Character Building and Role Creation Training Module
Character building: what makes a mediocre actor into a great one
The actor’s job is to take a scripted, two-dimensional character and breath life into it; creating a fully-realised, believable person who the audience is invested in from the very beginning.
When you play a character in a film, television or the theatre, you should know your character as well as you know yourself, so that you can be as natural as possible. As an actor, you need to have memories, anecdotes and backstories instilled within you to play your role as if it were your natural self, just ‘being’. Questions such as “Who am I?”, “Where am I?”, “where did I come from?”, what do I want?” and “why do I want it?” need to be asked of oneself.
Great acting should not seem like acting at all – whether on screen or on stage. It needs to be perfected to make it look natural and believable – “the toughest thing in acting is to act normal”. Some talent may be enough to get the average actor through the door, but to make a successful, sustainable career from acting requires specialised coaching, commitment and passion. This is where Actorism™ and Irfan Hossein step in.
Irfan, a notable performance designer for many successful films and television shows, and Programme Director and Coach with Actorism™, has character-trained countless actors over the years, many of whom have won awards from their performances. Some of his clients have trained with highly reputable acting schools in India and abroad, others are absolute beginners, but it is Irfan’s in-depth coaching which has made the difference from a good into a great, award-winning performance, whatever the level or background of his students.
Characterisation training is commonplace in Hollywood, but is far less well-known or used in Bollywood; however, the industry is now realising the importance of this – it is now not a luxury, but a necessity. Every actor needs Performance Design training.
Performance Design is a process where we train actors to become, wholeheartedly, their characters. If the characters are unique and innovative, they immediately connect with the audience and stay with them long after the film or show is over. We coach actors to be as versatile as possible, enabling them to last within this cut-throat industry for many years to come. New talent is abundant, but it is the highly character-trained actor who will last the longest. They are the ones who turn characters into real, living beings with unique mannerisms, styles, speech patterns and accents. We provide the tools and techniques to train individuals for every scene and situation to ensure that they get the desired results. Every behaviour needs to be goal-driven.
Decoding authors’ visions is where we excel. We have designed our programme to look into the innermost, subconscious parts of a character; their drive, history, aspirations and motives. These hidden dimensions, when brought to life, are the difference between an average and an inspirational performance.
Actors need to take themselves – or be taken – into the unknown; to be able to challenge themselves. When we follow our heart and dig deep into ourselves, this is where the magic happens – and what the audience experiences.
The mind gives us dedication, but the heart provides devotion to a cause. Dedication can take us only so far, but it is devotion which takes us to the impossible. The mind may drive us towards monetary gains, but it is the heart which gives us purpose. This is the conflict between our motive and purpose – our goal.
Irfan drives his students to look deeply within themselves, to find their goal, their passion – this is how they are able to create unique and innovative characters. He provides the nuances, colours and finesse to enable actors to give their finest performances.
Each character has some obvious behavioural patterns, as well as those more covert. Every detail needs to be carefully designed to create a multi-faceted and believable character. In addition, interpersonal relationships with other characters is one of the most ignored areas in film and television, but it should not be overlooked as it provides some excellent interactions, especially in highly volatile scenes.
Performance Design provides the best possible experience and training for film, theatre and television. We are passionate about training confident, driven and creative actors who can work comfortably – and excel – in all areas of today’s industry. Our programme is dynamic and diverse and focuses on improvisation, story-telling, character creation and development, vocal and physical articulation – everything required to become a highly successful character actor.