In my work, I’ve looked at various entertainment events with the idea that a single theme should prevail, and that all the visitors’ sense experiences should support and enhance that theme. Also, in any theatrical event, any aspect that interferes with their ability to believe in the world causes a “cognitive disconnect” and should be removed. For a simplistic example, if you’re creating a world of the 1950s, don’t show a laptop computer.
Hoplology, or the Study of Human Conflict, has been lurking in the academic world for years. Only recently has its application for performance been demonstrated. Hoplology looks beyond how people fight into why they feel a need to do violence to one another. Combining intense actor training, detailed script analysis, and action choreography, Hoplology brings a story to life in a genuine, emotionally-charged, and exciting way.
As a partner in the consulting firm Warriors, Inc., my current duties include staff planning, personnel readiness and management, preparing training guidance for the CO’s approval, identifying training requirements, compiling training records and reports, organizing and equipping units, integration of supply and transportation, administration, bookkeeping, publicity, and creating and maintaining our online presence. On occasion, as the project warrants, I also act as a unit commander.
I began my relationship with Warriors, Inc. on the film Starship Troopers, which led to a gig on Rough Riders and then the more esoteric of our projects, including Terminator 2:3D and Star Trek: The Adventure, along with the Medal of Honor series for Electronic Arts. Over time, I moved into some of the larger film productions such as Wag the Dog.
In the mean time, I kept my hand in historical fights and weaponry through the Los Angeles Fight Academy, and as Executive Director of the Society of American Fight Directors. All of this came together for Alexander with Oliver Stone. My background with historical conflict and bladed weapons made me the natural choice to train Colin Farrell for six weeks prior to the unit training in Morocco. I also commanded the Persians and Ethiopians in our 21-day 24/7 training in the desert of Morocco. I continued as cadre and weapons master throughout the shoot in Morocco and Thailand.
Next, I served as Adjutant on the maxi-series The Pacific for HBO in Australia. While acting as administrator for the Military Department is about as easy as herding cats, I managed to make it through and keep the department running as smoothly as possible. And I managed to train some Women Marines as well.
I’m currently heading up the Task Force for publishing: Warriors Publishing Group.
My first solo book project, Backbone: History, Traditions, and Leadership Lessons of Marine Corps NCOs was published on November 22, 2011 from Osprey, and is now available in paperback through Warriors Publishing Group, and in eBook through our partnership with Open Road Integrated Media. In the book, I took a deep look at what makes Marine Corps NCOs such effective leaders and how we can learn from them.