Posted: Mar. 17, 2015
Category: Questions You Ask when Developing you Character
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From the Book Acting is A State of Mind

By John Pallotta


<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.    <!--[endif]-->You might start with questions that address the basics about a character:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.    <!--[endif]-->What is your characters name? Does the character have a nickname?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.    <!--[endif]-->What is your characters hair color? Eye color?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.    <!--[endif]-->What kind of distinguishing facial features does your character have?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5.    <!--[endif]-->Does your character have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did he get them?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->6.    <!--[endif]-->Who are your characters friends and family? Who does she surround herself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does he wish he were closest to?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->7.    <!--[endif]-->Where was your character born? Where has she lived since then? Where does she call home?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->8.    <!--[endif]-->Where does your character go when he’s angry?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->9.    <!--[endif]-->What is her biggest fear? Who has she told this to? Who would she never tell this to? Why?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->10. <!--[endif]-->Does he/she have a secret?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->11. <!--[endif]-->What makes your character laugh out loud?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->12. <!--[endif]-->When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->13. <!--[endif]-->Then dig deeper by asking more unconventional questions:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->14. <!--[endif]-->What is in your characters refrigerator right now?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->15. <!--[endif]-->On her bedroom floor?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->16. <!--[endif]-->On her nightstand?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->17. <!--[endif]-->In her garbage can?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->18. <!--[endif]-->Look at your characters feet. Describe what you see there. Does he wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Is he in socks that are ratty and full of holes? Or is he wearing a pair of blue and gold slippers knitted by his grandmother?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->19. <!--[endif]-->When your character thinks of her childhood kitchen, what smell does she associate with it? Sauerkraut? Oatmeal cookies? Paint? Why is that smell so resonant for her?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->20. <!--[endif]-->Your character is doing intense spring-cleaning. What is easy for her to throw out? What is difficult for her to part with? Why?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->21. <!--[endif]-->It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. If he’s eating breakfast, what exactly does he eat? If she’s stretching out in her backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel does she lie on?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->22. <!--[endif]-->What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->23. <!--[endif]-->Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where is she going? What does she wear? Who will she be with?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->24. <!--[endif]-->Who am I?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->25. <!--[endif]-->Who am I named after?  Do I like my name?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->26. <!--[endif]-->What is my gender?  What do I think about sex?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->27. <!--[endif]-->How old am I?  What do I think of my age?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->28. <!--[endif]-->How does my posture express my age, health, inner feeling?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->29. <!--[endif]-->How is my complexion?  What do I think of it?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->30. <!--[endif]-->What is my height?  What do I think of I?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->31. <!--[endif]-->What is my weight?  What do I think of it?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->32. <!--[endif]-->What is the pitch, volume, tempo, resonance or quality of my voice?  What do I think of it?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->33. <!--[endif]-->Is my articulation careless or precise?  Is my articulation standard or colloquial?  Do I have a dialect or accent?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->34. <!--[endif]-->What is my hair color and style?  Do I like it?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->35. <!--[endif]-->Do I have any deformities?  What do I think of them?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->36. <!--[endif]-->Do I have any mannerisms?  What do I think of them?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->37. <!--[endif]-->Do I have any handicaps?  What do I think of them?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->38. <!--[endif]-->How energetic or vital am I?  Do I like it?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->39. <!--[endif]-->Do I suffer from any diseases past or present?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->40. <!--[endif]-->Are my gestures complete or incomplete, vigorous or weak, compulsive or controlled?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->41. <!--[endif]-->Do I like my walk?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->42. <!--[endif]-->How do I usually sit?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->43. <!--[endif]-->How do I usually stand?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->44. <!--[endif]-->Do I have any objects, hand props or accessories with me?  Why? How do I handle them?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->45. <!--[endif]-->Are my basic rhythms smooth or jerky, even-tempered or volatile, impulsive or deliberate, ponderous or light, broken or continuous?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->46. <!--[endif]-->What do I like to wear?  What do I have to wear?  How do I wear my clothes?  How do I handle them? 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->47. <!--[endif]-->What do you consider your greatest achievement?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->48. <!--[endif]-->What is your idea of perfect happiness?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->49. <!--[endif]-->What is your current state of mind?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->50. <!--[endif]-->What is your favorite occupation?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->51. <!--[endif]-->What is your most treasured possession?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->52. <!--[endif]-->What or who is the greatest love of your life?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->53. <!--[endif]-->What is your favorite journey?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->54. <!--[endif]-->What is your most marked characteristic?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->55. <!--[endif]-->When and where were you the happiest?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->56. <!--[endif]-->What is it that you most dislike?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->57. <!--[endif]-->What is your greatest fear?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->58. <!--[endif]-->What is your greatest extravagance?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->59. <!--[endif]-->Which living person do you most despise?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->60. <!--[endif]-->What is your greatest regret?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->61. <!--[endif]-->Which talent would you most like to have?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->62. <!--[endif]-->What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->63. <!--[endif]-->What is the quality you most like in a man?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->64. <!--[endif]-->What is the quality you most like in a woman?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->65. <!--[endif]-->What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->66. <!--[endif]-->What is the trait you most deplore in others?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->67. <!--[endif]-->What do you most value in your friends?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->68. <!--[endif]-->Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->69. <!--[endif]-->Whose are your heroes in real life?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->70. <!--[endif]-->Which living person do you most admire?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->71. <!--[endif]-->What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->72. <!--[endif]-->On what occasions do you lie?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->73. <!--[endif]-->Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->74. <!--[endif]-->If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->75. <!--[endif]-->What are your favorite names?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->76. <!--[endif]-->How would you like to die?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->77. <!--[endif]-->If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->78. <!--[endif]-->What is your motto?

 Thanks for reading, Try applying some of this to your next Character (You will notice a difference in your work)


John Pallotta