The Java Jive: Fatal Flaws and Fantastic Strengths.

As you develop your character, think of them in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. What fatal flaws will they conquer? Which of their strengths will help them triumph? What other characters of the stage have complimentary faults that together, could be their undoing? Which combined strengths could be used to help them triumph over adversity? Tag team with your fellow ensemble to create this. Are the tensions internal or external? How can they be heightened? When the audience is sitting in the darkness, what “magic” you created will make them lean forward in their seats?

Create an emotional scavenger hunt for the audience. Before the “moving action” of the play takes place, ask where can you embed foreshadowing. Where might you build tension early on to give the audience inklings of what might happen? Remember, it is only through your action, and little “tells” that anything can be visualized. Your breathing. Your eye contact – or lack of. Your posture changes. Yes. these gifts to the audience allow you to create the backstory to bring forth the tension and build the dynamics of your role, so that the play is going someplace. 

Challenge to Percolate:

  • Pick up a script and take some time to “play”. Choose two areas to build tension as “the stage is being set” in the first scenes.
  • Think about your favorite movie characters. Write down bits about her that make her/him character authentic – that make you “root” for them well before the crisis.
  • Choose a character in a show you hope to act some day. Create a few journal entries, in their voice, over a week. These can even be from a decade before or after the story we know takes place. There are no limits. Just have fun! Play!
  • Look at the relationships between family members in the show. What habits stretch generations? Which are a character developing their autonomy or rebelling?

© The Pfluger Empathy Movement Method

THE JAVA JIVE: Acting Means Inspiration!

You are surrounded by “Inspiration” every day. And that inspiration, channeled, can make you INCREDIBLE on stage. Inspiration is the “verb” of acting. It’s NOT the idle dream of making it big. It’s the lifeblood that allows you to craft your character and bring it to life with nuance, honesty – creating magic.

INSPIRATION allows you to eloquently craft a story as a stage ensemble, because you are developing a wholistic micro and macro world view – not drawing from a single source, but from an ocean of learning and understanding. In short, inspiration EMPOWERS you to be a spherical, unlimited powerhouse.  

Rule Two – Where’s Your Inspiration?

So, how do you get IT? Don’t rush it. Give yourself permission to disconnect from tech as you know it and connect to life differently. Immerse yourself in every art form. Explore an art museum or different cultures. Maybe attend a music concert or a dance form that is unique to you? You will find inspiration in HOW to move differently in character. Explore nature, a zoo, or a National Geographic video. Asking how creatures interact or fight SHAPES our character portrayals.

People-watch, take pics or sketch in public. Take in a nature walk and listen to how your breathing changes. BECOME a student of the world and cultures – in a Museum. Be aware and inspired by the “different”.

Immerse yourself in different perspectives as to NOT lose your perspective. This INSPIRATION will inspire countless people to become their best selves.

Challenges to Percolate:

Devote ten minutes to nurture yourself by:

  • Thinking HOW you would describe your world and story to someone from a different time or culture.
  • Do something different.
  • Read and ACT a classic poem.
  • Make a pact with a friend to share your “people watching” stories.
  • Listen to a This American Life in podcast.
  • Think how art shapes a culture or society or how it reflects it!

© The Pfluger Empathy Movement Method