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Old 01-25-04, 11:33 PM   #1
Riot Nrrrd
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Post "In character" or not?

Hey folks;

How many of you perform as a "character," and how many perform as "yourself?" There are I suppose a few levels to the question - obviously while performing you're going to be louder than your normal self and so on, but I'm curious to what extent some of you go with costumes, modified speech patterns/voice, etc - ie, taking on a persona for the show.

What would you see as the advantages/disadvantages of these various approaches? I've seen successful examples at both ends of the spectrum . . .

ciao,

Calum (me) / Riot Nrrrd (character in development).
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Old 01-26-04, 02:16 AM   #2
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Default give yourself character

I thought I was being myself, but everyone called me a character...
So I tried to be a characterization of myself, but it made me uncomfortable,
so I ended up being myself as a character in character.

But that's just the way I am.

I love the simple life...

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Old 01-26-04, 10:31 AM   #3
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This is a good topic. I essentially perform as an exaggerated & comic version of myself. I'm not pretending be someone else, just amplifying & distorting my own personality.

A few years ago I saw Eric Bogosian do his solo show in Chicago. Like Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams & other actors, he creates "characters" that he inhabits to communicate his own ideas. I think this style of performing is more effective than a comedian or other performer who relies on one-liners & props.
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Old 02-19-04, 06:08 PM   #4
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An interesting subject indeed!!

As the years go by, I am finding it harder to find the dividing-line betwixt myself, and "His Flatulence"..

To begin with, the Balloon Wyzzyrd kind of "gave" me permission to step over certain lines.. As I have been across those lines for such a while, I hardly KNOW where those "lines" are supposed to BE anymore!!

I am slowly recovering from a neurological condition which adversly affects my memory, concentration, and ability to find the right worms for things... to SUCH an extent that I OFTEN get my worms SO beddly middled up that I end up spraying red duck-ulous rings thong!! [just as I just did.. only it CAN be much more worselier!!]

And then there's the fact that someone has asked me to make them a teddy bear... only to be presented with a poodle, as my hands went into auto-pilot whilst I was being red-duckless in my antics with someone else...!! .....The babbling Balloon Wyzzyrd comes to the rescue!!

So, in fact, MY "character" allows me to bumble my way through a series of "blunders".. without the audience being aware that, on a bad day, I may be struggling somewhat out there!!..

Take that a little further, and a whole load of "apparently" spontaneous bits of comedic "business" are easily inserted into situations and encounters..

The Wyzzyrd IS a one-off and "quaint" ECCENTRIC.. and I LOVE working with him!!

It's a way of creating SPACE and lee-way in situations.. A COPING STRATEGY-cum-presentation style for me.

I ALSO find that, having avoided the archetypal "clown" or "Jester" personae, this enables me to go into a variety of situations, [schools, festivals, markets, promotions, etc..] WITHOUT an "ascribed" status.

It is EXTREMELY liberating for me to be able to then use my 25+ years of community work / people skills in situations where I CAN speak-as-I-find!! A refreshing degree of playful honesty ensues..

This then leaves plenty of room for spontanaety, as my audience and I create a NEGOTIATED space in which to PLAY.. suspending all "normal" or "accepted" ways of being...

..anyway..

Dozen eggs ; Flour ; Pay the rent ; Order more balloons ; Post that bit about "in-character" on P-Net... wash out the dog AND remember take the milk bottles for their walk!!

Have FUN out there!
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Last edited by grOmmet; 02-26-04 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-20-04, 12:10 PM   #5
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Ass Character Vs. Self

That is a really good question, and the answers are going to be totally different from person to person, but i can tell you for me that I am pretty much myself, i wear what i wear everyday, i dont put on a face or talk in a different way. I know a lot of performers are themselves when they perform but they turn themselves on from a 5 to a 10, meaning that they go a little over the top with certain manerizisms (cant spell) but it really works well for them. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-25-04, 09:52 AM   #6
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Im not entirely sure that when im myself , im not in character . Or how many characters I have , or when Im using them .With all the mad complexities of thehuman mind , I dont think the question is so simple . One thing for sureish is that if you are playing character you have to be a very good actor (theres not so many of those about ) . Some of the very worst shows come about by talented(tchnically) artists who cant act .
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Old 02-26-04, 06:32 AM   #7
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The whole in character out of character thing is a concept that is so important in street performing.

I think my character is an extension and exaggeration of everything that I see as being good in myself. I take the good qualities I believe I have and blow them out of proportion yet not so big they're phony.

Seems to work for me... Good question though!
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Old 02-26-04, 09:31 AM   #8
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Daniel!!

Well said, that man!! I AGREE WITH YOU.

That whole thing about not being phoney strikes a deep chord for me...
I mean it can be OBVIOUS that what is being presented is indeed a Presentation.. but if it is underpinned by a True sense of Self, then an extension of the out-of-character Character becomes slightly larger-than-life, whilst still retaining it's integrity..

Pack of washers; Sugar; Air Freshener; Take van to be painted; Visit Granny; Post reply to Daniel's comments....

Have FUN out there!
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Old 02-27-04, 06:48 PM   #9
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whether you are playing a caricature of yourself or playing a "character" it is still an extension of yourself. After all "you" are the centre of the work. It just depends on which method allows you to be free and able to improvise and be in the moment (a cliche i know but true).
I tried being myself, no costume, no "business" and i was utterly crap ( well i thought so anyway, maybe i felt "exposed")...felt very inhibited...admitedly i was not used to it...but i much prefer playing a character...Yeah a lot has to do with having a metephorical mask...but i am allowed to do that as i am performing and not holding a conference...

My main one "Yvonne" ( a ballroom dancer) does everything that "I" wish i could do, and gets away with it...but when the show is up and finished i can become anonymous and urecognisable. (Sometimes a bit of a pisser when you want adulation and attention though!)

Which brings me onto an age old issue...performers that don't stop even if the show has, and are still "at it" 3 hours later...AHHHHH! STOP! Chill!
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Old 02-28-04, 01:51 AM   #10
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So then, would Peewee be just an extension of himself as well?

... makes you shudder, don't it?
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Old 02-28-04, 03:31 AM   #11
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Argh!! finally the truth is out!... yes of course....but we knew that all along....
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Old 02-28-04, 05:16 PM   #12
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Sometimes onstage I come across as a bit of a dick ... so, I guess in that sense, I am an extension of myself.
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Old 03-02-04, 09:28 AM   #13
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Is that extention of yourself a natural erection?
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Old 03-02-04, 11:34 AM   #14
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Ass So many choices:

Erection? Ö Actually, itís more of a selection.

For you I'd pick the one shaped like a fist ... naturally.
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Old 03-02-04, 03:09 PM   #15
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It's shaped like a fist? You should have that looked at. You might be hemmoraging.
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Old 03-03-04, 03:49 PM   #16
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No matter what, it is still you on stage. My philosophy on acting is that you play yourself under imaginary motivations and circumstances. IE... this is how I would act if I were a ninja with bad alergies who is going through a nasty break with his girlfriend and needs to assasanate the prime minister of England... or this is how I would act if I was playing george bush on Saturday night live.... or this is how I'm gonna act to make everyone think I'm really charming and talented as I juggle and eat an apple on the street. Actors/performers just react to thier motivations and circumstances.
There are surface things you can add to that, ie. limp, accent, costume, nervous gestures etc.
it's allways you though. An exagerated version of you, is you playing you in a fasion that 200 people can watch at once. It's really not much different from you playing boobs the clown who can't seem to get her shirt buttoned up.

That's my aproach to acting and performing.
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Old 03-03-04, 06:51 PM   #17
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Please tell me "Boobs" the clown doesn't exist and if so can i have her please? i reckon i could handle that sophisticated level of clowning. maybe my tits could squirt water like a couple of clown flowers...

and its very warming to know that B-Fly and Rob are above me, and now below, talking avidly about erections.

x
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Old 03-03-04, 07:11 PM   #18
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Boobstheclown.com is available and after googling it ,it appears no-one using it.
Titter titter titter
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Old 03-03-04, 07:24 PM   #19
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Only two titters needed, three and its getting alien...
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Old 03-03-04, 09:51 PM   #20
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Boobs the clown is somthing I made as I wrote the post and does not exist as far as I know. If you use it you better make it f'n good.
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