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Posts Tagged ‘Daytime Moon Creations’

“An idea has no worth at all without believable characters to implement it; a plot without characters is like a tennis court without players. Daffy Duck is to a Buck Rogers story what John McEnroe was to tennis. Personality. That is the key, the drum, the fife. Forget the plot.”

—Chuck Jones

***
I love this quote. Because it’s so true, right? “Boy meets girl” would always be the same story if it weren’t for the specific boys and the specific girls. “Whodunnit” would always be the same mystery if it weren’t for the unique quirks that every villian leaves in their wake as clues. At their core, every character is an archetype: a mother, a lover, a villian, a hero. At their core, every character is a human. And so, creating a character both takes us far outside the realm of who we are and brings us much closer to understanding our core as a human. Embodying another person asks of each of us to understand the drives and feelings of another person, to be (even when the character is cruel or greedy or angry) empathetic to a fault.

It’s work that I’ve always loved doing as an actor, and work that I’m thrilled to share with the students in Daytime Moon’s “Creating A Character” workshop tomorrow afternoon. In all of the full programs I’ve taught, we’ve put so much emphasis on the story that character work has always been secondary. We explore our students’ characters through the lens of their experience within the plot. But, as Chuck Jones so eloquently commands: forget the plot! In my class, we’ll have two hours to simply focus on character. We’ll be creating individuals that maybe one day we could make a story out of, who surely could meet each other in the street or at a party and find some adventures to embark on. But the crux of what we’ll be doing Saturday is simply to find the people–Who are the craziest, funniest, most exciting people we can imagine? And how can we imbue them with a backstory so they become living, breathing, feeling beings?

Check out some of these examples of epic archetypal characters. So much fun to play with!

Check out some of these examples of epic archetypal characters. So much fun to play with!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been watching all of the other workshop teachers have a blast with our participants. I’ve observed their classes, have taken photographs and videos, and helped participants tweet their experiences during breaks. It’s been inspirational and enjoyable, but more than anything I’ve felt the itch to play! Watching the other amazing teachers bring so much joy to our students is like sitting on the bench as the rest of the lineup bats through the order. Finally, I feel like I’m in the on deck circle, and I’m so excited to see the students tomorrow I can hardly wait!

If you can’t make it to class, I hope that you’ll follow the students’ experiences on twitter @Daytime_Moon, on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DaytimeMoonCreations, and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DaytimeMoonCreations. I can’t wait to share all our updates with you!

One of my favorite Chuck Jones creations. Even if he's the "bad guy" in the roadrunner cartoons, you can't help but feel badly for him. Wile E. Coyote is such a classic character!

One of my favorite Chuck Jones creations. Even if he’s the “bad guy” in the roadrunner cartoons, you can’t help but like him. Such a classic character!

So join me tomorrow as we play with “the key, the drum and the fife.” We’re having fun with personality! Plot-free.

See you in class,

Jenna

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