Acting is a diverse field, where you get to learn each passing day. There a few things that you need to know about character development if you are a producer. In this article, we will look at a few drama character techniques.

Drama is easier to do because you just have to have the emotion and not get caught acting, but comedy is much harder.

Patrick Dempsey

Drama character development techniques

Producers need to find creative ways to help their actors ace their performances. Here are five techniques that can help you in the rehearsal process:

  1. Incorporating a dialect
    This may seem far-fetched, but incorporating a dialect in the performances can help actors reveal specific natures and behaviour about a character. Audiences also love deep, unique dialects. You definitely know what I am talking about if you have watched Peaky Blinders. A German or Queen’s dialect will portray a highly intelligent or thinking oriented person. On the other hand, a Bronx dialect will portray a rough or playful character. Italians have a larger than life attitude, and therefore, the Italian accent would fit the loud or emotional character. You can also incorporate a Mexican or Puerto Rican dialect for love scenes. In case you don’t know how this sounds, try and envision Sucre from Prison Break. You definitely know his story and Marie Cruise, which we can spend centuries discussing.You are not obligated to incorporate these dialects in your shows. However, you can use them while rehearsing to help your actors build on their characters. Instruct the actors to get lost into the dialects and incorporate them to the best of their abilities.
  2. Music
    Exchanging music between two given characters is an excellent way of character development. Music generally plays a vital role in acting, that you are aware of. It is an effective means of portraying messages and emotions that cannot be quickly put down in words. You will realize that most actors are more responsive to music than the standard script. It is easy to relate to songs, a fact that characters can use to portray how they feel toward each other. Once you sense that two characters strongly connect in a play, you can make them exchange songs. However, make sure that this does not exceed three songs. The song you choose should meet a particular criterion. One, ensure that the song represents the character. The character must also feel that the song represents the other counterpart and lastly, the song should symbolize the relationship that exists between the two characters. You can use these songs for rehearsals, before the performance and at the start of the training.
  3. Hot-seating
    There are several exercises that directors can choose to help actors develop their character. One of these is the hot seat. In this technique, the actor is placed in a central seat and surrounded by directors or senior crew members who ask him or her several questions. The actors are required to respond in a way that reflects their character. This exercise requires that one embody and think like the character. The actor should also remain in character despite the pressure that comes with it. There is no set standard for questions. A director can ask personal to interrogative questions provided that they relate to the character. This exercise helps actors to get used to their roles and act them to the best of their abilities. It also boosts improvisation, which is a crucial feature that improves spontaneity. The exercise also teaches actors to work well under pressure and portray their characters well. They are required to come up with answers on the spot. Lastly, it expects actors to think fast and answer questions naturally, a trait that great actors must have while playing their roles on stage.
  4. Michael Chekhov’s Trinity of Psychology
    Psychology plays a significant role in character development. It helps actors perform in a way that relates to how the audience thinks and what they expect. Psychology studies the human mind, which explains how people behave. This trinity of psychology targets the three vital forces of psychology, which are thinking, feeling and willing. An actor can either act logically, emotionally or using his or her impulses and desires. An actor that uses his or her emotions is considered feeling-dominated, whereas one whose method of acting significantly relies on logic is deemed to be thinking-dominated. Here is the thing: all characters fall in these three categories. Each force of psychology has distinct props for actors to work with. Those who are thinking-dominated can be given a pencil to work with, which reflects their precise acting style. Actors who rely on their emotions while performing can be assigned a scarf or a tissue for fluid emotions, whereas those who work with impulses can be assigned a ball to bounce in a hard surface. Therefore, take time and learn about the forces to establish how you can work with them to your advantage.
  5. Viewpoints
    A director can use viewpoints to help the actors work on their walking, which is essential for character development. Viewpoints are even necessary when training an actor to behave naturally while on camera. This method is more of a choreographic approach. It was initially developed by Mary Overlie, one of the best choreographers in history, before being introduced into the acting scene by Anne Borgata and Tina Ladau. It is quite technical and therefore, you need to watch out. The method requires walking in a given space while experimenting with fundamental principles of movement using time and space. These principles include spatial relationship, topography, gesture, shape, tempo, duration, dynamic response and repetition. It would also be advantageous if the actors included emotions since it plays a significant role in how the character moves. Actors are required to walk around the room while reflecting the characters they are performing. They should also play around with the fundamental principles that we discussed. You should conduct extensive research on this tip and perfect it before using it on your actors.

Actors Takeaway:
drama character development techniques

Character development is essential in acting. You should ensure that you incorporate all the possible means to help your actors embody their characters. Most of these techniques will serve you during rehearsals.


RELATED ACTORS RESOURCES

DAILY ACTING EXERCISES – SEVEN ACTING EXERCISES TO DO ALONE
HOW TO BE A GOOD ACTOR OR ACTRESS
HOW DO ACTORS ACT? HOW ACTORS CREATE EMOTIONS
ACTING CLASSES – TYPES OF ACTING CLASSES (AND WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THEM)
ACTING EXERCISES – 15 WAYS TO IMPROVE ACTING SKILLS
HOW TO ACT EMOTIONS – ACT OUT AN EMOTIONAL SCENE
ACTING LESSONS – HOW CAN I LEARN ACTING?
MICHAEL CHEKHOV TECHNIQUE – AN INTRODUCTION
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA EXERCISES – TIPS FOR ACTING ON CAMERA
HOW TO EMBODY A CHARACTER
HOW TO ACT BETTER – FIVE WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER ACTOR
MEISNER ACTING TECHNIQUE