Acting - Characterisation

Characterisation is you, the pupil, taking on the role of another person and using movement and vocal skills to communicate a character to the audience. When portraying a character, you must think about how that character walks and talks, their personality and age in order for you to communicate them effectively and believably. When performing as your character, it is important that you sustain your role throughout and always stay in character. As well as movement and voice, facial expressions and body language are an important element of characterisation as they show the audience the true feelings of your character.


To be successful

Advice or tips to help you


· Sustain role

· Keep in character at all times. If something unexpected happens, concentrate hard so that you're not distracted. Control your laughter so that you don't 'corpse'. You must react in the way the character would.

· Focus on your character and how they would react to the situation. This will help you control your laughter. Ignore whatever is happening and carry on in the way your character would react.


·; Given circumstances. (Know everything about your character)

· Research the background of your character - age, time, etc.

· Create a Stanislavsky character analysis. Think about the following: - What do you say about yourself in the script? What do others say about you in the script? What physical actions do you perform?

· Research the type/style/stereotype of character you are before you start your characterisation.

· Place yourself in your character's shoes and think about how you would act if you were them. Use the Gingerbread man exercise to focus on the emotions that your character needs to convey.

· Remember your character's intentions. (What does your character want by the end of the extract?)

· In your action plan, note what you think your character wants and why they want it. This will help you create a more detailed subtext.


· Create realistic characters

· Consider how to perform the emotions of your character.

· Scale the emotions of your character from one to ten. Your character has a higher intensity the more emotional you are. In rehearsal, play your character at different levels until you feel that you have achieved the desired intensity.

· React in a way your character would and understand the purpose of the scene.

· Ask yourself, 'How would I react if that was me?', and then try to put yourself into the shoes of your character and see whether you would react in the same way. This will help you create a realistic characterisation as you have a point of reference, which is you.


· Know about other characters

· Research the relationship your character has with others on stage.

· Research the given circumstances for each character in your play. This will help you understand the complexity of the relationships that you must try to convey.

· Always consider the subtext of your character and the others on stage.

· Perform the scene with only the subtext. Keep your movements the same but concentrate on the feelings between the lines. This will help you with your body language and facial expression.


· Visual aspects of your character

· Consider the costume of your character.

· Take costume into consideration and think about what you want to communicate through it. (Remember to ensure it fits into the style of your performance.) Rehearse in your costume prior to your performance.

· Consider the type of footwear as this will affect the way your character moves on stage.

· Rehearse in your character's shoes to ensure you can walk correctly in them. Small changes to a walk can change the perception of your character.