HOMEWORK – ACTING 103 – PLAYING MULTIPLE CHARACTERS

This week’s assignment has several parts:

  1. We’re going to  do some additional exercises with the BLAIR – JAMEY SCENE1 (which has been used in some previous classes). So practice it again to make sure you can do perform from memory: 
  2. Then watch the videos below.
  3. For each video, ask yourself how the actors are developing multiple characters. What’s different about each character? How is this communicated? What’s different in the posture, tone of voice, intent, basic energy of each character?
  4. After watching the films – see the rest of the assignment below.

TRAVIUS

A short film that I wrote and directed. starring Jay Irwin. Jay creates several different personas based on my script. As you’re watching it, ask yourself how he makes them different from each other. How does each character talk, act, think, feel, move?

ALIEN SIDE STORY

A film in which I play two roles. As the same questions – how am I defining the two characters here? What’s different between them? Imagine a random event that might happen to them in their daily lives, like a stranger coming up on the street and demanding their wallet. How would each of them react?

I LOVE HER

A short film I wrote and directed. Two of the actors in it play “variant” roles. What’s different about the characters they create? 

After watching the videos:

  1. Read over this script and start thinking about it, preparing for this coming week’s class. Script: Reds and Blues
  2. The password is 12345
  3. You don’t have to memorize it, but read it over silently first, then read it aloud a couple of times, till you can hear both characters in your mind.
  4. Think about what they’re like when they’re not having this conversation. 
  5. Ask yourself about the characters, and do some free writing about them.

After reading it, ask yourself:

  1. What kind of person is Karen?
  2. What kind of person is Megan?
  3. How might each spend her typical day?
  4. What’s their class background? (If one is working class and the other is upper middle class, which is which?)
  5. How might this be expressed in the way each of them moves, what she does when she’s listening to the other, or when she’d talking?
  6. Where might Karen have grown up?  Is Megan from the same community, or somewhere different?
  7. If different, what kind of communities did they grow up in?
  8. What’s Megan’s relationship with her husband, and with Karen? What would Megan say to a member of her own family about Karen, and vise versa?
  9. What kinds of friends would they each have that they see regularly in their daily lives?
  10. We’ll workshop the script in class, looking at what’s defined about the characters and what’s open to interpretation and how an actor can approach portraying them with that in mind