An Actor Hub Guide to Building a Character

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It’s really about what you don’t say and trusting that actions will speak louder than words
When you play a character as an actor, you do not want to represent a caricature or a cliché. The audience needs to believe that the character you are playing is truthful, it needs to be a fully realised character with a rich backstory. The audience wants to believe that the words you are saying are coming from you, from your character and are not merely being recited from memory.
It’s actually really easy to ‘imitate’ a character and even to ‘imitate’ an emotion, but that is not what a serious and professional actor does, and to be honest where is the craft, depth or even the fun in doing that?
To fully transform into a character, to be truthfully and emotionally connected needs hard work, technique, good direction. But the audience should see none of this. direction
This technique is really useful when approaching any character, it will help you to find the truth in the character, the decisions you make will help you to approach the text and make the dialogue come alive.
This technique for building a character is based on Stanislavski’s Method and his Seven Questions.
  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • When is it?
  • Where have I just come from?
  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • Why do I want it now?
  • What will happen if I don’t get it now?
  • How will I get what I want by doing what?
  • What must I overcome?
All great actors are in touch with their own spirit … it is what makes them distinctive … it’s as if there is something coiled but restless inside them struggling to get out. When it does, the stage ignites.
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