CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT is at the core of WHAT an ACTOR DOES – and WHO an ACTOR IS! If you’re at all serious about CREATING REAL, DEEP and BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS… KEEP READING!
When you are approaching a new CHARACTER for the first time, BEFORE you begin learning the lines or doning anything else, take some time to understand him or her (or it!) thoroughly. What a character says only make sense if those words come out of the appropriate INTENTION & UNDERSTANDING of that particular character. Try and view the ANALYSIS and DEVELOPMENT of your CHARACTER like a FUNNEL. Start broad, end narrow. Let me explain.
It important to understand that you’re going to have a BIG PICTURE IDEA of your character first. This is your character’s TYPE! A COP, a TEACHER, a DRUGY, a FRIEND… Cliches may help you narrow in. Is he/she the JOCK or the GEEK? Is he/she the girl/guy NEXT DOOR? Is your character the NICE guy/girl or a BIKER THUG/BE-ATCH?
Take a look around the industry RIGHT NOW. Can you think of any actors who play this type, the one you’re working on, really well? How well do they do it? What are they doing that makes the character work? Can you tell it’s them inside that character? How?
Where else have you seen characters similar to you? Begin connecting to the kind of roles that FIT YOU BEST. You have to at least have the RIGHT funnel to begin this work. If you’re pulling on CHARACTERISTICS that are far from who you are or can be, this journey will become a bit more difficult. However, once you’ve established your BASELINE, then you can begin to get more CREATIVE as you progress in the work.
Something else to consider (without JUDGING the character): Note how similar/disimilar this character is to YOU. How much of yourself do you see in him/her? What’s different?
From here, begin to flesh out the BIOGRAPHY of your character. If information is given in the script, great! Anything that isn’t in the script is fair game to be imagined… as long as it coensides with WRITERS INTENT (or the GIVEN SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES).
WHERE were you born? WHO were your parents? WHAT did/do they both do for a living? HOW was your childhood? WHAT brought you to this exact situation? (Sidebar: When creating a back story, sometimes the information given about you in the script may not be very helpful (it happens). In certain cases you can choose a different story (or tweak the one already given) to help you find the appropriate emotional story.) End of the day — the character must FIT LIKE A GLOVE! At least while you’re living in that character.
If you read that last paragraph and said, “Wow, those are big questions!” you would be right. They are big questions. Only by asking big questions can we create big characters. If you only want to ask small questions, go into modeling. SEE CHARACTER ANALYSIS SHEET ON THE CBSI WEBSITE.
PREPARATION FOR YOUR CHARACTER WORK (Answer these questions ﬁrst thing. Like, now!)
• Be very clear as to what type of character you’re needing? Why do you think so?
• Does that character presently exist anywhere in ﬁlm or on TV? It should.
• Are you going for a character that is actually YOU or just an idea of you? Give this some serious thought.
• Do you have your character developed at all? If not, don’t give birth just yet. Develop your character ﬁrst. Then live as the character!
• Work the CBSI CHARACTER BREAK DOWN SHEET under STUDENT RESOURCES on our website.
• Flesh out your character’s INTERNAL STORY(S)?
• Dial in the appropriate MUSIC – MOODS –ATTITUDES – ADJECTIVES – AGENDAS – DISPOSITIONS – for your character. Also spend some time with, IMAGE – WARDROBE & HAIR. The simplest of things can click you in deeper to the character you’re developing.
• Do your choices compliment or pull focus from your character?
These are some of the things we go into in PRIVATE CHARACTER COACHING. It’s all about having you wind up with a REAL PERSON who is ALIVE, CONVINCING and INTERESTING!
During your sessions, you’ll also be coached on what to STAY AWAY FROM… and the different TRAPS actors fall into all the time.
PRIVATE COACHING WITH COACH BANKS will helping you with all of this and so much more!
Keep in mind, just because you LIKE the character, doesn’t mean it’ll necessary work for you. Even if it’s right in the BREAKDOWN! Your characters are PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS TOOLS. Work like a PRO!
Contact us to set up your PRIVATE CHARACTER COACHING SESSION with COACH BANKS!