I have struggled/been in denial about my type forever. What is it? Of course as actors you can play any part. It’s called acting for a reason! But when it comes to getting work, you are going to get cast a certain way most of the time. However much I would like to play a curmudgeonly old fisherman, it’s not going to happen.
So how do you find the TRUE type that is you. Not a caricature, but a true person. As I was sitting in frustration having an actors identity crisis this is what I did:
1. Make a list of the last few roles you have played most successfully. The ones where you really knocked it out of the park and got the most response for.
2. Make another list of the same roles, but this time describe them.
3. Now the hard part: look at those roles and find three or four qualities that all of those roles have in common. This is the essence of the roles.
Mine looked something like this:
- Erma- Informed Consent,
- Lola-Double Indemnity,
- Thelma-The Trip to Bountiful,
- Samus-Metroid: Other M
- Young cerebral palsy patient in a Nazi asylum
- Rebelious teen
- Young army wife
- Social outcast/military recruit/bounty hunter
All these women were:
- just wanting to connect and belong
What I found most interesting about this process is that the qualities I came up with describe me, Jessica, almost perfectly. Yes it isn’t the best and happiest representation of myself, but it’s the truth. As actors we are just playing different versions of ourselves. In that sense, no acting is required and we can just BE these characters.
When I read my words I felt a sense of relief. I felt comfortable and at home in them. Nothing would have to be forced. Now I can approach my casting opportunities with a sharper awareness of myself and the characters I can play well.
Any brave souls want to share what they came up with?