Acting 103 – Assignment 3: Playing With Character Types

Hi everyone, There’s nothing to memorize this week because we’ll be doing cold reads in class. But there is a practice exercise, which is to choose any FIVE of the character types below and practice “being” them.

After choosing a character, practice responding to some news as the character would. Pick any random item that’s been in the news recently, and “be” the character responding to it. See if you can find the character’s physical and emotional energy, way of sitting, talking, and general attitude, and practice them also.

CHARACTER TYPES:

  1. WORRIER – always fretting and worrying about everything.
  2. APOLOGIZER  – apologizes for breathing. Thinks everything is his/her fault.
  3. OPTIMIST – Cheerful and happy go lucky; ridiculously positive; sees the bright side in everything.
  4. EXAGGERATOR – always telling tall tales
  5. SELFISH – “Yeah? What’s in it for me?”
  6. COLD AND CAUSTIC – no sympathy at all
  7. DOWNBEAT, SAD AND WHINEY – always sees the down side in everything
  8. AGREER” – agrees endlessly with whatever you’re saying
  9. OVERLY COMPASSIONATE – Deeply sympathetic about ridiculous things.
  10. POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC – No matter what the other characters say, you’re endlessly happy, looking on the bright side
  11. DEFENSIVE – “Hey, it’s not my fault!”
  12. BRAWLER – Always trying to pick a fight. Loves nothing better than good battle.
  13. HIDER – Always avoids conflict
  14. CYNICAL – Always finds something to be skeptical about
  15. DUBIOUS – doubts everything.
  16. SUSPICIOUS
  17. PISSED AT THE WORLD

RESPONSES

For example, if you give one of the characters above the news that “The cat had kittens”…

  1. A WORRIER might respond, “I was reading yesterday that cat food has lead and mercury in it. So you’d better make your own cat food just to be on the safe side. Be sure not to cook it too long though, or the vitamins might get depleted.”
  2. An OPTIMISTIC character might respond, “That’s wonderful! Kittens are great, they’re such little bundles of happiness!”
  3. A DUBIOUS character might respond, “Have you actually SEEN these kittens? I mean, anybody can CLAIM that a cat had kittens,. That doesn’t make it true.”
  4. An OVERLY COMPASSIONATE character might respond.”The poor kitty! Childbirth is so painful. Here, I’ll make her some herbal tea and give her a paw massage, she must be exhausted.”
  5. A DEFENSIVE character might respond, “Don’t blame me! I didn’t let the cat out when she was in heat.”
  6. A DOWNBEAT, SAD AND WHINEY person might respond, “That’s a bummer. There are too many cats in the world already. They all end up in shelters. Some of them don’t have enough food, you know.”
  7. AN EXAGGERATOR might respond, “I had a cat once that had twelve kittens. All in one litter. The vet said it was incredible. He’d never seen anything like it. She was a very special cat, of course. Purebred Malaysian. She actually had seventeen more kittens, a couple of month later.”
  8. A BRAWLER might respond, “To hell with cats! And idiots like you! You wanna fight, a$$hole?!”

If the news is, “Julian Assange was just released from jail”…

  1. A WORRIER might respond, “I dunno. I mean, Ihe’ll probably be jailed again when he gets home. Could be a trick to get him to plead guilty so they can go after him again.”
  2. A DEFENSIVE CHARACTER might respond, “It’s not my fault! I wasn’t the one who let him go.”
  3. A DUBIOUS character might respond, “Yeah, I know they SAY he’s been released. But have you actually SEEN him? News footage can be faked, you know.”
  4. AN EXAGGERATOR might respond, “I was released from jail once myself, you know. It was a big news item. The President himself flew in to pardon me. I got the medal of honor cause I’d been wrongly convicted.”
  5. An OPTIMISTIC character might respond, “That’s great! I heard that political prisoners might start being released soon, all over the world! It’s the start of a new world era of happiness and reconciliation.”
  6. A BRAWLER might respond, “To hell with Assange! And idiots like you! You wanna fight, a$$hole?!”

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