- Character Development Page

Here is the second installment in the

Character Development Section.

 - Forming A Character -

By Peter Marucci

There's a question at the top of the previous page:

"When performing who do you portray?  Vampire or Vampire hunter?

Witch or Wizard?  Demon or Saint?"

And that's something that you have to have clear in your mind, before you do

your first bizarre routine.

Pick your character wisely; it will possibly be with you for the rest of your

performing life!

The late Gene Poinc wrote some brilliant bizarre routines and every one was

told by his character, The Practitioner.  In his book, The Practitioner:

Journeys Into Grey, he tells the reader a great deal about this fictional

character - his appearance, his lifestyle, his habits.

And so it should be with your character.

Let's assume you choose the role of a Merlin-like wizard.

First, decide what period your character is in. Or is your character out of

his own time and living in ours? In either case, find out everything you can

about those who considered themselves wizards in that period: What they wore, what they did to make others consider them wizards, what their role was in

society; in short, learn how to live the wizard's life.

That doesn't mean you actually have to do it; but you should be familiar

enough with your character (the wizard, in this example) that you are able to

discuss the values, beliefs, and doings of such a wizard with someone (a

professor of history, for example) who is fully conversant with such a


If you are trying to "sell" a bizarre story, you don't want to be in the

position of being caught saying that a 12th-century wizard looked at his


Your character may be someone as average as a simple storyteller who is

explaining the mysterious (that's the role I play, in my bizarre work).

But you still have to learn everything you can about this character; write it

down - his beliefs, his likes and dislikes, his hopes and fears - everything.

And, once you have done that, study it and learn it so that it is second

nature to you.

In this case, you are truly an actor playing a role. You must make the role

believable to your audience. And the only way that you can do that is to

believe it yourself.

The late close-up master Tony Slydini said, in his marvellous accent, "You

must gotta believe!" He meant that, if you say your empty fist is holding a

coin, you have to believe that it is yourself, before your audience will

believe you.

Same thing in this case: If you believe you are your character, then so will

the audience.

Peter Marucci - Character Development Page 2

Look for more pages to be added as soon as Peter has the time

to write them up.   

Thanks Peter!

If you like what you see here don't hesitate to send him a thanks

as well.

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