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I have a secret.

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I have a secret.

Postby Songweaver » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:46 am

Thread's probably not what you're expecting it to be. Recently, I've been taking on a few acting students to help prepare them and their pieces for professional auditions. There's one thing, just a little trick really, that I keep coming back to in my sessions with them.

When we read a book, or watch a television show, we look for a certain x-factor in our narrative: call it the possibility of being surprised, or call it the intrigue of not truly knowing a character's motivations. It's this ever-present truth for every character that echoes the truth of people in real life: they all have secrets.

So, when working on audition monologues, or callback scene-work with my students, I nag at them while they work to remind them of this fact. "I have a secret!", I'll say, meaning that their character has a secret. In real life, we constantly communicate with each other, without fully divulging the one-hundred percent truth of our intentions, or our knowledge.

As we act, or roleplay, our characters have secrets and are aware of their secrets. Even if you don't type "think I have a secret!" as you interact with other characters, try saying it to yourself as you are roleplaying. You might be surprised at how normal, throw-away conversations become more exciting, more narrative, more intriguing. You might discover what secrets your character is ashamed of, or what secrets your character holds close to their chest as they try to gain in advantage in whatever their life is. You might find more opportunities to twist the plot for the other characters by giving them a brief peek into your character's secret life - if only by seeing the telltale signs that your character might not be telling them the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And then, when (or if) you spill (some of) the beans to your character's closest friend, and it changes their entire perspective on your character, how amazing will that moment be as their player begins to piece together all of the clues and unexplained actions that you've mapped out over the course of your play?

After all, don't we want our RPIs to be filled with intrigue and secrets? We can do something about that, ourselves.

Just my random thoughts this morning.
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Re: I have a secret.

Postby Eru » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:59 am

Nice post, something to think about.
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Re: I have a secret.

Postby Real » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:02 am

Golden. Have all the cookies.
Everything gets smaller now the further that I go
Towards the mouth and the reunion of the known and the unknown
Consider yourself lucky if you think of it as home
You can move mountains with your misery if you don't
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