One of the most exciting parts for any actor is the process of making a character their own. The best way to start and accomplish this feat is to dive in with this recipe that I've found to be super helpful as I've brought several characters to
life over the years. Here's my gift to you, because from now on, I want every character you create to be believable on many levels.
EXPLORE- When you first receive word of the character you're preparing to
portray, exploring brings you to a place of how that character would actually come to life. Where would they hang out? What would they do on the weekend? Where would they go to have free time? How would this person spend the majority of their day? This may
seem far fetched at first, but when you begin to figure these things out, the many levels to your characters will be on marvelous display as you participate in different productions.
EXPERIENCE- This concept becomes
one of the more simple ones, yet it also integrates well with the previous concept of explore. Basically, what experience do you and this character share that you can bring to this performance? What aspect in your life would make you guys completely relatable
if they were to meet you in real life. Find it and run with it!
EMPTY- Yep, you read that right! Empty out everything. While it's great to bring aspects of yourself into a character, anything that would
compromise the integrity of that character should be thrown out the window. Not always, but sometimes small tweaks that aren't adjusted for the character can affect your performance in the most subtle ways possible. And while most want notice, the heavily
involved film/theatre professional will see it. So if you're character loves republicans and you're a democrat, work on everything that will get you to become that ultra conservative person.
ENERGIZE- I once
learned from Ivana Chubbuck about super objectives and how your character must have goals to really drive them into ACTION! We each have a purpose. Something that gets us excited about life. Bring that right into your performance! If your character is a person
than that person has a soul and there is something that drives that soul to be energized with a Divine essence
EXPRESSION- Last but not least, don't hold back. You became an actor because it gives you the opportunity
to just let go and live 200%of the moment. Here is where that becomes the most important thing you have to implement. Go for the big choice! Go over the top and take what the moment gives you and use it! Revel in all that wonderful theatrical essence. And
as you do this, let me know how you reacted to the major applause you received on stage or at the screening.
Shaun Grant is an American Actor, writer and teacher. Skilled in the metaphysical arts, he experiences great passion for helping people find their ultimate potential.