My first project in drama was to create a character in a family that was part of a soap opera. By the end of the project we had filmed a short film of the family, which was very successful. Each member of the family had their own individual character and background. In the first few lessons we did work on developing both the final character and characterisation in general. To start with we took a random item from are bags. This could have been anything from a pencil to a water bottle. Using this item we decided who would have the item and words to describe this item. Without knowing it you had come up with a character.
This method is very effective for deciding basic details about your character. After this initial exercise we had time to decide finally what are character would be. When I had done so I created a character biography. My biography set up a background for my character, her name, what she wanted in life etc. Doing this helped me develop the character as I knew more about her and was clear with how she would behave. Doing this meant that I could start the project knowing exactly how I would play the character.
There were many aspects to my character that I liked and disliked. To start with I liked the fact that my character was quite weird however I did not like the fact that she did not fit into the family group as well as I would have liked. As the project went on quite the opposite happened, the character became quite dull and boring but began to fit into the family much better.
Improvisation is performing something with little planning and no script. Doing improvisation as part of the project helped as you could get into the character and act and think like them on the spot instead of planning ahead what you are going to do. Improvisation helped me develop my character as I could both get used to playing the character and try out different ways of doing so. I could then get a better more refined character at the end of it. A form of improvisation is hot seating this is when somebody is questioned on the spot. They have to behave and answer as their character. When I was hot seated it helped me to act my character more naturally and to get more of a background to the character by answering the questions.
I developed my characters voice, body, personally etc by picturing the character in my head. I imagined what sort of person they were this helped me have an idea about how they walked behaved etc. Before I was put with my family my character was very different to after she was put into the family group. When this happened her manner and her relationships with other people changed. When developing the specific parts of my character I tried out different ways. We did lots of exercises as a family I used this to find out what felt right and what worked best but also what I felt comfortable with.
In my final piece at the end of the project my character had changed a lot. Instead of being loud and strange character she turned out quite and slightly normal. Although I do not feel that the final piece really portrayed my character as well as I would have liked. I was disappointed at how my character had changed. I wished that they had been more individual then how they had turned out to be. I felt that they blended into the background and I wished they had stood out more.
During this project I have learnt some valuable things about character work. I have enjoyed working in large groups more than I thought I would do. When I do again I need to have more confidence and try and stand out more instead of letting other people take charge and do the work for me. Also when working in the family I have learnt that I need express my ideas better and once again don’t let people do the work for me. At the end of the project we did a monologue this helped me develop the character. Unfortunately this happened after the project in the future doing something like this would help a lot in developing the character. This project overall has not been entirely successful but has provided me with a lot of useful ideas and experience for future work in developing character.