Follow Cara as she walks through breaking down a character.
She has included below the 25 Questions she uses for working on a part. Please also watch the different character samples she has provided as a reference to complement the curriculum.
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS FOR WORKING ON A PART
1. What does the scene tell me about who my character is: their age, physical condition, or any other defining details, including socio-economic class, that is vital for the scene to work?
2. What literally happens to my character in the scene?
3. Why is my character in this particular scene? What information or events would be missing if I weren’t in it?
4. What does my character actually do in the scene?
5. At the beginning of the scene, what’s my character’s point of view? Hostile? Loving? Friendly? Competitive? Supportive? Humorous?
6. How and why does it change?
7. What do I want (what’s my objective)?
8. How high are the stakes?
9. What’s standing between me and what I want (what’s my obstacle)?
10. What does my character do to try to overcome it (what are my intentions)?
11. What inner imagery do I have to create?
12. What emotional triggers do I need?
13. What are my specific emotional relationships to all persons, places, objects, and events in the script?
14. How do my relationships change emotionally to the other characters within scenes and from scene to scene[…]”
16. What physical choices do I need to make? Does the character have any specific impediments? A specific walk or carriage? A habitual gesture or a gesture at a specific moment? What physical business can I create to illuminate the character and the text?
17. What is my character’s back story? (Remember: be specific and detailed, and if you create a back story, make sure it triggers you emotionally, not just intellectually.)
18. Can I do an animal exercise to help me with my interpretation of the character?
19. What piece of music would you pick to symbolize the character? (Listening to the music can be used as part of your preparation. It can be especially helpful as you explore movement for the character.)
20. How does the location where the scene takes place influence my character’s behavior?
21. What are the sensory realities of the scene and what preparations can I do to bring them to life?
22. What is the moment before each scene?
23. What accent and vocal choices do I need?
24. What size should my performance be for […]”