An Actor's Guide to Character Development: The Introduction

Character Developement is Introduced and Broken Down

There is one thing that as an actor one must completely excel at in order to become successful. Well, you could be related to someone within the industry - that always helps, however, if you are like 99.9% of every other actor, than you are starting from scratch, and must have the talent
 to back you up. As an actor, you must be able to create a character. This is what we call, Character Development.

Character Development isn't just sitting around, reading your name from the script, and getting a surface level view of who you are as a character - it's delving as deeply as possible into who this character is. It is literally trying to become this person. As an actor you must be able to completely void out all of you, and replace it with this character/person. However, you must learn how to void yourself out, without completely becoming numb to your human sensations - letting parts of you leak through at the appropriate times in order to create a more stable and dynamic character. There are a lot of discussions between actors and acting coaches about this method, which was originally established by famed acting coach and director Stanislavski. It is within this type of acting that the phrase, Method Acting" was coined.

"Method Acting" is a technique in which actors literally replicate feeling and emotions pertaining to a particular scene in order to create and process the scene (emotional). The actors whom are participating within this technique recall feelings and emotions from their real life and transcend them into their character's life in order to establish and influence the portrayal of their character.

Jonathan McLelland
Written by Jonathan McLelland
I have spent many years researching and reviewing electronics products as well as discovering natural remedies for common, and not-so-common health issues. My passion is to help people thro...  -  Full profile
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Character Development is one that constantly elludes most actors - espcially in the audition room. With some of the hints and tips, actors will be provided with information that will help them create an interesting character.
Related information
  • Method Acting is very popular
  • As an actor, you must be inventive
  • Use your own memories to shape your character.
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I have been working behind the scenes in television production for over 15 years. After having been asked several times to audition for a part (and most times refusing) and/or having been flat out given roles (U5 and sometimes more in soaps, v/o,corporate and other), I decided maybe it's time to give my next chance a serious shot. I searched the web for a few brush up tips and came across your site. I can honestly say, you post some of the best real world advice I've seen. If readers really understood what you post, they will be well on their way...subject to what a casting director, producer are looking for, or a few other things out of their control.

Posted on 05/03/2007 at 8:05:00 PM

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