The Official Backstage Access Tour!
To the Hilt's Top 5 Most Asked Questions
Yes, we really get asked these questions.  So you don't have to as well...
Q. Is that sword real?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I have it?
A. No.
Q. Will you cut off my friend's head?
A. No.
Q. Do you really talk like that?
A. Do you?
Q.Where do you get your swords?
A. Finally, an intelligent question!  Our one meter broadswords (or, "One Meter of Iron Death", if you prefer) are made by Starfire.  The blade is, in fact, one meter in length and they have the bevelled edge.  The red fight cloak is a full circle and was made by JCP.  The diamond schlagers we are currently using were custom made by Dennis Graves, a swordcutler in Colorado.  The quarterstaves come from all over; most martial arts suppliers sell them.  Ours our 6 ' without the tapered end.  One of our regular schlagers was made by  LaForge in Manheim, Pennsylvania, the other is a pretty old Rod Casteel.  Ryan tosses with a diamond schlager custom made by Captain Thorne's Armory in South Florida.  The set of full-size rapiers (the Italian swept hilt and the Pappenheimer held in most of our photos) were custom made by Lewis Shaw of Vulcan's Forge in Baltimore, Maryland.  If you are doing research for stage combat weapons, also check out Arms & Armor and The Armoury of American Fencer's Supply
Trivial To the Hilt Facts
Everybody loves trivia.  If this shows up on a game show, we'll know you're cool.
Katya designs and builds all of Katya and Leonardo's wardrobe.  Most of Leonardo's color choices were made under duress.
The huge 6' x 6' banner that adorns To the Hilt stages was made by Arlecchino of the Daring Devilinis.  At the Tennessee show, in years gone by, both TTH and the Devilinis shared a stage.  (Their banners did, too.)
The diamond schlagers made by Dennis L. Graves that are currently in use in the TTH shows were custom made as "engagement swords" in June 1999.
As of this writing, Leonardo's choice of "Suzy" has actually been named Suzy (or a derivitive thereof) a total of eleven times since the show began in 1997.
If  To the Hilt had corporate sponsors, they would be: Remington (Rem Oil - we soak our swords in it nightly), Nike (look at Leonardo's old boots really closely), Nerf (Leonardo uses the Nerf crossbow whenever plungers are not readily available), WD40 & 3M green scubbies (for sword cleaning), and any food product containing broccoli & cheese.
Katya's thigh high boots were made by John Shrader, bootmaker.  Her favorite bodices were made by Emily Taggart of the Philadelphia's Ladies Finery Company, Journeyman Leather and the Max 2 bodices by Moresca.
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Katya in an Emily bodice and her Shrader boots. Colorado, 2002
To the Hilt
Comedy Sword Fighting Show