On Developing Your Stage Versatility and Persona

To thine own self be true! As you continue to succeed in acting, it is so crucial that you decide what type of mentor you one day wish to be. What influence as a leader would you like to have? Which of your directors would you want to emulate? Which ones would you not want to be? As you develop your on-stage brand in the acting industry, it is important to delve deep and ask the right questions.

What kind of versatile actresses and actors would you want to be considered like as you age? What sort of roles do you respect? Look at the versatility of Benedict Cumberbatch and Meryl Streep. They do not allow themselves to be pigeonholed into only acting one type of role but develop a multitude of skills to give them the ability to conquer within the industry.

What sort of demographics do you tend to gravitate to? Who are your stage and screen target audiences? You may think that you’re just starting your acting journey, but asking deliberate questions, in the beginning, can save you a lot of frustration in the middle. You should also reassess your progress and growth as you add more diverse roles to your acting toolbox.

And though these questions are challenging to answer, they present much motivation into what sort of characters you create on stage and what kind of character you are offstage. what emotions you gravitate to presenting on stage, and which ones you want to get more confident with.

Just as an artist paints with very broad strokes of a brush in the beginning, you need to be able to know how to start creating your artwork on the stage. As you spend more time in the industry you want to deliberately create the masterpiece that is you. 

So who would you like to be? And what feedback have you been given to help you grow, stand out, self-assess, and acknowledge your weaknesses so you can develop them…. and your strengths? This is vital to your success on stage, and in life.

How to Find Your Niche in Acting – Your Acting Domains

You’ve succeeded onstage and understand the work it takes to put on a show. Now when you close your eyes, there’s a vision of performing in specific roles. Yet as you delve deeper, you might learn the director, or a fellow cast member, sees you have a talent that may captivate the audience. In any good acting school, the director will cast people in a variety of dissimilar roles to broaden their acting toolbox and skills. They will not lean into casting and type-casting the same people. (For in the business world, this would be tantamount to not developing your staff effectively).

So, seek insight and guidance for stage and film acting, and… then be ready to hear it. Keep an open mind. Don’t limit yourself by responding with a knee-jerk reaction because you might be finding your “sweet spot” on stage. And I know incredible actors that went farther with more confidence, more successful auditions, and a fuller, more diverse resume because they dared to explore their acting domains.

Value All Experience

Stay humble and audition for a variety of roles. Don’t limit yourself. And if you are cast, show up! Get your feet wet in a variety of different characters in drama, comedy, romance, and slapstick. Don’t clip your own wings before you can fly! Allow your creativity to develop and flourish. Ask to read for a cast member’s role to develop multiple physicalities simultaneously. You may be offered the chance to understudy. And that can lead to a more prominent role.

Don’t Compromise your Values.

Being upfront and honest about your comfort zone is crucial. And don’t compromise who you are, for that’s all you’ve got! Don’t break your moral code, for you’re the one to live with the consequences. So, make a decision and stick with it. The industry can be fickle, and you want to be more than a flash in the pan.

Create a Bucket or Wish List

The resume of roles you choose paves your path to the future. They identify how varied your ability to create is. Reflect on what you want your audience and future directors to think about you. For each type of role you “try on” and master on stage influences future opportunities. Success builds on success. 

Find a Stage Mentor

Ideally, a strong director will also be willing to be your stage mentor. They will help ask you the hard questions that allow you to be truthful with yourself and shave off years of unnecessary stress and strain. Identify someone calm and collected that directs with respect and humor. Who inspires you. don’t be afraid of rejection. Your potential mentor may be good, but they can’t read your mind that you are ready to be guided. And they may want to mentor you, but might need to wait for an opening in their schedule. So be brave and reach out. Then take guidance. The sky is the limit!

Felicia Pfluger, ©2023 The Pfluger Empathy Movement Method


The LATTE Theater Acting Program stems from the conviction that Teen Actors can be trained with similar rigor and discipline as adults. As teens establish internal stage discipline (while having fun), they also are taught emotional wellness tools to allow them a healthy self-awareness as they are developing their stage characters to protect the psyche.

This acting training technique is specifically designed for young people’s personal triumph on and off the stage. The Pfluger Empathy Movement Method focuses on spherical growth in all aspects of character building, physicality and stage interrelationships , commanding voice and speech intonations, muscle activation, micro-expressions, and improvisation… all while developing personal stamina and directing skills.  Curiosity and questions are encouraged for collaborative growth. Teens are included in the dramaturgy process and given a voice from the start of the acting intensive to the final curtain call.

Coaching for healthy stage intimacy and interrelationship creates a holistic stagecraft approach where teens are not only acquainted with the core elements of acting training, but actively mentored from a cultural, historical, literary, and psychological basis. Exploration of character interrelationships allow each teen to gain healthy insight as an actor or actress – for through stage we celebrate our humanity, challenge ourselves, find comfort… create healthy opportunities to learn and make lasting memories.

For more information on our Teen Acting Program, Auditions, Acting Workshops, Summer Teen Camp, Acting School, LATTE Theater Performances, and Acting Intensives, please contact us at 708-655-0989 or email lattetheater@gmail.com.

Emotional Wellness and the Stage

Teens have very full lives with competing responsibilities. Positive emotional framing encouraging resiliency goes a long way toward promoting emotional success. And in rehearsal and the performance spotlights, it can set a tone that can propel a teen forward with balance, self-awareness, internal motivation, and confidence. This tone affects how we think, handle stress, relate to others, our thought patterns, and much more! We especially need to respect that teens have brilliant brains that are still developing. The good? Teens thrive on challenge and engaging in creative activities like acting, which can strengthen healthy patterning and help the brain mature.

Much of that development is tied to social experiences in adolescence. And the Performing Arts are the definition of social, as we interact onstage. So it is VERY important that teens develop healthy acting skills that support their emotional wellness. We should never be “playing” for just one role or one show…. but for life! This need to protect the psyche and development is imperative until the mid to late twenties (when the prefrontal cortex is responsible for skills like planning, and healthy decision-making). So we want to nurture strong peer relationships, and social experiences. Seek out approaches that give maximum good and limit unnecessary strain. I always say, “Push yourself, but do not push yourself over”.

Because of this progressive development, it is essential to recognize possible emotional triggers (both positive and negative) and practice effective coping techniques that help teens use stress management. When you work with emotions and mental processes on stage for a character, you need to frame the material in a way that allows you to develop healthy awareness and separation from your core personality. Promoting overall well-being for teens means working consciously to develop executive functioning and project management skills, and “build in a buffer” that limits anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. This encourages emotional wellness as teens triumph and move from being overwhelmed by the plethora of responsibilities that demand their attention, to making conscious choices on balancing their time and resources to succeed best. And know, it is all about “Progress, not Perfection”!

A challenge to Percolate – Building in a Buffer!

Take a project for stage or school and build a timeline. Put in extra lead time in case of boredom, ennui, other projects, apathy, or crisis,

Choose a character from a movie or a monologue that is unlike you. Then, think how you are different than that character and how you might be similar with movement and your reactions.

~ Felicia Pfluger, Pfluger Empathy Movement Method, © 2023