2017 Associate Instructors
Emily Carvey is an Advanced Actor/Combatant with the SAFD based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is one of ….well….one AAC in her city. She has been involved with stage combat since she started at Columbia College in 2002. There, she took every class she could, certified in all 8 Weapons, and worked as a TA to John McFarland and David Wooley. After graduation she was cast as Maid Marion in the Bristol Renaissance Faire’s Fight Cast. Upon returning to Albuquerque she found a thriving theatre community with no fight presence. So she started a local group called They Fight Albuquerque. Through They Fight Albuquerque she has been able to offer combat training for the local theatre community. She works both as an actor and a fight director. Some of her favorite shows to choreograph were The Henry Project (The Vortex Theatre), Les Miserables (Albuquerque Little Theatre), Company (Musical Theatre Southwest), Tristan and Ysulet (The Aux Dog Theatre), The Wind and the Willows (The Aux Dogs Theatre), Noises Off! (Albuquerque Little Theatre), Terra Nova (The Vortex Theatre), Picnic (The Adobe Theatre), and Spamalot (Albuquerque Little Theatre). In addition to her certifications in the 8 SAFD weapons she is certified in Rapier and Cloak and Sword and Buckler with Distinction through Stage Combat Deutschland. She is also a brown belt in Kung Fu having studied at the Green Dragon Society in Chicago and currently practices at the Chinese Shaolin Center in Albuquerque.
With over 25 years of training in the martial arts, Matt holds the rank of black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, with additional experience in Karate, Judo, fencing, wrestling and kickboxing. He also runs the Los Angeles Bartitsu Club, and is the organizer for the Los Angeles Whip Artists. Matt is the fight director of the Off-Broadway show, The Video Games, a live-action, audience interactive parody of the Hunger Games that pits 12 classic video game characters against each other in a battle to the death. Midwest born and raised, Matt holds a BA in Drama/Speech from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, and is a graduate of the International Stunt School in Seattle. He has trained with the Society of American Fight Directors, Dueling Arts International, and the International Order of the Sword & Pen. Matt currently teaches stage combat at AMDA - College and Conservatory of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
A.J. Gagliardi has been a member of the Society of American Fight Directors since 2008. He has been a stunt coordinator for several independent and student films as well as Renaissance Faires. AJ began his studies in Philadelphia and was able to attend the 2009 NSCW. He holds proficiency certificates in all eight of the SAFD disciplines as well as Theatrical Firearms Safety and two proficiency certifications from Stage Combat Deutschland.
Dave Gonzalez is a fight director and physical theatre specialist in the city of Chicago, excited to be coming for his first Brawl of America. His Chicago-area credits include Lookingglass Theatre, American Theatre Co, Piccolo Theatre, The Plagiarists, Elmhurst College, and Innervation Dance Cooperative. As a stage combatant, he has performed with Chicago's Lyric Opera on multiple occasions, including a featured fight in the 2014 production of Il Trovatore. In addition to his work as a fight director, Dave is a certified teacher with the American Society for the Alexander Technique, a method of enhancing the connection between the body and mind to decrease strain and tension.
Gabriel Faith Howard
Gabriel is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD in the Chicago theatre scene. He holds a BFA in dance from New York University. He is an ensemble member with Imaginez Ensemblez - whose aerial silks/clown show Take Flight has toured Fringe festivals across the Midwest and Canada. He has also performed with the Bristol Renaissance Faire, Cave Painting Theater, and The Living Canvas. Gabriel has been involved in stage combat education with the SAFD, MACE, and the Actor's Gymnasium since 2011. He is on a lifelong mission to create and discover ridiculous, beautiful, and viscerally effective stories.
Gaby Labotka is an actor, director, storyteller, and choreographer living and working in the city of Chicago. She has performed, played, and worked with some great Chicago storefront theatre companies including The House Theatre of Chicago, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, Redmoon, Collaboraction, Teatro Vista, The Living Canvas, Babes with Blades, Wayward Productions, The Right Brain Project, Nothing Special Productions, and The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company. Gaby graduated from Illinois State University with degrees in Acting and Directing with the honor of Exceptional Merit in the Arts. She recently attended RADA to study Shakespeare and classical performance, and in 2014 she studied at the Pig Iron Advanced Performer Training Summer Program in Philadelphia to study mask and clown. She is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors; recently she was an Associate Instructor at Winter Wonderland Workshop 2017 and an intern at the 2016 NSCW/TCW. In her free time, Gaby likes to draw, read, craft, dance, clown-around, nerd-out, and learn new movement and stage combat styles. She is a proud member of ALTA. Keep Smiling!
Tom Ringberg is a local actor, fight choreographer, and stunt performer in Minneapolis. Tom graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in Theatre with a focus on performance, directing, and stage combat. Lately Tom has been working as a stunt performer and coordinator for several small films projects around town. As well being the Fight Captain for several productions with the Minnesota Opera.