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In TV/Film a character is a part played by an actor, commonly referred to as a role or part. It is the actor’s job to engage his audience through the portrayal of his role. When you are learning how to build a character during a movie casting call, open audition, or production you must familiarize yourself with your characters basic traits and behavior. Ask yourself Who, What, Where, When and Why of your character.
Who is The Character You Are Building?
Who is your character? Obviously you know your characters basic information such as their name, age and basic background. But beyond the name, the job and physical traits who is your character? How does you character factor into the story? How do they interact with the other characters in the story? It is always a great idea to familiarize yourself with not only your character during your casting call for a movie but the other characters in the script and their interactions.
What is Purpose of the Character?
What does your character want? What is your character’s ultimate goal? What will they gain from their actions? Sometimes your character may antagonize another character in the pursuit of revenge and sometimes it is as simple as wanting to end up with the dream guy. Sometimes your character just wants to be the good friend who is always there with wonderful advice. It is very important to know what it is that you character wants and desires, it will help you build a better version of your character.
Where Does the Character Come From?
Where is your character from? What is your character’s background? Is your character from Spain? Is your character a southern belle or a chic New Yorker? Figure out if your character has an accent. If your character isn’t given a very clear parameter of where they are from, feel free to create it. But do not go overboard; it wouldn’t make sense to be the southern belle with a British accent in a scene set in Detroit, MI. You do not want to confuse your audience. Keep your character as realistic as possible.
What Drives the Character?
What is the reason for your characters behavior? What is their emotional state? Are they angry? Are they sad? Are they happy? Are they struggling with a situation? You want to make sure that you know what the reasoning is for the choices that your character makes. It helps you create a strong connection to your character and helps you deliver that connection to the audience.
How Does you Character Connect with Others?
Is your character a detached person? Do they have a romantic bond with another? Is your character awkward and shy? Or is your character the villain? Identifying how your character interacts with others helps you build a strong foundation for your character and gives you some direction when conveying the characters voice.
Try to Connect with Your Character
Don’t be afraid to explore your character. If your character is the hero or heroine find a redeeming quality to focus on. Why does the audience love this character? Why do people feel a connection with this person? Expand on the character’s strong suits. If your character is a villain figure out why people hate him? Do not be afraid to explore the character’s evil nature. What makes him so bad? Find his damning quality.
Having a background for your character helps you build a substantially rich character and will help the scenes in a project come to life for the audience.