Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A post I wrote about character on some forum

If you are a performer especially if you are paid to perform then it is of the utmost importance that you know all about your character. Notice how I say 'know your character' instead of 'have a character'. If you are a performer then you have a character and it's important to know who it is even if the character is just yourself.

Knowing your character is important because you need to be able to answer the five w's in relation to your character. The five w's being; who, what, when, where, why, and sometimes how. I suppose if you twisted my arm I would say that three of those are more important for the spinner than the others. At the very least take a look at your act and say "Who am I, What am I doing, Why am I doing it?"

Knowing the answer to these helps you know what sort of story you're telling. Human's are a story telling creature it's part of who we are. If you think that you're not telling a story that you are just doing an exhibition of moves then you are telling a story proclaiming to the world "Hey look how great I am". Knowing the answers to these question can help you with everything from choreographing your set down to the outfit you wear.

I'm going to answer some of these questions for my self to better illustrate my point.

  • Who am I? I am Magnus, a wizard with my stave(s) at my side.
  • What am I doing? Engaging in battle against my foes.
  • Why am I do it? For Glory

These are the things I think about when I spin. I use the w's even deeper in relation to those answers. For example spinning a single stave in a buzzsaw I think what does this move do? My answer in context is that it provides a magical barrier as long as I'm spinning it. So the why am I doing it becomes because the enemy has launched an attack. The next question becomes what is the result of that attack? Did I successfully resist or did it have an effect? What does that look like?

The answers to these questions might change dramatically act to act or not. But a serious performer can't afford to ignore them.

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