-clueless, dumb, endearing
Brick from Anchorman:
-repeats what others say, listens but doesn't really understand,
Jackie in restaurant/date scene:
This scene includes Jackie, a bisexual woman, and Shirley, Jackie's ex-lover who dresses up as 'Trev' to try and win back Jackie, and Maurice, an Italian waiter serving their table in the romantic Italian restaurant. My character, Jackie, was created through improvising a scene where two people are on a date. Improvising this scene to start with helped to get an initial idea of what kind of characters we would be playing. So, setting the scene in a restaurant meant that in the improvisation I had an idea in my mind that I would be dressed nice, so I crossed my legs, and I would have a glass of wine. So when we started acting, I tried to play the character quite girly, checking she looks alright with a small mirror, a bit nervous before 'Trev' arrives, but gets quite flirty once he does. Pia's character, who is trying to be manly as 'Trev' ended up seeming quite rough, and Elizabeth's character, a fierce Italian waiter who is annoyed at Shirley's plan to act as 'Trev', ended up being played quite easily annoyed, but a bit nervous around Jackie who flirts with him.
I had to make some decisions about my character in order to improve the quality and hilarity of the scene; I decided that I wanted to play Jackie as if she has been drinking before her date arrives and is quite drunk by the time 'he' arrives. She is a very flirty woman, no doubt brought on more by her drunken state, and flirts outrageously with the waiter, (purring at him, hitting his bum and bending over in front of him), as well as 'Trev', (running her foot up 'his' leg and talking about her sex life)
Using improvisation to characterise is very helpful and to begin each improvisation we moulded each other into positions which is a somatic technique which is very useful to build an idea of a character and their traits.
Tracy in bus stop scene:
We have been working on developing the two characters Tracy and Stacy in this scene. We decided that Tracy would be posh but sucking up to Stace since she moved schools, (due to her father's money problems) and has no other friends. I wanted to establish how much she really likes Stace and to what extent she is posh, (so we worked on voice). I really want to make the physical and vocal choices for this character soon so that I know exactly how to play the character and can focus on lines for the characters. We watched some of Made In Chelsea to get an idea of a posh voice and discussed that kind of vocal choice or a more original posh, rich voice which stereotypically, someone with land and stables and horses might use.
Tracy in PE scene:
With this character, I can still draw a little from my research into Brittany from Glee, because Tracy is a very ditsy character, quite dumb, which we see straight away in the scene as it is obvious that she doesn't pay a lot of attention to what her friend tells her: she comes into the scene having already forgotten something Stacy told her. Also, when they start doing the PE exercises, she gets really excited by the music (Spice Girls) and dances really enthusiastically despite the PE equipment in her clothes, and then seems really upset when the teacher tells them to bend their knees and she can't. This characteristics all show that Tracy has a lot of trivial ideas and thoughts, and can get upset by very small issues, but also gets very excited by stuff that even her friend is not happy about.
In the TV program Some Girls, there is a character, Amber, who is really dumb and completely doesn't realise it, which makes her very endearing, but her character is very funny because she doesn't appear to understand a lot of what she says or what happens to her, and she makes a lot of stupid mistakes, (like Brittany did, when she confused words, such as thinking 'ballad' was a duck and 'duet' was a blanket, or stopped learning the alphabet because she got confused by m and n). I would like my character to be more like this.
Hilary / 'Tic' in party/builder scene:
We decided for our final scene to use the builder/plumber characters Taylor and Pia developed in a short scene where they were trying to fix Katie Price's pipes, and kept finding things, like her underwear, and messing around in her house. So, Taylor, as a builder comes across a fancy dress party, and tries to use the toilet but the people there assume he is dressed up and welcome him to the party. My character is Hilary, Gerald's controlling wife who has had them dress up as Tic and Tac.
We first tried out some different characters through the dinner party game where Taylor acted as the host and we all arrived with different character traits that we had to really exaggerate, such as being posh or a character that was famous in Japan or looks down on everyone else because their son is a lawyer/doctor(?). In one of these exercises, Elizabeth and I acted as a couple and I pulled her round a lot. Although I was trying to be happy-go-lucky, I ended up seeming quite controlling and bossy towards my husband but friendly to everyone else. And Elizabeth played her character quite quiet but perhaps when away from the wife, her character might be more outgoing.
A a class we discussed which characters we enjoyed from the improvisations, and decided that Elizabeth and I should play a married couple with those same dynamics, where I try to control him. And Raye decided to try out an Nigerian parking inspector, who we find out at the end has also stumbled into the party and is not in fancy dress. Pia's character is a woman dressed as a baked bean who runs around trying to find Trev, who we never see, but everyone tells her they saw him in different costumes, so she keeps embarrassing herself with strangers dressed as a gorilla, a nun.
My character in this scene is actually quite similar to the character Harriet played by Betty Marsden in Carry On Camping, as she is quite domineering towards her husband too. Although her husband Peter does say some things to get at her, she never listens to him and dismisses the idea that she wasn't listening to him as if he was being stupid. I think my character should be like her. I would like to play Hilary/Tic controlling and pushing her husband around, but also , hopefully saying snide things about him to other people.
In the TV program Fawlty Towers, the character of the wife Sybil Fawlty has some characteristics which I would like to incorporate into my work on the character of Hilary, regarding the relationship with the husband (Basil Fawlty, or Gerald in our scene). In an interview John Cleese (who plays Basil Fawlty and wrote Fawlty Towers) he describes the basis of the Sybil's character, played by Prunella Scales. The idea is that she is the one person in the sitcom who Basil Fawlty is frightened of. Basil's character still says snarky things to her and about her but when he does something wrong he becomes afraid of what she will do when she finds out, (for example, the builders mess up the work on the hotel in the episode The Builders and Basil starts to panic, "What am I going to do? She's going to be back at lunchtime!" clearly referring to his wife, and then saying "We're all dead!" And when Polly tells him not to panic he says: "What else is there to do?"), and when she is angry, he cowers or runs away.An important part of the character Sybil is that she isn't especially frightening and gets on well with most people and is kind and friendly, but when it comes to her husband, she pushes him away and scolds him, but in a light, often sarcastic tone, and he responds by muttering about her under his breath or to other people. I think this dynamic is very relevant to Elizabeth's and my characters in the party scene; my character, the over-bearing wife who gets embarrassed by her husband's actions, and the husband who hates the wife and jumps at the chance to undermine her, but is also controlled by her to a degree.
There is also an element of hypocrisy about Sybil as she is always pushing Basil away, (such as when Basil kisses her cheek and she says suspiciously “What are you doing?”. He replies “Kissing you, dear.” She looks at him and says “Well don’t.”), and doesn't ever get personal with him, in fact she ignores him a lot. She even flirts with other men, and is very friendly towards everyone else. However, when Basil tries to flirt with anyone she scolds him and never gives up an opportunity to insult him ("Do you really imagine, even in your wildest dreams, that a girl like this could possibly be interested in an ageing, brilliantined stick insect like you?") and she gets very upset and storms out in the episode where he 'forgets' their anniversary. In our party scene, my character does shun her husband, Gerald, shouting at him for eating cheese, and then suddenly begins to make advances on the builder, Bob. The character Sybil really is tired of her husband and threatens to leave him, and does escape the hotel for periods of time to stay with friends, but she never actually leaves. This is similar to our scene where my character always ends up pulling Gerald out of the room, even after having an argument.
My character’s entrance to the final scene is by shouting for Gerald and then entering from behind the audience, already very angry with him. The actress who plays Sybil Fawlty uses a different tone of voice when calling her husband’s name when she is annoyed with him; it is more sharp and snappy. The names Basil and Gerald are similar so I will try to use more of a variety of tone of voice to express my character’s current feelings toward the husband Gerald.