How to Build a Character

How to Build a Character
Requirement for LAMDA Acting exams

How to build a character for performance.

Building a character is great fun, here are a few tips to help you get started. It is a good idea to keep a note book so you can keep referring to it during the process.

If you are creating a character from your imagination and not from a published play you can still use a similar process but you will need to use your imagination to answer some of the questions below.

  • Read the play –then re-read the play
  • Find out what the character says about herself during the play –look for clues in the text
  • Find out what other characters say about your chosen character throughout the play
  • Make notes on your character’s attributes –are they strong willed, argumentative, kind, indecisive etc.
  • Make notes on their relationships within the play and on what they say about your character
  • Where does the play take place, does your character have an accent
  • Does your character have some notable physical attributes you can develop?
  • Use the magic if…if I was this person how would I react, talk, stand, sit, in this situation.

    Then look at the following.
  • What Do I Want, what is my objective?
  • What is not in the text but is in the subtext?
  • Why Do I Want It?
  • How Will I Get It?
  • What obstacles do I need To Overcome?
  • What will happen if I don’t get it? What are the stakes?

Once you have all the information regarding your character you can start to rehearse, it is fun to get pictures of the characters background ie: location, era; modern day, period costumes and make a mood board to help you visualise your character.

Top tip:

Learn your script accurately and be word perfect as soon as you can, this will free you up to play with your chracter and have fun with it.