Finding your Character


Welcome back to the Mornings With Matt Podcast! Today on the show, we have Arizona teen actress Ariella Aminov. The topic: finding your character.  Our team at the Dearing Acting Studio is often asked about what steps we take to dive into new characters. We coach a lot on this in our script classes. However, researching your character’s “givens” is not enough to truly dive into who your character is.

Character Breakdown

In order to get started on developing a character, it is helpful to know where to start….and where to go when you get stuck. Below are a few of the exercises we instruct our students to follow when diving into a new character. First, the 50 questions exercise. Originally derived from legendary acting coach Larry Moss. We also teach on Given Circumstances, the Moment Before, the Animal Exercise and thought life.

Yes, character breakdown can be a daunting task. But, if you knew it could create a dynamic, genuine and truthful character….why wouldn’t you dive as deep as you can go?

It’s Okay to Get Stuck.

Much like memorization techniques, triggers, or any other actor hack, it can be common to come to a standstill when creating a character. You may ask yourself; “why am I not connecting with this character” or “what else is there to find out?”. This is when you read your script again from a blank slate. Ask yourself the questions you are afraid to ask of your character and hold yourself to a higher standard as an actor to find new discoveries.

Matt chats with Ariella about different techniques he uses to shine a different light onto his character such as creating short stories for them or putting your character through an improv scenario involving a made up circumstance. Sometimes, it can be as simple as asking “If this is true about my character….what else is true?”.

Wrapping It Up.

Character study is certainly one of the most challenging part of an actor’s journey to finding their character. However, it is also a massive gift. Finding your true, authentic character through trial and error allows us to create, discover, question, challenge, accept and believe in the characters the storytellers have given us. Now, it’s up to you to put in the work to make them come to life.