Character Checklist – An actors checklist for building a character

Photo Credit: The Arches via cc
We are delighted to republish Prof. John Palmer’s ‘Theatre Briefs’ series, Actor Hub hope you find them as useful as we have.
This series of short essays about acting is reprinted with the kind permission of Professor John P Palmer of London, Ontario, Canada. He wrote these ‘Theatre Briefs’ for use by students and fellow actors during classes and rehearsals. Where he has relied on material from others, they are cited.
Study the character.
Ask yourself:
What is/are that person’s:
  • Appearance
  • Movements
  • Smell
  • Nationality
  • Memories
  • Laugh
  • Failures
  • Dreams
  • Daydreams
  • Nervous gestures
  • Smile
  • Mannerisms
  • Health
  • Loneliness
  • Age
  • Fears
  • Weaknesses
  • Biography
  • Needs
  • Experiences
  • Wants
  • Clothing
  • Income
  • Birth sign
  • Perceptions
  • Name
  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Social Status
  • Politics
  • Accomplishments
  • Attitude towards Death
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Religion
  • Passions
  • Intellect
  • Education
  • Language
  • Voice
  • Posture
  • Weight
  • Strengths
  • Diet
  • Drinking habits
  • Goals
  • Energy Level
  • Likes and Dislikes
  • Sexuality
  • Eccentricities
  • Sense of humour
  • Temper
  • Pride or lack of it
  • Morality
  • Self-confidence
  • Loves
Derived from a similar list compiled by Norman Schwartz and originally from William Ball, Founder of the American Conservatory Theatre.

These essays may be reproduced at no charge for non-commercial purposes. Just please acknowledge the original source (John Palmer) and his blog Eclectecon.
Also please retain the attributions included in the briefs.
You may not use these resources for commercial purposes.