Many actors struggle with connecting 110% to the character, there’s always some niggle in the back of their mind that they’d not quite captured the essence of the character, that they’ve missed something, but aren’t sure what or that the character is so different from them it’s impossible to connect at all. If you’ve ever experienced this I’m going to share with you how to immerse into the role the healthy way so you never walk away from a performance dissatisfied again. I’d also like to make a bold statement and say that it is possible to connect to ANY character, no matter how far removed from you they may seem.
WHAT IS A CHARACTER?
This might seem like a really silly question, but it’s always good to get absolutely clear. Sometimes actors can get blindsided by the amount of information available on what the true essence of a character is.
Character: the mental & moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
Some actors get bogged down by emotions or by personality, but there’s much more to a character than that as you will discover in my tips.
HOW TO IMMERSE INTO THE ROLE THE HEALTHY WAY
- Read the script as many times as you can – for those of you who have been following me for a while you will know I say this all the time; on my videos, in my emails, on the blogs and in class. Why am I obsessed with you reading the script over and over? Simple, everything you ever need to be able to create an authentic character is in the script, it is your bible. All the clues are in there waiting for you to pull them out if you’ll only invest in reading it. This in itself makes connecting to the character far easier. Don’t fall into the lazy acting trap of reading it once or only reading your scene(s), that will land you in hot water.
- Pull out ALL facts of the story – You are part actor and part detective as this stage. Your job is to pull out all the clues the script writer has left you to paint a clear and truthful picture of the person whose story you’re going to breathe life into. The clues are in the dialogue and in the stage directions. This is why it is so important to be disciplined with tip 1. If you’re not, you’re going to miss vital evidence and walk away frustrated after your performance.
- Find the similarities and differences between you and the character – Start with the obvious and work your way to the not so obvious. You will have to read between the lines too. When you’re searching for the similarities and differences, again, you will need to read the script over and over and over. This work is the starting point for closing the gap between yourself and the role.
- Get curious – Once you have your huge list of similarities and differences, you’ll need to explore the differences, this is going to help you close the gap between yourself and the character even further. When you start to explore the differences and find a way to make them personal you’ll begin to understand the mindset and morals of the character. This is important because it helps you find their unique BEHAVIOUR. It’s important to become familiar with the mindset, morals and behaviour by exploring the differences because it paves the way for you to begin layering the character with their own unique voice and idiosyncrasies/mannerisms.
Put these techniques to use the next time you land a role, whether that be in class, for an audition or in a production and notice the difference they make. My students use these techniques and get complimented on their acting at auditions.
Has this helped?
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Here’s to your success!
Don’t give up, just keep learning.
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