Character Creator’s Log – Cottleston Pie –

Today, we’re going to review our homework from last ‘week’.

No worries, you don’t have to show your work unless you want to.
Honesty’s much harder when you’re forced to share and the goal here above all else, is honesty. Because if you can’t be fully honest with yourself about your limitations…
Well… That’s going to be a trouble.

But all those pointless questions? What were they for?
If it helps, think of them like a personality litmus test.
It provides a basis for your reaction to ____conditions.
After you answered several, you might have noticed a reoccurring answer.
Or you might have noticed a severe lack of cohesion.
The latter means your reactions are more mailable and dependent/reliant on mitigating factors.

Instances of the former however, are what we’re currently looking for…
My constant: What this list tells me about myself for instance, is that I’m a talker. I talk when I’m nervous, I talk when I’m pissed, I try to trick-talk people into paying mind to the random string of words coming out of my mouth on the off chance that they find me interesting enough to keep around, or at least more amusing alive then dead.  I WILL talk until my tongue is numb, my lips sag and my head falls off.  Even then, you’d have to bury it in the sand, far away from the rest of my body…

I think you get the picture.

So. Now knowing that, we can more then assume that it would be a terrible idea for me to try and create a long standing character who is mute or non-gregarious.

There are other things of course that this list doesn’t tell us. Things like your own physical limits. But those are either already known to you or will become readily apparent as you sort out your game. Luckily, unlike ‘unrepairable’ personality constants, most of those can be worked on and improved with time.

This run down merely marks out our personality head shot.  Something that we can reference when creating a character, so that we don’t cast so far from type that the you that is always you, can be seen wiggling in irritation inside the character you’re trying to portray. Because in larp, there are no second takes.

Character Creator’s Log – Creation Casting –

Today, we’re going to focus on basics of Casting.
IE Knowing who you are in real life in order to recognize your character limits.

Before you click away, let me assure you… I can hear that voice in your head saying, “Whose this jerk trying to tell me what I can & can’t do?” Me? I’m nobody, just one voice on the internet. But yourself? Now, that’s your huckleberry.  That’s everything.
It’s best to know yourself before you start trying to dance around wearing other people’s skins. Everything else with fall into place much quicker when you already know your ‘size’.

Required Reading:
How To Get Into Character: Tara M. Clapper
You can do the exercises that Tara suggests or not, completely up to you.
Consider them extra credit.

So. What can we take away from that article?
Basically that we’re all actors. All situationalists… That our behavior can and is dictated by the groups and situations in which we willingly or not, expose ourselves. That circumstances surrounding us, especially whether or not we have any authority, familiarity or bonds in place, affects how we act around others and the roles we’re expected to play.

However, I hold(and it seems Tara agrees) that there are certain core basics to our personalities that cannot be repressed or overcome, regardless of what may or may not be going on around us at the time.

Now the similar trait(s) that Tara pointed out for Harrison Ford are…well, a little vague as far as I’m concerned and more then mailable given time, experience or a fresh edit of the script.  I could be wrong, I don’t know the man personally, but I digress.
Conversely when preforming a role already written, many of these types of things can be quashed or played up for the sake of the character.  In those cases it’s extremely easy because all the actors involved already know the script, have been assigned roles, know every twist or turn the story is going to throw at them and most importantly, have a director who will yell at them to do it again until the get the character ‘right’.
They’re comfortable and relatively safe.
In larp, the you that is always there beneath is still very clearly pulling the strings. So when something unexpected, hilarious, horrible or wonderful happens, the first honest reaction will always be your own. Given that, a good place to start is to examine what varying levels of uncertainty bring out in yourself.

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Part One: Imagine that you’re alone and then finish the sentences below.
Answer each as many times as you’d like from 0 – ∞.  So long as all variations are honest.

When I’m lost I _______

When I meet someone new I _______

When I am confronted with violence I _______

When I disagree with someone I _______

When I’m angry I _______

If I see someone in trouble I _______

If I’m confused by something I _______

If I’m uncomfortable I _______

If I’m scared I _______

If I’m bored I _______

If I want someone to like me I _______

Part Two: Now imagine that you’re with a peer and repeat the exercise.
Part Three: Now imagine that you’re in a group and go through it again.

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Next Week: Analyzing the Data.