Tell Me Your Experiences & Opinions. Bringing a #Character to Life

If you’ve ever done any kind of acting or theatre, you know how much goes into a production. The audience sees the finished product, but there’s so much that happens before opening night. There is lighting, staging, props, advertising just to name a few of the elements of a community theatre play. These are things the director and stage manager have to worry about. So what are some of the things actors have to consider when doing play? The actor has to be mindful of projecting their voice so that it is heard throughout the theatre, if mics are not an option. If mics are available, you still have to make sure you’re loud and not mumbling, or breathing too hard in your mic. There’s also costumes, makeup and scene staging or blocking that are a part of the process. But aside from all the tangible things, the most important to an actor are character development and the actual performance. So how do you develop a character? How do you bring the role to life? Well, first of all the director will have a say as to how the characters develop because it’s their vision. They know what they what to see and how the audience receives the play. As an actor your job is to listen to and get behind the director’s vision while still incorporating your view of the character and storyline. You may encounter some friction but if the goal is to put on the best production possible you and the director will come to an agreement. First thing I do as an actor is look over the script and highlight my lines. It helps me focus better. I also look at any direction the playwright has given in the script. It may say the character is loud or soft..timid or bold. ‘Doubt’ by John Patrick Shanley, a play we recently wrapped had no direction for emotions as far as my character was concerned. I really had to feel her out. When I’m done scoping out the role and reading over the script, I get a feel for the character…or not. If I connect immediately, I think about any similar experiences I’ve had or friends/family have had. I also do research on the character’s job, illness or whatever she’s dealing with. I take all of these aspects and decide which I will use most to bring the character out. If the role is a stretch for me, I tend to use my experiences more. If I really get the character then I use her experiences;I give her a backstory of there is none. My goal is to make the character as real as possible. I don’t always want the role to be one that’s beloved by the audience so I play up the weaknesses and not so pretty side more. If I’m completely invested I will take on the character’s thoughts..I stop thinking about how I would approach the scenario. I start to think the way my character would. When I choose to become the role it takes on a deeper meaning. It’s more actual acting for me. However I choose to play a role, I give it my all. I want the audience to leave affected by what they’ve just seen.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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