Sunday, 6 May 2012

'Becoming' Your Character

A little bit of context for this post: I've got my Theatre Studies exam on Tuesday.

What? I only said there would be a little bit of context.

So, for this exam there are two sections, each with equal weightings. 30% of your final grade is based off of a group performance, where you're marked on your ability to abide by the director's (i.e. your teacher's) interpretation of a script, and for our piece we're doing Charlotte Jones' The Dark. The other 30% of your exam mark is based on a 2 minute monologue of your choosing, and you're marked on your written interpretation, movement, characterisation, and voice.

Long story short, being a completely cocky arsehole I decided to play Titania from Midsummer Night's Dream, and believe you me when I say that 'These are the forgeries of jealousy...' may look on the surface to be a relatively easy monologue...But as with anything of Shakespeare, it's one thing saying the words with expression, it's an entirely different thing expressing the language in a way that makes it penetrable to the audience.

Now, as some of you may know, Titania is the Queen of the Fairies. As some of you may not know, I naturally lack grace, and poise, and anything remotely queen- like, asides from my accent (as I discovered, my natural accent wasn't posh enough anyway, I pronounced my 'u's wrong). As the weeks progressed, and as I worked longer on the monologue, I finally managed to grasp the fairy like, but regal manner, that I wanted to portray as Titania.

And then Titania started seeping into my real life. Now, instead of being hunched over when sitting and standing, I generally push my shoulder's back slightly and sit tall. I can't help but pronounce my 'u's as if I'm speaking the Queen's English, and finally, I'm a lot lighter on my feet, seriously. I'm naturally quite a heavy footed person (hence the clumsiness) but now I'm able to prance about without making a sound.

Now this may be something that I've noticed when getting into role as Titania, but it occurs elsewhere in my...'creative pursuits'

For example, whenever I roleplay (as in internet roleplay, not kinky bedroom sex roleplay) as certain character's for a prolonged period of time, I tend to bring across their personality traits into real life, I talk slightly more like I imagine they'd talk, adopt the mannerisms I write for them, adjust my language to suit their background and upbringing.

So, what I want to know is...As an actress and writer, is it a good thing that I find it so easy to adopt my character's mannerisms and such? I mean it doesn't effect me greatly, and when I realise I'm doing it I can snap back to myself straight away, but is it natural to do so?

1 comment:

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