If you’ve clicked on this blog I’m guessing you’ve either played a character in the past that had been played by a famous actor or have a role coming up that has been played by a famous actor
(and if you’re just curious it will definitely give you some guidance).
With my actors hat on I totally understand it can be a massive struggle to figure out what the hell to do with the character that hasn’t already been done before.
It can also be a huge struggle to know what to do to stop your audience thinking of THAT actor.
It’s a bit like The Voice or X-factor isn’t it?
Those hopefuls who audition and take on, let’s say a Whitney song – have got to make it their own unique version – enough so that the audience don’t compare, or so it doesn’t just end up being a mediocre version of Whitney.
There are some really simple but effective tools we use in The Method that can help you learn to put your unique stamp on a character that’s been played by a famous actor, and I’d like to share 3 of them with you.
Before I do, I just want you to know that you have EVERYTHING you’ll ever need inside of you to create this role.
You don’t need to go looking elsewhere.
Also know that your version of the role is just as valid as another actors, just because someone more famous than you has played this role doesn’t mean that you are any less of an actor. Comparing yourself has no value and will only lead to performance anxiety.
There is more than one way to play a role.
Are you ready for the steps?
HOW TO PUT YOUR UNIQUE STAMP ON A CHARACTER PLAYED BY A FAMOUS ACTOR
I am a fan of keeping things simple.
Over complicating things just leads to confusion but please don’t confuse the simplicity of these steps with ineffectiveness.
- FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT – After you’ve read the FULL script for the first time – that includes reading scenes you’re not in, ask yourself this question “What are my first impressions of this person?” then write them down
- WHERE AM I?Secondly, I’d like you to read the script again, this time looking for YOU in the character. This could be an emotional connection or a similar experience you’ve both had. This can take a little digging so you will need to read the script more than once.
All you need is to find ONE thing that makes you go “that’s me” and that’s how your version will become unique – because that other actor doesn’t know this *thing* the way you do.
- DRAW– If you’re struggling to find a personal connection, who do you know or know of, that you see in the character? Did you have a friend from school who reminds you of the role? Is there someone in your life right now who reminds you of the character? Is there someone else you can draw upon as the foundations of building the role? This can be your starting point if you’re struggling with #2.
By using these 3 simple steps you will move away from playing the character the way that famous actor has because they don’t have YOUR unique experience of life.
Of course, there will be some things that are a given and can’t change such as the character’s personality traits, but how you approach them is from the vantage point of how you personally know them, and that’s the basics of how you put your unique stamp on a character played by a famous actor.
Has this been useful or have you got something else to add to the conversation? Let me know in the comments below.
You can also share this with your acting friends by clicking the social media icons. It could be just the thing they need to help them get out of a character crisis.
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