Les fondamentaux du jeu théâtral : 5 étapes pour jouer un rôle sur scène, dans un film et à la TV | Karim Darwish | Skillshare

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Acting Essentials: 5 Steps to Performing the Role for Stage, Film, and TV

teacher avatar Karim Darwish, Digital Content Producer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Construct the Backstory

    • 3. Activity: Write a Biography

    • 4. Identify the Goals & Challenges

    • 5. Activity: Analyze a Scene

    • 6. Build the Character's Physicality

    • 7. Activity: Create a Movement Sequence

    • 8. Express the Character's Voice

    • 9. Activity: Film your Performance

    • 10. Understand Costumes & Props

    • 11. Activity: Design a Fashion Style

    • 12. Recap & Next Steps

    • 13. How to Memorize Your Lines? (Bonus 1)

    • 14. Is Acting for You? (Bonus 2)

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About This Class

In this course, you will learn the building blocks for creating a character for the stage and the camera. You will learn how to:

  1.  Analyze a Script
  2. Construct a Character Backstory
  3. Understand the Character’s Goals and Challenges
  4. Build the Character’s Physicality and Vocal Qualities.

Meet Your Teacher

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Karim Darwish

Digital Content Producer



Hey there! I'm Karim. I'm a visual storyteller and digital content producer.


Creating online content is a great way to share your experience, guide people anywhere in the world on their personal or professional journeys, and build a passive stream of income throughout the day, even in your sleep. 


It's not an easy path and won't happen overnight. My goal is to create easily accessible and affordable content to empower you to take the first step on your creative journey. To build an online business where you get to follow your passion, utilize your talent, and bring value to your audience.


To do what you love, help others, and make money. A win-win-win situation :)

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Karim Darwish, theater artist and content creator, and this is introduction to character creation. In this course, we will learn the building blocks for creating a character for both the stage and the camera. You will learn how to analyze a script, construct a character backstory, understand the character's goals and challenges, and build the character's physicality and vocal qualities. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. I've performed on stage, on camera, and I'm so excited to be teaching this new course online. Each lesson in this course will introduce you to one step in the character creation process, and will include a worksheet and an optional activity for you to complete. Each activity builds on the one before, and by the end of the course, you will have built a foundation for a character who's ready to come alive of the pages of the script. This is an introductory level course. If you are new to acting, thinking about acting, or need a refresher after a long time away from acting, this course is for you. If you are ready to begin, I'll see you in lesson 1, the backstory. 2. Construct the Backstory: Welcome to lesson 1 of the character creation course. Before we begin, let's talk about what tools you as an actor have to build the character. The script is the main source of information about your character and every choice you as an actor make has to ultimately honor the script and the writer's intents. You as an actor will need to do further research on the time and location where the story takes place and any other factor that could be part of your characters upbringing and development, such as the times and location, when, and where the story takes place. The more information you have about the character, the richer your character will be. But not everything will be available to you in the script or the research, especially for fictional or ancient history characters, and that's when your actors imagination comes in play. You will have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks and make choices that still honor the script and the world created by the writer. The first step to building a character as an actor is to know who the character really is. The script will provide you with essential information about the character, this includes the character name, relationship, occupations, social status, and so on. First, read the script and take note of every detail about your character that you come across, no matter how small it is. If it's in the script, it's there for a reason and a good actor will find a way to utilize every bit of information they have for the character. After the scripts, do your research on the times and locations where your character was born, raised, and lives in the story. Find out what factors influenced their development, what was the culture they grew up in like. What was happening around your character socially, politically, economically, was there war, economical hardships, revolutions, political changes, what were the times like, and what effects could any of these factors have on your character. After the script and the research and that's where you get an opportunity to co-create with the writer. Use your actors imagination to fill in the blanks where the script and the research did not provide information. This is one of the things that separates good actors from great actors, the details and the depth of the character they create. For example, the script may not include enough information about the character's parents, but you as an actor can make an educated choice and decide based on what makes the most sense and honors the script, if the parents had a happy marriage or a divorce, or if one of them died, and what affects any of those choices may have on the character, and would any of these choices make sense with what you already know about the character's life and behavior from the script. Similarly, you can make choices regarding the character's childhood experiences, relationships, dreams and aspirations, but don't get too carried away and end up writing a whole new different story than what the writer had in mind. All the choices you make must respect the intentions of the writer and honors the script. In this lesson, we explored the actor tools for building a character, the script, research and actors imagination. Your activity is to find a play or a movie script you like, pick a character you would like to play, read the script, use your research and imagination and write a three to four page biography about your character from their birth to death. You will find a script analysis worksheet to help guide you through this activity. If you would like to see me go through this worksheet, you can watch the next video. Otherwise, I hope to see you in lesson 2 when we talk about the character goals and challenges. 3. Activity: Write a Biography: Hi again. I hope you enjoyed lesson 1 and are excited for this first activity of the course. In this activity, you will write a biography about your character by exploring three dimensions of the character's life; physical, social, and psychological. If you haven't already, make sure to download the course activity booklet from the course resources section and follow along. You can print it or have it open on your computer, whichever works for you. In the activity worksheet, you will see three tables or boxes. One for the physical dimension, social dimension, and psychological dimension. Starting with a physical, this describes the external side of the character, everything that can be seen and how they appear. Things like name, gender, age coloring, which refers to hair, eyes, and skin colors, marks such as birth marks, scars, tattoos, health conditions that are visible such as a limb or an injury. This final one is for fun, but still tells a lot about the character, pets. Do they have any pets? Are they a cat or a dog person or are they one of those people who have a tiger at the basement? So for each one of these points, make sure to elaborate as much as possible. Make sure your answers are specific and detailed as much as you can. Social describes a character in their community and how they fit in. This dimension includes status, occupation, education, family, nationality, race, and beliefs. Status is their position in their society. Do they hold a high position or a low position and how respected are they in their work and community? Occupation is what they do for a living and how they support themselves financially. Education is what level of education do they have, how many school years they have completed, what's their highest degree or degrees? Family is who is their family, how many siblings they have, are they married, do they live with someone? Similarly, you can address their nationality, race, what spiritual and political beliefs they have. In the final dimension, the psychology, it describes the internal side of the character, how they see themselves and their place in life. Things like romantic life. You can generally describe what their love life is like. Do they have any romantic feelings for someone? What are those feelings like? If they don't have any feelings for anyone, how does that make them feel? A lot of feelings in this one, moral standards are about your characters, character, and what they stand for, what's important to them. Don't just say high or low standards, but describe further what the character values and lives by. Do they value, honesty, quality, justice, for example? Or are they okay with lying or deceiving others to get what they want? Or maybe they have double standards about some of these moral values. They don't accept certain things done to them, but they do them to others. A little hint. A well-written character will be complex and will be multilayered. They will not be all good or all bad. Those are all good or all bad characters don't have enough depth. So even if you are playing the villain in the story, find out their good side too, and what they stand for when it comes to their rules about life, their family and loved ones. Personal goals are any dreams and aspirations your character has, how they feel about them. Are they excited to achieve them or are they intimidated by them? Regrets are the things your character is disappointed about. These can be things like waiting too long to accomplish a goal and now the missed the opportunity and it's too late or wrong decisions they made and wish they hadn't. Or getting into a bad relationship, they regret having or breaking a good relationship they wish they stayed in. Pet peeves are all the things that annoy your character. Even if you think these are silly, small things, they are important to people who have this pet peeves and it will be important to your character. So come up with a few things that annoy your character. Maybe it's a neighbor with a loud engine car who wakes everyone up early in the morning, or that friend who always eats your fries, or people who always ask questions during movies. Finally, strengths and weaknesses are about what the character feels they are good at and not good at. What aspects about them are they proud of and what aspects they want to improve in? Think about strengths as the qualities that make the character succeed in life and the weaknesses are those keeping the character from solving their problems. Strengths may be things like creativity, flexibility, strong leadership skills, and weaknesses may be things like self-criticism, insecurities, fear to socializing or public speaking. Weaknesses do not mean your character is doomed and can never accomplish anything because of these weaknesses. No, weaknesses are simply areas where your character just needs to improve. Weaknesses are opportunities for growth. So as you are addressing these three-dimensions, you can scribble, write bullet points or any other way that works for you. Then when you are done, rearrange all of the notes you collected and write a 3-4 pages biography about your character's life from their birth to their death. Obviously, you can't fit everything in a 3-4 pages, so focus on the life highlights, the important details about your character's life that you can build on when you are creating your performance. Don't worry if you are not a good writer, this is not a writing class and you don't have to be a good writer. As an actor, you don't need to show this to anyone. The character biography is only to give you a strong foundation for creating your character. Don't focus too much on grammar or writing structure, just write however you speak as if you're telling a friend about your character in a casual conversation. Just make sure to write in the first-person using I statements. I have, I want instead of my character has, my character wants. This helps connect you to the character when you are performing the role. Take your time completing this activity and refer to the lesson again if you need to. You can go to lesson 2 when you are ready. 4. Identify the Goals & Challenges: In lesson one, you built a backstory for the character and wrote a biography. If you did the activity about their life from birth to death, including as much information about the character as you could gather from the script, research, and your imagination and informed choices. This lesson, we will get more specific by focusing on the character's goals and challenges in the story. Great engaging stories are about conflict and conflict resolution. No one wants to watch a movie about the happy family who live in the happy village and got all their wants and needs covered and no one wants anything. That would be boring. We want to see stories that reflect our lives. Characters who have needs and wants, who are faced with challenges and obstacles, and how they overcome those challenges. Even in comedy or cartoons, each character wants something they can't quite get yet because there is something or someone in their way and they have to take some action to overcome that what's in the way to get what they want. They may succeed or fail, but it's that pull and push, that contrast, that makes a story engaging, sometimes inspiring, and definitely more entertaining than the happy family from the happy village. Each character from the star of the story to the smallest role has a goal, something they want to accomplish. This is called the objective. They face a challenge that keeps them from accomplishing their goal, the obstacle, and they do something to overcome that challenge and that something is called the tactic or the action. The objective is what motivates the character to say their lines and communicate with other characters. It can be broken down to smaller objectives, contributing to what is called the super-objective. This super-objective is the ultimate goal the character wants to accomplish in the entire story. The smaller objectives are what the character wants to accomplish in the scene to eventually get to their super-objective. So for your character, ask yourself, what does my character want? Why are they even in the story? Why do they say what they say? Again, if it's in the script, it's there for a reason. If the character repeats themselves, says the same thing again, it's not a mistake or redundancy, its for a reason. No matter how big or small, important or silly what the character says, you still need to know what the objective is for each scene and how these smaller objectives contribute to the character's super-objective. The objective needs to be specific, a specific action verb that can be expressed physically, such as to inspire, to manipulate, to challenge. It should not be an emotion like to be happy or general, like to not get fired. Those are not specific and are not actable. But because good stories are about conflict, the character will not be getting what they want right away, or maybe ever. We need to know what is standing in the character's way to accomplish their goal. What's the obstacle? For each goal you identified for your character, ask yourself, what is keeping them from accomplishing these goals? Is it a person, a circumstance, a belief, a lack of skill or knowledge? Now the greater the obstacle the more engaging the story is. We don't want to watch a two-hour movie about a character who say wants a cup of coffee and all his problems are that he forgot his wallet. Maybe you do, no judgment here, but there has to be something big on the line. There has to be a sense of urgency or danger of Some kind if the character doesn't get their way because good writers don't write stories about another day in the life for a bunch of characters, they write stories about the time when this huge thing happened. Ask yourself, what are the stakes? What will happen if the characters did not get what they wanted, did not accomplish the objective? Are they going to lose their job, lose money, lose relationships, or die? Each scene will have its own stakes. Now we know the objective and we know the obstacle, and we know what's at stake. Next, we need to know what will the character do about all of that? What action or tactic will the character take to overcome the obstacle to achieve the objective? The action will be your choice as long as it makes sense to what the character is saying, and to the story. There is no one right action because the character can overcome the obstacle through a multiple different ways. In this lesson, we learned about the character objectives, obstacles, stakes, and tactics. Your activity is to choose a scene from the script you used for lesson's 1 activity and identify your character's, objectives, obstacles, stakes, and tactics. You will find a character analysis worksheet to help guide you through this activity and if you want to see me go through that worksheet, you can watch the next video. Otherwise, I hope to see you in lesson 3 where we talk about the character's physicality. 5. Activity: Analyze a Scene: For this activity, you will practice identifying your characters, objectives, obstacles, stakes, and actions. Just like what we talked about in lesson 2, pick a scene from the script you used for character biography in the first activity. I would suggest you pick a scene where some good action is happening, maybe around the middle of the script, where characters have been fully introduced and are now at a heightened place in the story. Don't pick the first scene where not a lot is happening yet, but that's just a suggestion, you can pick the scene that works for you. Just keep in mind that the scene you pick now, you will continue working on for the next activities when you add the physicality and the voice of the character. Once you have the scene, read it multiple times, then answer the questions in this worksheet, you'll find an active verb sheet in this course, make sure to use it when you are identifying the objective. Let's say Bob gets into a car accident, he is fine, but the car is not, total loss. This car was brand new, only purchased last month. There is one little problem, this car was not Bob's car, it was his dad's. Another little problem, Bob actually took the car behind his dad's back. He wanted to impress some friends. Now Bob has to go home and break the news to his dad that he just destroyed his dad's new car which he drove behind his dad's back. Bob is certain when his that knows he will be so mad that he might punish Bob by preventing him from going to prom, but Bob cannot go to prom. He has been gathering his courage all year and just the other day finally asked his crush to prom. Now you may be judging Bob and saying that is silly, but to Bob, it's a big deal. It could be the love of his life. Bob decides to hide from the situation and sneak in late at night when everyone's asleep. This way, he will avoid a confrontation with his dad until he thinks about a better solution. His dad was awake and asks why Bob is late and why the car isn't in the garage? At this point, Bob decides to lie and says he did not drive the car. To Bob's surprise, his dad says he was on the phone earlier with a family friend who saw Bob drive by in his dad's car. Bob then decides to come clean and owned his actions and takes responsibility and tells his dad the truth. Bob's dad is awesome, all he cares about is that Bob is healthy and safe and he is proud that Bob took responsibility. He decides not to keep up from going to prom. After prom, however, Bob will not have his phone for a month, but that's an obstacle for another scene. From this silly scene I made up, we can say that for Bob, the objective for this scene is to evade punishment. The obstacle is dad is awake and want to hear what happened to his car. What's at stake? Bob could be prevented from going to prom with the crush of his life. Tactics? Bob first tries to deny his actions, then to accept responsibility and to beg for forgiveness. For this scene, he was able to evade prom punishment. For the scene you pick, make sure to do the same thing, find what's the objectives, obstacles, stakes, and tactics. Make sure the objective is in an action verb that can be acted out. When you're ready, I will see you in lesson 3. 6. Build the Character's Physicality: Now what we have done all the prep work in lessons one and two, we are ready to start bringing this character off the pages by exploring the physicality of this character. Physicality is all about what the character does with their body, how they stand, sit, walk, how they express themselves non-verbally, how they communicate, emotions of happiness, anger, frustration, everything the character does with their facial expressions, hands, feet, and their whole whole. There are two ways you can approach the character's physicality, inward-outward, or outward-inward. The inward-outward way starts with exploring the character's psychology first, how they feel on the inside, and that influences how their body moves outwardly. The outward-inward way starts with moving the body first, and that influences how the character feels on the inside, which way you choose is up to you and what works for you and for the story and you can use a mix of both. From all the information you gathered and constructed about the character you will have a lot of data to work with as a starting framework that you can build on. For example, how old is the character? What's their health like? Do they play sports? Work an office job? Do they have a physical disability? The answers to all these questions will give you an idea how this character might behave physically. What's the character's life like? Are they rich, poor, in a happy relationship or a bad one? Do they have a financial problem, did they lose a loved one? Do they have an addiction or anger problem? The answers to these questions will give you an idea about how this character might behave emotionally. The topic of physicality is huge and it can take multiple courses to cover, but I want to give you a few tools as a starter. For this lesson, we will explore three elements of physicality, weight, lead, and pace. Weight refers to the emotional weight of a character which can be light or heavy. The more happy and relaxed the character is the lighter their body feels and their movement flows freely. The more sad and tense the character is the heavier their body feels and their movement will be weighed down from the neck or shoulders, arms. The lead refers to which part of the body leads the character's movement. Do they lead from the head, from the chest, pelvis, feet? How does each one of those movements, postures feel and look? What can we tell about a person who moves like that? Pace refers to how fast and sudden or slow and continuous the character moves. Do they move fast or slow? Do they have a strong fiscal impulse or are they more contained? Based on the information you have about the character, play around with these three elements, mix and match weight, lead, and pace and see what you discover. Walk around in your space and sit and stand in different weights. Explore how it feels to lead from different body parts. Try changing your pace and make choices based on your experiences and what makes them best sense for the character and the story. Another bonus tool is muscle memory. Our bodies remember how they moved during certain experiences, especially experiences with heightened emotions like joy or pain. You can recall these memories and bring them to your character's physicality. Recall how heavy your body felt when you were angry at someone, or how light it felt when you were in love with someone. How slow it was when you were tired or sad and how sudden and fast it moved when you receive exciting news. Recall how your shoulders felt, how your arm swayed, how your feet pointed. You have a firsthand experience as a human being at your disposal when you're building your character. Unless, your character is an alien or an animal, which requires a different level of physical skills and actor's imagination. Choosing the muscle memory allows you to recreate the physicality of the emotion without necessarily reliving the emotion. But our bodies and minds are connected and oftentimes, the way we move affects how we feel and the way we feel affects how we move. Make sure you take care of your emotional and physical well-being and don't use any memories or emotions that you have not fully resolved yet. Don't try anything you are not ready for or comfortable with. How do we make sure these emotions and physicalities don't feel too rehearsed and unnatural? One way to do so is to focus on the action, not the emotion of a character. For example, the character might be cheering another person. You may choose the feeling of happiness and attempt to act happy, which could look on natural. Feelings are not actions you can act, they are the byproducts of the action. Also, happiness is not the only emotion you can have while cheering someone. You could be excited, proud, or crying joyfully. So instead of choosing an emotion, choose the action that best fits the scene, to cheer, to support, to praise, and let the emotions flow naturally, and that influence your facial expressions and inspire your physical choices. In this lesson, we learned three elements for movement, weight, lead, and pace. We explored the tools of the muscle memory and we discussed how to make your performance more natural. Your activity is to use the character's bio that you have written for lesson one and build a physical profile for the character. Make sure to include all the elements you've learned so far in the past lessons. You will find a physical analysis worksheet to help guide you through this activity, and if you want to see me go through that worksheet, you can watch the next video. Otherwise, I hope to see you in lesson four where we talk about the voice of the character. 7. Activity: Create a Movement Sequence: In this activity, you will practice building the physicality of the character. For the scene you worked on in Lesson 2 activity, you are going to build a movement sequence for your character. Think about where the character physically is at the start of the scene. Are they seated? Are they standing? Are they laying down? Throughout the scene, where do they move? Do they stand up, walk? Do they get closer to the other characters at the scene at moments and get further away at other moments? Try to map out a movement plan that makes sense to the scene and to what the character is saying and feeling. If they are hurt or excited, what movement pattern could they be having? If they are having a fun conversation or an argument with someone, how close or far will they be standing from each other? For each line, the character says in the scene, make a choice about how they are moving or not moving, and then start adding more layers to their physicality from the weight, lead and pace boxes here. Think about how heavy or light their body feels during each line they are synced. If they move, which body parts leads the movement? Someone leading from the heads maybe in a deep thought or hurt or is older in age. They may have back pain that causes them to lean forward. Someone leading from the chest maybe trying to express courage or confidence, which may be what they are actually feeling or they could be pretending. Someone leading from the pelvis would feel a bit comedic at first, if you try it, like someone who's so chill, relaxed, walking on the beach. But try it and see what you discover. What could make someone walk this way? For feet, does your character's feet point inward or outwards when they walk? Do they walk toes first then heels, or heels first then toes? Your character will be using multiple of these in their movements. They may start one movement from the head and then it blends into a chest lead. Play around and experiment with these movements. Of course, for some characters, these movements will be exaggerated, especially in comedy. For other characters, it will be subtle. Finally, the pace, how fast or slow each movement is. Again, the character will use different pacing during different moments in the scene. Think of all these elements of weight, lead, and pace as a scale, arrange. The more exaggerated it is, it will feel and look more comedic and unrealistic, which works great in comedy. The more precise and specifically are, the more realistic they will look and feel, which works great in drama. Have fun. Don't be afraid to look a little silly when you are trying these movements, and start becoming more aware of how people around you move, but don't be too creepy and stalk people or anything. When you are ready, I'll see you in Lesson 4. 8. Express the Character's Voice: Welcome to Lesson 4. I hope you have been enjoying this character creation process so far. By now, you should know your character's history, personality, and physicality. In this lesson, we will explore the voice of a character. Like physicality in lesson 3, voice is another huge topic that can take multiple courses to fully cover. For this lesson, we will go over some of the basics of voice. Voice can be divided into two categories, physical and performative. A physical category includes all the actual physical parts that form the sounds we make to talk. These are the lips, teeth, tongue, the mouth pallets, which are called the articulators, as well as their vocal cords, the jaw muscles, and all the different parts of the human anatomy involved in a voice creation. You as the actor, will need to train these parts just as an athlete trains their muscles. This can be done by vocal exercises, breathing techniques, tongue twisters, and a lot more approaches. I have included additional resources for you with this lesson. Obviously, you will be voicing your characters, so whatever physical tools you have, you will bring to the character and then you will have to identify or make a choice that makes sense about what additional unique qualities, if any, your character may have. Do they have a lisp? Do they wear braces? Are the old, they have no teeth left? Once you are aware of your physical vocal tools and identify any additional tools your character may have, start practicing engaging all these tools as you talk. Be aware of how your jaw moves, how your tongue hits the roof of your mouth, when and how your teeth come together, how many words can you say before feeling the need to take another breath. Play around and activate all your physical vocal tools. The performative category is where a lot of the fun and creativity come in play. This category includes tempo, articulation, diction, volume, pitch, tone, emphasis, pauses. We will go over some of those briefly to give you an idea of all the different ways we use our voices to express ourselves and communicate with others. First, breath. Breathing is how we stay alive and do everything else. In speech, it's so important to understand the relationship between our breath and our voice. We speak on our exhale. The air coming out is what we use our articulators to shape and make sounds out of. The more effective, our breath, the stronger and more effective our speech becomes. So explore your breathing. Become aware of how you inhale and exhale. Do you mainly use your nose or mouth to breathe? How many words can you say comfortably before running out of breath? How does your movement while talking affect your breath and how does that affect your speech? Articulation or enunciation is how clear you pronounce your words and how well people can understand you. Some characters may have less articulation as the role may call for, like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Others might have sharp articulation like Snape from Harry Potter. Either way, just make sure the audience can still understand you. Diction is the style of vocal expression. This includes accents and dialects and vocabulary and slangs. Diction can tell us a lot about the character status, education, and level of intelligence. Tempo is the speed at which the character talks. This reflects the characters energy. More speed can indicate a higher energy, less speed can indicate a lower energy. High energy can be either joy or anger. Low energy can either be calmness or sadness. Rhythm is the timing and pacing of the words and sounds in a speech. This includes when the character takes a pause, how many words they say before taking a new breath. Rhythm is more noticeable in poetry and classical verse writings like some of Shakespeare's plays. Tone is the mood of the speech. Does the character sounds serious, or are they joking? Are they being real or are they being sarcastic? Emphasis is a way of vocally highlighting important information in a speech. Which word is emphasized can change the meaning of what a character is saying. A famous example of this is from Hamlet by Shakespeare to be or not to be. That is the question. Which word do you emphasize in this sentence won't change that meaning of a sentence? Pauses are the absence of sound, which is if used wisely, are very effective tool of communication. Pauses help with the rhythm and musicality of the texts. Pauses also can help emphasize words and phrases. Pauses can create tension between characters or they can break the tension. They allow the character to process information and also give the audience time to take in what just happened. However, with pauses, it's important to keep in mind two things. Pausing is not stopping your performance. Your character's thoughts and internal monologue are still going on, and you are still communicating non-verbally with your body. You have to earn those pauses. If you overdo it, the performance will drag and will be sluggish and if you under do it, your audience will not have enough time to fully process what's happening in the scene and may miss important information. A pause still communicates something. It's not a break from talking and it's not random. The more performance experience you get, the better you will get at using those pauses. In this lesson we learned the physical and performative qualities of voice, the importance of breath control and non-verbal communication. Your activity for this lesson, is using the elements of voice you learned in this lesson and the activity you completed for Lesson 3, record 30-60 second video of yourself as your character, and have the character introduce themselves. Have the character talk about their career or goals in life or whichever you decide for the character. I will see you in lesson 5 when we talk about the character's appearance. 9. Activity: Film your Performance: We are about to make a one scene movie. Right now, if you completed the previous activities, you should now know, for this scene the character's objectives, obstacles, actions, and the character's backgrounds. You should have built a movement sequence with elements of wait, lead, and pace. But we haven't heard the character's voice yet, so let's do that. For each line in the scene and from the physical and performative categories you learned in lesson 4, create a vocal expression that corresponds to the character's physicality that you built in the last activity. If the character is excited or anxious, how their voice may change. Think about tempo, diction, all the elements we'll talk about in lesson 4. If the character's objective is to inspire, for example, versus to intimidate, how their volume may change. Once you create the vocal expression, let's just bring all these elements together and see what you've created so far. You will find a vocal exercises sheet in the course resources. Heads up, you will feel silly doing most of them. Other people around you will think something is wrong with you. Don't let that get to you. It is all normal. All actors, me included, do these exercises and we have so much fun being silly with it. If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong. Only few are comfortable and would like to participate in this activity. You can film yourself in character talking and moving as your character would talk and move. You can either pick a part of the scene you worked on and perform that part or pick any of the topics listed in this worksheet. Don't make it too complicated. Just simple few lines that will allow you to show your physical and vocal work you've done so far. This is not a performance, this is not a finished product. Take the pressure off yourself to be a Broadway or Oscars level yet. This is just work in progress and to give you a reference point you can look back at. You will have more time to develop your skills in acting. When you film yourself, you can use your phone. Put it somewhere that can show your full body. You may look directly into the camera as your scene partner or look at a fixed point on a wall behind the camera as if you were looking at someone's eyes. No one has to see this filming if you are not comfortable showing it to anyone. This is just practice and reference for yourself to track your progress. When you are ready, I will see you in lesson 5, when we give this character some fashion style. 10. Understand Costumes & Props: I hope your character now is coming more and more alive with the backstory, the physicality, and the voice. Now this character just needs the fashion style. Now you as an actor, won't have to worry about how the character looks. That would be the role of the costume designer who will be in charge of the costumes, props, hair, and makeup of your character. However, in some smaller or lower budget productions, the actors may be asked to bring their own clothes or do their own makeup, but that's not usually the case. Even though you, the actor, are not in charge of how your character looks, it is important to know how your character should look. From your work on the script and building the physicality of the character, you should be able to tell what's your character's sense of fashion is like? What colors do they like to wear? What hairstyle are they most likely to have? If they have any props, what could they be? Do they wear a watch, glasses? Do they have a favorite accessory? Does your character wear high heels or holds a cane? Do they have any tattoos or scars? Knowing the answers to these questions, will help you build a richer character, and you can start rehearsing your character's physicality with these things in mind. Practice walking in the shoes your character most likely to wear. Practice your speech with props or accessories your character is more likely to have on. Even if you end up not using any of these items in the actual performance, you will still get a lot of ideas for building the character's physical and emotional traits. Also it is good to come prepared to production meetings and discuss with the director and the designers any ideas you may have about your character's development. A good director will be open to hearing the actor's thoughts on the characters. Just know that ultimately it's the director's decision at the end that you should respect because it's the director's vision for the production. Don't take it personal if your ideas were not approved. In this lesson, we talked about the character appearance, fashion, style, hair and makeup, props, and accessories. Your activity is to use the costume worksheet included in this lesson and design a look for your character. Think of what the character colors are, their hairstyle, props, and accessories. You may draw, color, or piece together items from the Internet or magazines. 11. Activity: Design a Fashion Style: Lesson 5's activity is pretty straightforward. I have included multiple figures you can print and lead the artist within you have fun creating your character's looks. You can draw on the figure directly, you can draw the hair, the outfits, any accessories or props they have, you can color, you can use fabric swatches and glue them on the paper, or cut and glue any costume items you like from any magazines you may have. The purpose of this activity is for you to get a better understanding of your character and how they present themselves publicly. Any artistic choice you make needs to make sense to all the work you've done so far for the character in this course. Feel free to look up on the Internet examples of costume designs and ideas when you are completing this activity. 12. Recap & Next Steps: Congratulations, you have completed the character creation introductory course, and now you know the building blocks of creating a character for performance. Here's a quick recap of what we learned in this course together. To create a character, you need five things, character backstory, which you can get from the script, research, and your actor's imagination. Character analysis, which is identifying the character goals, challenges, stakes, and actions, and you will find those from the script. Character physicality, which can be built inward, outward, allowing the character's emotions to influence the physicality, or outward, inward by allowing the physicality to influence the emotions. Character voice, which is divided into physical and performative categories. The physical includes your articulators such as lips, tongue, teeth, and the performative includes tempo, articulation, diction, volume, pitch, tone, emphasis, pauses. Finally, character appearance, which includes costume, hair, makeup, props, and accessories. The essential appearance elements will be found in the script and additional elements will be based on the artistic choice of the designer. Remember that any artistic choice you make must make sense to the story and must honor the writer's intentions. Now that you have some tools to get you started on your character creation, your next step is to get as much experience as you can. Here are a few tips on how to get this experience. read plays or movie scripts and start creating characters. You can find a lot of scripts online for free in the public domain. You can rent them from your public library or school campus. You can also purchase them, used or new, if you want. Watch movies that have characters that have been played by different actors like Batman, James Bond, and compare how each actor approached the role. Think about what each actor did differently in creating their version of that character. Get acting experience by joining theater and film groups in your community or by auditioning for student films on college campuses. Film students are always looking for actors for their field projects. Take an acting class at a local theater. It's a great opportunity to get quality education, acting experience, and building a network of actors. Film your own monologues. It's a great way to keep practicing your skills, even when you are not acting in any projects. Read out loud. Work on different physicalities and vocal qualities. Finally, seek constructive feedback. Feedback is so important. Don't be afraid to ask people you trust in, your family and friends, for honest constructive feedback. Be open to hearing what worked and what didn't work. Ask them if your performance was clear, if they were able to tell how the character was feeling or thinking. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you found this course helpful and I hope you feel a bit more excited and ready to grow your acting skills. Keep telling stories and keep creating art. All the best. 13. How to Memorize Your Lines? (Bonus 1): One of the most asked questions by new actors is, how do you memorize all these lines? That's a valid questions. Actors have a lot of words to remember. Here are seven steps to help you memorize your lines. The first step to memorizing all your lines is to not try to memorize your lines at all. Get familiar with the story first before trying to memorize any lines. Go somewhere relaxing, grab your coffee, and read the script one time from beginning to end and just enjoy the story without any pressure to memorize any lines. Read it for fun as you would read a novel you like. Don't worry about names, locations, and other characters and don't even think about your performance yet. Just read and familiarize yourself with the scripts. Let some time pass after your first reading of the script. It can be a few hours later or the next day. Then read the script a second time. This time, have fun with the words. Be playful as you read. Change your volume, change your tone. Use a serious voice or a silly one, speak loudly or whisper. Be over the top dramatic or relaxed. Play around and have fun. Don't try to memorize your lines yet. Scoring the script identifies why the characters say and do what they say and do. This is an essential step to memorizing your lines, creating the character, and performing the role. When memorizing your lines, you must first understand what your character says and why they say it. Without understanding what you are saying, it will be like learning a foreign language. Muscle memory is a powerful tool that can help you remember your lines faster. When practicing your lines, start adding some physical actions that makes sense to the character and how they behave. The physical action can be a hand gesture, a movement such as walking across a room, sitting down or using an accessory like a watch, a cane or a phone. When you link your words to physical action, your body will remind you with your words every time you perform this action. Just be mindful not to direct all your movements as this is the role of the director. When you block your scenes and add more actions during rehearsals, memorizing your lines will get easier. How do you know when to say your lines? The script tells you whether your character reacts to an event or responds to another character's line. There is a reason why your character say every word they say. Your character does not speak just because they feel like it. When you practice with someone, you hear the lines your character is responding to and get familiar with the cues to deliver your line. Knowing what happens before you say your lines and hearing your cues will help you memorize your lines. By now you are familiar with the story, you understand what your character says, and why you are rehearsing and adding physical actions and movement to texts and you probably almost fully memorized all your lines. Your next step is to keep practicing your lines every chance you get. You can practice in the car while stuck in traffic, you can practice while you wait on someone, you can practice on a long walk in the shower on a long drive and you can practice every time you're alone and can practice. That may sound strange to you, but that's what actors do. They rehearse their lines every chance they get and you don't always have to practice out loud. You can go over your lines in your head too. During your performance, you can't be lost in thought thinking about your next line and making sure you still remember it. This adds a lot of pressure and stress on you and may cause you to forget your lines and not be fully present in the scene. Trust instead in the process and in the hard work you have done, studying and rehearsing the role and let go. Be present in the moment and have fun sharing the story with your audience. Everyone is different and every actor has their process of memorizing their lines. Some of the steps in this video may be familiar to you and others may not and that's okay. There are no right or wrong ways, you do what works for you. The more acting experience you get, the more you will be able to develop your process. 14. Is Acting for You? (Bonus 2): Is acting for you? Should you be a full-time actor, a part-time, or should you keep acting as a hobby and pursue another career? Here are five signs to look for when making this decision. When people talk about an event, they usually just say what happened, not you. You show what happened. You bring your body, voice, and imagination into it. You make it into an elaborate story with a beginning, a middle, and end. You enjoy introducing the characters, building suspense and recreating the event's mood, use your hand gestures and play all the characters in the story mimicking how they sounded and acted. Everywhere you go, you are the talker of the group. At school, at work, at home, in the car, on the dinner table, there you are, confidently expressing yourself and sharing stories with family, friends, and everyone you meet. You enjoy having conversations and you are comfortable speaking to groups of people. Sometimes people think you talk a lot, but that's okay. You may be a performing artist and don't know it yet. Each story has its characters and each character has unique life circumstances, relationships, goals, challenges, and physical, and emotional qualities. As an actor, you will use your body, your voice, and imagination to bring each character to life. Each performance comes with its own challenges and demands. To be a successful actor, you will need to enjoy this character creation process and find ways to make each performance unique and memorable. Look for signs in your life where you enjoy being other characters, even for a short time. Do you enjoy doing impressions of people you know? Do you watch movies then perform your favorite scene afterward to see if you can do it better? Or costume party is fun for you? Be honest with yourself before you decide to make acting your career. You joined a drama group at your school and auditioned for their plays. You get so excited when you see your name on the cast list and start preparing for the role right away. You have no problem missing out on family events or skipping nights out with friends because you have rehearsals, and you can't wait to try the costumes and the props for the first time and step into the character's final look. You don't care if they won't pay you anything because you just love performing. Your filmmaker friend asks you to be in their short film. You immediately say yes, even though your payment will be pizza and credit on IMDb. That doesn't stop you because the experience of being on a film set is exciting to you. You simply enjoy the process of rehearsal, character creation, and performance. If that sounds like you, reflect on your past acting experiences. How did you feel? Did you mind not getting paid enough?. If you are new to acting, ask yourself, would you be okay with not getting paid at first and just focusing on getting acting experience? If you want to be an actor only for the money, you probably won't succeed in this career. There is nothing wrong with wanting money, acting is a profession and you should be getting paid for your work and make a living. Just make sure money isn't your driving force. Money should not be your number one reason. If you enjoy acting with and without money, that is a sign that an acting career could be for you. [MUSIC] Every artist want to be recognized for their talent. They want their work to be seen and appreciated. You too as an actor should feel empowered to show your talent and share your work with your audience. There is nothing wrong with wanting fame and recognition. Just like with money, fame cannot be your driving force or your number 1 goal. Otherwise, you will not succeed as an actor and probably shouldn't pursue this career. Instead, you should be focusing on growing as an artist. You act because you want to express yourself artistically and share empowering stories with your audience. Acting gives you creative fulfillment and you don't care how many people know about it. You are an artist and you will keep making art. You should focus on getting so good at what you do, and money and fame will be a natural consequence. They should not be the primary goal. As a performing artist, you have a significant and influential role. You can use your art to inspire, educate, empower, and entertain people worldwide, breaking through cultural and language barriers. Storytelling is universal and everyone, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they believe in, can relate to and be inspired by the stories they watch. Successful artists don't just think about themselves, they think about their audience and put them first. As an actor, you need to connect with people and share stories that bring value to your audience. If this sounds like you, consider being an actor and using your art to make the world a slightly better place. Of course, these signs are not the only signs to know if you should pursue acting full time. Everyone is different and you may have other thoughts and experiences that guide your decision, that is okay. This video shows you the mindset you should have before you decide to make acting your career. It's also totally fine to keep acting as a part-time gig or even just as a hobby.