Today I have made myself a handy booklet containing all the information from Week 0. It’s really interesting to see the crossover between acting and writing already evident in the package, especially when it comes to the building of a character.
And that must be the case… because I laminated it.
I have long believed (and indeed taught) that in order to play a character you need to know everything about them:
What was their first job?
Who was their first love?
What did they have for breakfast?
The thought process being that if we are all a bundle of experiences and knowledge cobbled together to make us uniquely… us; then so must a character be. An actor should absorb this information, empathise with the person and thus begins the character.
The same appears to be true of writing:
“The finest writing not only reveals true character, but arcs or changes that inner nature, for better or worse, over the course of the telling.” – Robert McGee (Story).
True character here is the phrase that really sticks out in my mind, because surely the creation of a true character is one that is psychologically layered. Some one who has flaws, things they love, hate; even things that set their teeth on edge. The mundane beauty of people should shine out, whatever situation you might drop them into, because we all have different ways we would react under pressure, out of joy, heartbreak etc: so that should be the same for a character.
The section on the creation of a character is surprisingly (and wonderfully) very familiar! This course has already set my mind ablaze, and we haven’t even started yet!