Sacramento. She started the Lemoore chapter alongside a few friends recently and is hoping that other like-minded Jedi will join the cause.

    The Lemoore club meets weekly to stretch and work out with light sabers at a local park.

    “I’m a big geek,” she said, pointing to her “Star Trek” jacket. “There’s just something about lightsabers, though, they pull you in. You could fence with a sword or you could fence with lightsaber. Something draws you in. It’s the glow, the sophistication and the whimsy of it.”

    Weilding the “Star Wars”-inspired laser swords while working out and sparring can help with cardio, balance and reflexes, according to a 2017 story in Vogue, wherein “The Force Awakens” star Daisy Ridley espoused the benefits of the Jedi workout.

    The organization was started in 2011 by John-Michael Arias, a then-resident of Riverside who has since relocated to San Jose.

    “I was getting on in years and I wanted to combine my work out time, my nerd time and my socialization time,” Arias told the Sentinel.

    The founder, now in his early 50s, said the free-to-join group is more about being inclusive and supportive than about pumping as much iron as possible and jogging an entire Kessel Run.

    Members of the San Jose have traveled to Lemoore to train Mar in the ways of The Force. Some members even build and create their own lightsabers, Arias said.

    “It worked. It was a good fit,” Mar said.

    Mar, a former regional champion baton twirler, had a fundamental grasp on how to move with a yard-long lightsaber and is now getting the hang of “moving like a fighter rather than like a dancer,” she said.

    During training, the group focuses on movement and getting the benefits of a workout without accidentally injuring themselves or anyone else. While lightsabers in real life may not be able to cut off Ponda Baba’s arm — as Obi-Wan’s did in the cantina on Mos Eisely — but they’re still hefty, pointy and accidents can happen.

    The group is hoping to grow and be more consistent, both in terms of workouts themselves and in planning the times for them, in the coming months.

    Members of the Lemoore chapter will be in attendance at the Weekend Blender pop culture event at the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis next month to spread the word about the organization. A separate Fresno chapter of the club is in the early stages of development, as well, Arias said.

    For more information, visit www.facebook.com/LightsaberTeam.
    San Jose is local to our KFTC HQ.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #66
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    Lightspeed Saber

    I luv how these groups dodge calling them 'lightsabers'.

    Light Force Academy blends sci-fi passion with martial arts technique
    16 hours ago
    Matt Fernandez


    Students of Light Force Academy learn martial arts sword fighting with a Star Wars flair at Irom Fist Martial Arts Academy in Newhall. Cory Rubin/The Signal

    Star Wars fans all across the galaxy often dream of the thrill and glory of being a Jedi knight and wielding a lightsaber. Thanks to Patrick Tatevossian, founder of Iron Fist Martial Arts, residents of Santa Clarita have a chance to fulfill that dream.

    On Feb. 1, Tatevossian’s newest martial arts program Light Force Academy hit its third anniversary. The program incorporates different styles of martial arts training such as Taekwondo, kendo and escrima and a love for Star Wars into a unique training experience.

    Tatevossian discovered the world of competitive saber combat while searching for a high-quality lightsaber to buy for himself on the internet after watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” During his search, the martial artist came across combat stunt sabers and, after tumbling down the proverbial rabbit hole of the internet, decided to take a cue from other martial arts schools and replaced his traditional weapons training with a saber fighting program.

    “We originally had a full weapons training program with everything from nunchucks to staff, but I didn’t have fun teaching weapons anymore and my students didn’t even compete with them anyway,” Tatevossian said. “It might be because I’m just a big kid, but I think that the light sabers are a lot cooler than what we were doing before. This actually bettered our weapons training.”

    The Light Force training is a progressive program in which students begin with traditional Japanese kendo double-handed sword fighting techniques, then move on to single-handed sword, staff, dual swords and the weapon in a non-dominant hand. After the student learns all of the styles, he or she then selects one of the styles and works to master it, the program’s equivalent of earning a black belt in a more traditional martial art. Tatevossian estimates that the program takes four years to complete, but since the program just turned three years old, no student has reached that point yet.

    Since its inception, Tatevossian’s Light Force program has become an affiliate of the competitive Lightspeed Saber League and has been invited to join other competitive circuits. Each league has its own rules in regard to equipment and techniques regarding forms and sparring, but Tatevossian said his main criteria when partnering with a league is safety.

    “Competitive saber leagues use either light, medium or heavy sabers,” Tatevossian said. “We have protective armor like fencing masks, and getting hit with a light or medium saber won’t hurt that much, but the heavy sabers can do a lot of damage even with the gear. Also the lighter sabers allow for a lot more fluidity and technically difficult movement, which I prefer.”

    When Tatevossian first began in saber competitions he suffered many losses to those larger or more experienced in the style than him, but after he started to use techniques from other martial arts he knew, he found that he was close to unbeatable.

    “It was really weird and I wondered what was going on when I started winning,” he said. “Then I realized that my footwork was more advanced than my competitors’. Once I started focusing more on my footwork and less on blade technique, that was it.”

    On Feb. 23, Tatevossian will host his first saber tournament, which will also be the first competitive experience for most of his students. He said he has received interest from almost 100 competitors across Southern California. The tournament will also feature vendors and winners will offer prizes including custom sabers and Loot Crates.

    If all goes well, Tatevossian hopes to host another tournament at the end of the year, using what he learns from this tournament as a test run.

    Light Force Academy has about 30 regular students and dozens more who attend on a part-time basis. He would like to grow the program with other methods than word of mouth, but he said it is difficult to show people the program is more than playing with lightsabers.

    “What most people that aren’t already martial artists don’t understand is that what we’re doing is actual martial arts training and a legitimate form of exercise, rather than just swinging around lightsabers for the fun of it,” he said. “On the other hand, that attraction to lightsabers is a good way for me to get people who would never have otherwise tried martial arts to come in, learn and exercise.”



    Matt Fernandez
    Matt Fernandez is a local news reporter for The Signal. He is a 2017 graduate of UCLA and his previous work experience includes the Daily Bruin newspaper and Variety magazine, where he focused on arts and entertainment news. Fernandez has lived in Santa Clarita since 1998.
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  7. #67
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    Lightsaber duelling is an officially recognized competitive sport

    In France, the Force is strong with lightsaber dueling
    By JOHN LEICESTER
    February 18, 2019


    In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, photo, competitors battle during a national lightsaber tournament in Beaumont-sur-Oise, north of Paris. In France, it is easier than ever now to act out "Star Wars" fantasies. The fencing federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France (AP) — Master Yoda, dust off his French, he must.

    It’s now easier than ever in France to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, because its fencing federation has borrowed from a galaxy far, far away and officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics.

    Of course, the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate lightsaber replicas can’t slice a Sith lord in half. But they look and, with the more expensive sabers equipped with a chip in their hilt that emits a throaty electric rumble, even sound remarkably like the silver screen blades that Yoda and other characters wield in the blockbuster movies .

    Plenty realistic, at least, for duelists to work up an impressive sweat slashing, feinting and stabbing in organized, 3-minute bouts. The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of why the French Fencing Federation threw its support behind the sport and is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors. Like virtuous Jedi knights, the French federation sees itself as combatting a Dark Side: The sedentary habits of 21st-century life that are sickening ever-growing numbers of adults and kids .



    “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” says Serge Aubailly, the federation secretary general. “It’s becoming difficult to (persuade them to) do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”

    Embedded video

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    Lightsaber dueling: Some basic rules.

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    VIDEO: How-to guide to lightsaber dueling.
    In the past, the likes of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers helped lure new practitioners to fencing. Now, joining and even supplanting them are Luke Skywalker , Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.

    “Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth,” Aubailly says. ”Lightsaber films have the same impact . Young people want to give it a try.”

    And the young at heart.

    Police officer Philippe Bondi, 49, practiced fencing for 20 years before switching to lightsaber. When a club started offering classes in Metz, the town in eastern France where he is stationed for the gendarmerie, Bondi says he was immediately drawn by the prospect of living out the love he’s had for the “Star Wars” universe since he saw the first film at age 7, on its release in 1977 .

    He fights in the same wire-mesh face mask he used for fencing. He spent about 350 euros ($400) on his protective body armor (sturdy gloves, chest, shoulder and shin pads) and on his federation-approved lightsaber, opting for luminous green “because it’s the Jedi colors, and Yoda is my master.”

    “I had to be on the good side, given that my job is upholding the law,” he said.

    Bondi awoke well before dawn to make the four-hour drive from Metz to a national lightsaber tournament outside Paris this month that drew 34 competitors. It showcased how far the sport has come in a couple of years but also that it’s still light years from becoming mainstream.
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    John Leicester

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    In France, the Force is strong with lightsaber dueling

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    PHOTOS: The spectacle of lightsaber dueling.
    The crowd was small and a technical glitch prevented the duelers’ photos, combat names and scores from being displayed on a big screen, making bouts tough to follow. But the illuminated swooshes of colored blades looked spectacular in the darkened hall. Fan cosplay as “Star Wars” characters added levity, authenticity and a tickle of bizarre to the proceedings, especially the incongruous sight of Darth Vader buying a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips at the cafeteria during a break.

    In building their sport from the ground up, French organizers produced competition rules intended to make lightsaber dueling both competitive and easy on the eyes.

    “We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” said Michel Ortiz, the tournament organizer.


    This isn't the car you're looking for: 'Star Wars' fans in cosplay had a ball at the tournament.

    Combatants fight inside a circle marked in tape on the floor. Strikes to the head or body are worth 5 points; to the arms or legs, 3 points; on hands, 1 point. The first to 15 points wins or, if they don’t get there quickly, the high scorer after 3 minutes. If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters “sudden death,” where the first to land a head- or body-blow wins, a rule to encourage enterprising fighters.

    Blows only count if the fighters first point the tip of their saber behind them. That rule prevents the viper-like, tip-first quick forward strikes seen in fencing. Instead, the rule encourages swishier blows that are easier for audiences to see and enjoy, and which are more evocative of the duels in “Star Wars.” Of those, the battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in “The Phantom Menace” that ends badly for the Sith despite his double-bladed lightsaber is particularly appreciated by aficionados for its swordplay.

    Still nascent, counting its paid-up practitioners in France in the hundreds, not thousands, lightsaber dueling has no hope of a place in the Paris Olympics in 2024.

    But to hear the thwack of blades and see them cut shapes through the air is to want to give the sport a try.

    Or, as Yoda would say: “Try not. Do! Or do not. There is no try.”
    THREADS
    Fencing
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  8. #68
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    Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge - Trailer

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    I'm on a Lightsabering panel this Saturday.

    I’m honored to be a Guest Panelist on the Terra Prime Light Armory 7 Forms Symposium this Independence Day Saturday July 4th 2020 2PM EDT. For details, visit my blog.



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  10. #70
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  11. #71
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    TPLA 7 forms Symposium 2020

    Gene Ching
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  12. #72
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    Casting call

    Actors With Stunt/Combat Abilities for Star Wars™: Galactic Starcruiser

    For: Walt Disney World
    Audition City: Kissimmee
    Location: Online Submissions
    Looking For: Stunts
    Wednesday, May 12, 2021
    12:00 AM
    Timezone: Eastern Time (US & Canada)


    Disney Live Entertainment is actively accepting ONLINE SUBMISSIONS from actors of all abilities and gender identities from a diverse spectrum of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In a one of a kind, immersive Star Wars™ multi-day adventure, guests of the Star Wars™: Galactic Starcruiser come aboard the Halcyon and voyage through a galaxy, far far away – and performers will join them as respected crew members, guests, and interlopers as they all travel in style to the Outer Rim.

    This is a fully immersive experience where the story unfolds over two nights in a myriad of ways. During the experience, a variety of adventures befall the ship and onboard characters find themselves caught in the intrigue of a galactic conflict. This company of actors will portray characters from a vast and diverse galaxy and will actively engage with passengers as much as with other performers. Every character will be leveraged for improvisational, scripted, and interactive moments.

    Potential relocation assistance may be available to qualified performers hired into specific roles.

    Performers employed by the Walt Disney World® Resort are covered under the terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement with Actors' Equity Association.

    Upon signing of Walt Disney World® Individual Employment Contract, candidates are eligible to immediately apply for membership in Actor’s Equity Association.


    SEEKING THE FOLLOWING:


    REY: (5’6”-5’8”) Seeking a dynamic and athletic actor with an athletic, slender build and strong improvisational abilities to portray Rey. Rey is a survivor, toughened by her life as a scavenger on the harsh desert planet of Jakku. Despite dismissing herself as a “no one”, she learns that her life is being shaped by the mysterious power of the force. Actors with prior experience or knowledge in stage combat, Wushu, martial arts or hand-to-hand are encouraged to attend.

    KYLO REN: (6’0”-6’2”) Seeking a dynamic and athletic actor with improvisational abilities to portray Kylo Ren. A menacing Force-sensitive warrior, Kylo is driven by his connection to the dark side to achieve his ultimate goal of galactic domination. Actors with prior experience or knowledge in stage combat, Wushu, martial arts or hand-to-hand are encouraged to attend.


    SUBMISSION AND ONLINE AUDITION CHECK-IN INSTRUCTIONS:

    This is a 2 step process. Candidates must submit AND check-in to the audition to be considered.


    STEP 1 - SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

    Please click "My_Profile" to create or update your performer profile.
    Under the LINKS section, upload your video audition link to your profile. See below REQUIREMENTS section for monologue selection(s).
    YouTube links are preferred. Please have the link set as "unlisted".

    STEP 2 - CHECK-IN INSTRUCTIONS

    Visit Checkin.DisneyAuditions.com.
    Click on audition titled "Actors with Stunt/Combat Abilities for Star Wars™: Galactic Starcruiser".
    Take your selfie to complete the check-in process.
    Please only submit yourself once.


    Submissions will be accepted through May 21, 2021.

    Potential virtual callbacks to be scheduled June 17 - 21, 2021. Performers will only be notified if they are being considered for a call back following their initial submission.

    REQUIREMENTS:

    Please prepare a character appropriate monologue or select one or more from the following link(s):
    KYLO REN - SABER_TRAINER,
    REY - SCAVENGER_HERO
    In addition to the monologue above, please include a link to a performance reel demonstrating stunt/combat abilities. Preferences include demos of sword work, stage combat, gymnastics, and martial arts.
    Must be at least 18 years of age and authorized to work in the United States.

    © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

    EOE - Drawing Creativity from Diversity - ©Disney
    Follow the link if interested (but it's today so be quick).
    Gene Ching
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  13. #73
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    AR Combat Center

    Gene Ching
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  14. #74
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    To The DEATH

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