A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director.
At PAA we spend time working on character. We delve into the scripts and scores looking for clues on who we are playing. What does my character need? Who does my character love or hate? How does the direction given by the director change my interpretation of my character? These are all useful and helpful questions to ask when working as an actor. But, at PAA we want to build your personal character as well.
This is a much harder task. Building character takes time, thought, and diligence. It does not come automatically after hearing a great talk, watching a video or reading a blog. Building character in ourselves requires practice and patience. It is something we may not even recognize in ourselves, but instead something pointed out to us by others. So, how do we do this? In a lot of little ways, day in, day out. Some examples might be:
- taking time out of your day to sit down with a family member or friend to listen to them and share in their joys and hurts
- doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom without being told or reminded
- keeping your room clean for a week
- walking the dog
- volunteering to help a neighbor clean up their yard or mow
- shoveling snow on your neighbor’s sidewalk of driveway
- visiting with a grandparent and asking them about their life
- doing assignments when assigned
The truth is, the greater depth of our personal character, the greater depth our stage characters can achieve. Without those character traits of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our every day matters, our lives in the theatre are meaningless.