I hope you're doing well today! So the question for this article is, how do actors and actresses get into character?
When you analyze a character you need to understand what your character does, and why. For example if you are playing a police officer you need to understand why a person chooses police work as a career. this is applicable to any character you are playing. in addition you need to know your characters obstacles to better understand the motivations of your character. Your character work should be done along with your scene breakdown, or script analysis, and you could also include a character autobiography, this way you also know who the character is, and where they are coming from. I touched on this in my article how do actors prepare for roles.
When you do your character work take notes when you read the script (Usually the second time) Try to read the script a couple of times at least. When you take notes you can list all the facts given in the script about your character, such as what others say about you, what the author says about you, and what you say about yourself. Just because something is given it doesn't mean that it's true or your character accepts it. For example your character may not feel they have a problem with drugs, even though all of her family and friends etc knows you are a drug addict.
Your autobiography should be very specific and include as many facts as possible about your character. Once you have done your autobiography, be prepared for new ideas to arise, this is not a problem as you can always go back to your original ideas. In addition you may need to do research on your character as well.
When you are doing your character biography on background you can complete a full back story on the characters life up to this point. For example when I was working on my character Uncle Brodee for the upcoming TV show "KinFolks" where I was chosen to play the brother in law of the main character, I came up with a full back story of who I was, where I was from, my relationship to the main characters sister, where I met her, what I do for a living as well as understanding this career perspective. I also wrote about how we fell in love, how much money I have, my appearance according to this wealth, and even how I dress.
These are just some of the things I came up with, and again the character biography, and back story can be very specific. Include as much information as possible to help you with getting into your character. After you have done all of your character work, you then proceed onto the scene breakdown, or script analysis checklist. These will guide you through a step-by-step process of further analysis of your character, for example the characters overall objective for the story. To find out more about this process simply find an acting school or coach that can assist you with breakdowns. Again if you want to know the coaches I have trained with to learn all this information you can see my resume.
If you have any questions please contact me via my website contact page!
I hope this information helps!
Until next time…
Thank you for visiting,
Matt J. Doyle