Character Creation

Lyra in character. Photo by Doug Hara

You might have an act that’s beautifully choreographed, but sometimes you want a charismatic personality to go with it! However, character creation can be hard – I face this challenge often when creating acts. Here are the steps that I go through to bring my character to life, and the questions I ask myself:

Music & mood

How does your character feel? My inspiration for acts usually comes from a song. Some music just feels like you need to perform to it. Once I choose a song, I think about the mood of the music. Is it a happy song, or a sad song? Angry, or hopeful? That gives me insight on how I want my character to feel and act.

Goals & purpose

What does your character want? Are they trying to get somewhere or do something? What are they doing here? Your character’s goal could be part of your act, and communicated to the audience using actions or props. The story could be centered all around this goal. Or, you could ignore the goal. It does not have to be important or conveyed to the audience in any way during your act. It is still good for you to know what your character’s goal is because it will help you act their personality.

Action!

How does your character move? What will they be doing? You should know how they walk, talk, and carry themself. How will they carry out their actions during your act? Perhaps they walk slowly, with long strides, or maybe they leap lightly on their toes. What do they do when they feel exited, or scared? What expressions do they make? You want the audience to know how the character is feeling so act, act, act!

I hope this helped you in developing your character. I find these steps very helpful and I hope you do too. Good luck!

– Lyra

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