Meet Androdameia (a.k.a. Anna Maltese) – one of the Trojan Horse Archers!

Anna Maltese - one of the archers for the Trojan Horse Project

Anna Maltese began shooting when she was a small girl living in the hills of San Diego County.  A tomboy and an avid rider, she would gather her fiberglass bow and arrows (later, they would be crude ones she fashioned herself from bamboo and flint) and ride her rugged little Shetland pony far into the woods, shooting at bushes and making believe she was a fierce and wily huntress of the plains.  Anna is now a Level 2 instructor at the Pasadena Roving Archers range where she teaches the beginners’ class on Saturday mornings.  One of the most rewarding experiences for her is watching any one of her students grow and develop in this delightful and exciting art, and she maintains that waking up at 5 in the morning on Saturdays is totally worth the look of incredulous joy on the face of a little girl when she hits the target for the first time.  This year, Anna was featured on the cover – as well as in the month of July – for the Ladies of the Pasadena Roving Archers’ calendar to celebrate the range’s 75th anniversary.

Anna is the director of the Phoenix Projekt, an LA-based fire archers troupe. credit: Pixie at

Anna is also an accomplished fire performer, having performed for thirteen years doing kung fu weapons on fire (monkey staff, sabre, whipchain, and nunchuku [not technically a kung fu weapon, but still...]).  She has performed for the Paramount Stunt Awards, the opening night parties for Cirque du Soleil, and several other shows.  Currently, she is the director of the Phoenix Projekt, an LA-based fire troupe who have become fire archers.  The Phoenix Projekt will be producing their own untethered demonstration of fire archery for the Burning Man fire safety organizers this year at Pogo’s Clown Room, with the goal of producing another project in collaboration with the Burning Man fire safety organizers (and according to the National Field Archery Association regulations) in 2012, burning down a large art installation with free-flying arrows.  The Phoenix Projekt is currently working with the safety crew to determine safety protocols for fire archery.

Our Androdameia (a.k.a. Anna Maltese)

When she isn’t teaching archery, Anna can be found at her day job as an animator on The Simpsons; or studying kung fu, wushu, and stunts like wirework and high falls at the National Wushu Training Center under the exacting tutelage of Coach Eric Chen. For a demo of what the school does and has done, check out our latest demo video.  Ultimately, wushu, kung fu and archery are the greatest passions in her life and she has worked hard to cultivate a hard-charging work ethic in order to better enjoy these activities.  She enjoys teaching kung fu sabre to fire performers as well, especially to women, and can be found every year at Firedrums doing exactly that.  On the rare occasion where she has a moment of unscheduled time, Anna can be found curled up with and immersed in books on military history, evolutionary biology, or any one of seven biographies of her hero, Theodore Roosevelt.

On archery

– the arrow leaves the string;
It may not hit,
But it does not miss!“  ~  old Zen expression

The arrow nocks…arms swing upward, borne aloft on the morning breeze…feet send forth roots to grip the earth…shoulders rotate in their orbits…the bow opens like a smile…hands float, empty…the string touches my face softly…the briefest kiss…at once, everything relaxes…and a hole is torn through the air.“  ~  original

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