Eugene earned his BA in Education from St. Joseph's College in 1997. In 1998 he entered the classroom where he began his professional teaching career. After 4 years in the classroom, Eugene left to focus his studies on Acting and Stage Combat. After studying 5 years at HB Studios and earning his MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College, Eugene returned to the classroom with Acting Out! Brooklyn's Premier Acting School, where he taught various acting classes, stage combat classes and audition technique. In 2009, Eugene was hired at Brooklyn College to teach Stage Combat for the Actor and continues to teach various stage combat classes presently. Eugene also has taught stage combat classes at Tom Toderoff Studios and is currently a substitute teacher in the Stage Combat Department at AMDA. He has taught various stage combat workshops at Tom Toderoff studios, at other CUNY colleges and schools, and at various theatre and performing arts camps. As Joe Travers' assistant at Swordplay he is currently working toward becoming a Certified Teacher with the SAFD.
For more details see CV or Bio below
Even though I received my educational degree (from St. Joseph's College) and my New York City, New York State Board of Education teaching Certifications in 1997, I have been an educator since I was 13. When I was 13 years old I joined my local youth ministry and immediately became a peer councilor and spiritual advisory. I loved working and guiding others to help face the choices and challenges of everyday life. Eventually I would lead spiritual workshops and presentations, and write, direct and act in various spiritual/educational productions presented to the community. While working at the youth ministry I began working summers at various local day camps where I was a camp counselor and would eventually reach the level of supervisor. This would continue into my college years when I would enter the classroom.
St. Joseph's College is one of the premier educational teacher training facilities in the entire country. They begin their student teaching internships as early as freshman year and is the only school that requires a thesis to graduate at the BA level. The staff was filled with highly qualified and experienced educators that worked one on one with me in a small classroom setting. The lessons I learned there about how to be an educator cannot be written or expressed here as it would be a book unto itself. Henceforth, my BA thesis. However the lessons learned there continue to guide me as an educator and will continue to do so into the future.
After graduation I entered the classroom and was a substitute teacher in 1998 and got hired in a Long Island school district in 1999 to teach 1st grade. I was a classroom teacher until 2001, having taught 1st, 3rd and 1st grade special ed during my tenure. Even though I loved teaching and working with students, I wasn't meant to be an elementary school classroom teacher. I knew that one day I would return to the classroom to facilitate another subject but was not sure what that subject would be. I left the classroom and went to HB studios to study and satisfy my other desire, that being the craft of acting. After five years of studying at HB, I auditioned for the MFA acting program at Brooklyn College. Graduating in 2008 I taught for a year at Acting Out! New York's Premier acting school. Acting Out! was a school for younger actors up until the age of 14, where the main focus was to prepare them to audition for performing arts high schools. Many of my students that I have worked with have gone on to PPAS and La Guardia respectively. There I taught intro to acting, acting technique, improvisation, advanced acting technique, intro to stage combat and swashbuckling. It was there that I discovered my love of teaching stage combat and my need and desire to make it my profession.
In 2009 I left Acting Out! to begin teaching stage combat at Brooklyn College. I am still there to this day and have taught various stage combat classes merging the power of physical storytelling with quality safe stage combat technique. I also teach an SAFD SPT workshop at BC where many of my alumni students return to work on the various SPT weapon disciplines offered by the SAFD. This group is referred to as the BC fight Team. Our goals are to train, work on the student's professional stage combat work, and prepare for the Senior BFA Class showcase that occurs at the end of each Stage Combat semester. The "Night at the Fights" is a class showcase who's goal is to raise money for the Senior BFA professional acting showcase the following April. It is a night filled with the classes' stage combat scene work and a place where the BFA alumni can return to showcase the physical work that they've experienced as professionals. Open to the public the NatFs is the final test for the BFAs that take my class: clear and safe physical stroytelling to a live audience.
After teaching a stage combat workshop at Tom Toderoff Studios in 2011, I was hired to teach stage combat there in 2013. The classes I teach at Tom Toderoff Studios revolve around stage combat basics and foundational technique.
In 2014 I sent my CV to AMDA to become a substitute teacher in the stage combat department and have been subbing there ever since. I have covered many classes at AMDA (including unarmed, single sword, quarterstaff, rapier/dagger and broadsword) but have also been a part of many elective classes. For example, fight director's workshops, which gives students the professional experience of working with a fight director and Battle Night, where I choreograph with other teachers a mass battle scene with 50+ students. AMDA is by far the best stage combat department in the NY area. Each class is team taught and with the multiple weapons classes offered, multiple electives, and offering of multiple SAFD SPTs to advanced and alumni students, no other stage combat department comes close. My goal is to raise the level of the stage combat department at Brooklyn College to equal if not excel that of AMDA.
I have taught multiple stage combat workshops at AMDA, and at many conservatories, colleges and schools around the tristate area. The workshops that I teach are geared to students of all skill levels. From basic fundamentals to advanced swashbuckling swordplay, all with the goal of understanding stage combat safety and the dynamic truth of the moment.
I am lucky and blessed to be an educator in the field of stage combat. I pride myself on having a positive classroom, filled with support and knowledge on the subject matter. Here students are cultivated and encouraged to grow as detailed physical storytellers and granted a foundation and tool box of safe stage combat technique which they can take into the professional world.