Forums > Expressive movement / costumes and props > presenting audience with a character vs being natural/yourself.

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 12
railspinner
railspinner

journeyman
Location: canada
Member Since: 8th Oct 2008
Total posts: 99
Posted:This thread is a discussion on the pro's and cons of using a character for public peforming rather then just being yourself.

Im not to familar with theater so Im not sure if that's the right terminology. To elaborate what I mean by putting on a character is either adding a element of drama or comedy or presence to your performance and crowd interaction, vs just being yourself.

I think the pro's and cons would be diffrent for diffrent invididuals. personally I have never done much public performance, but I am more confident with dealing with the public in a casual, natural attitude rather then putting on a act.

But other people may have better stage presence then I do.


The less people know the more they believe

Delete Topic

meshunderlay
meshunderlay

Juggler/Spinner
Location: Hicksville, New York, USA
Member Since: 15th Sep 2008
Total posts: 612
Posted:You know it's funny, because if not for acting people would pretty much assume that I'm the most outgoing person they know.

I do agree that it depends on who you are, but sometimes it can be fun to be a character other than yourself.

Seriously though, depending on the situation I'm in, I'm usually never myself, which when you think about it, really means that I am... but.... Aw hell it's way too confusing.

In other words, I know I'm an introvert, and I get really anxious about public speaking or performing, but I throw on a smile and do it because I love to see people smile, make people laugh, or amaze someone with a simple maneuver. People would never know otherwise unless in a situation like this where I say something.

Enough with my ramblings though, I do think being in character (maybe you're the angriest spinner in the world *shrug*), or if you're being yourself, it's important to be comfortable, because if you aren't people will pick up on that.


Delete

bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:what if you're a fruit loop on stage and a fruit loop in person?

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

Delete

Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Then I spose you need some milk, bender.

I dunno anything about my performing... only ever performed once, apparently I look angry when I twirl just freely.


hug

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:What, exactly, do you mean by putting on a character ? Are you talking something like slapping on a fake moustache and bowler and being a Charlie Chaplin type ( a recognisable character ) or dressing up "theatrically" eg a matador ?

If your aspirations are to busk, you're going to need a whole act which is not so much costuming as it is coming up with a routine that entertains the audience with *more* than simply manipulating your toys.

I work with a group of professional jugglers and they accurately describe what they do as "stand up comedy with props" and fully acknowledge that skill alone isn't enough to fill the hat ( in North America anyway )

Every year, I come across people trying to busk with just their toys, without a routine that involves interacting with the audience and every year I watch those buskers fail.

I'm not trying to be overly harsh here, it's just that after years of seeing this pattern repeated I'm suggesting that you give some serious thought as to what your act is going to be all about if you want to make money.


Delete

railspinner
railspinner

journeyman
Location: canada
Member Since: 8th Oct 2008
Total posts: 99
Posted:well, I don't mean a costume.

What I mean is if I were to interact with a crowd using my 'natural' self, my sense of humour is pretty dry and average people wouldn't enjoy it, also my natural self would tend to be more informative, like a tour guide.

I could teach myself to put some more mainstream humour into a performance, and act more out of my natural way of being. Which wouldn't be sincere, that's what I mean by putting on a character (one other then myself)

If that makes any sense. Im not very articulate sometimes, especially when im haggard from drinking to much.


The less people know the more they believe

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Well it sounds like putting on a character is what you want.

Thing is, busking is ridiculously hard work..if you want to make money, and in the end it's all about making money so what you want to do is put together an act that's entertaining.

The idea of simply manipulating your toys id fine, in principal, but at the end of the day "the hat" might just be less than you expect for what amounts to a day's work.

You may want to consider insulting various members of your audience ( yes, this is making jokes at another's expense ) and talking about "the donation" starting half way through your show. Heck, even offer "subtle" suggestions about just what that donation should be, like holding up five fingers when telling your audience this is what you do for a living.

I heard an interview with Alice Cooper once where he explained that "Alice" was nothing more than just an act. He stated that he tried living that act as a lifestyle but found it "wasn't really him" and then went on to explain how he could turn that persona on and off. In the end, you'll still be you, but your character will become part of your job.

cheers


Delete

natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted:I'm never myself when performing, unless it's for close friends and I'm 'jamming'.
But any other performance I have my "I'm a sexy awesome chick" hat on or my "I am totally tough and macho" hat or my "innocent gentle movements" hat.

Even when teaching fire things I wear "responsible fire teacher" hat.

So.. Pros for Hats
Never feel nervous or that people are judging you.
Can be as sexy as you want because not worried people will think you're a slut.. because they're only judging the mask.. not you personally.
Bigger range
More confidence
Not emotionally involved.. so if a trick effs up, you can react according to your hat.

Cons of hats
You need to practice them or they can slip.


Delete

MikefromGlos
MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England
Member Since: 10th Jul 2006
Total posts: 985
Posted:I prefer to spin as myself but aparently when i am spinning i am a more confident person so i suppose somtimes it brings out a natural charector if that makes sense at all..

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

Delete

MRC
MRC

Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:I'd say for performance you don't necessarily have to change who you are, you just need t orecognize that you need charisma. It's not really a character, just an effort to charm people. Simple example are buskers like "Space Cowboy." He doesn't strike me as putting on an act but he makes an effort to be funny, and present positivity to the crowd. He gets a lot of applause (and gets around) so it must be working for him.

Delete

railspinner
railspinner

journeyman
Location: canada
Member Since: 8th Oct 2008
Total posts: 99
Posted:part of the problem is, I have a general dislike for the general public. It's hard for me to be charming or nice to average people unless im bold face lieing through my teeth. I can and would do this as I would like to use my poi skills to make money.

I guess maybe if I just be a hilarious arsehole (not to grateing to alienate my audience or be inappropriate infront of children and uppity sensitive sort of people)

I guess the only thing to do is experiment.

Also I don't need a whole lot of money, Im pretty adept at living off of very little and my needs are minimal. I spent a lot of time being homeless and relying on pan handeling and squeeging car windows for money. Now that im growing out of that but not out of my lifestyle, im seeking alternative means of money makeing to support my free life style. My poi skills are the most obvious thing to turn to.


The less people know the more they believe

Delete

DaG
DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas
Member Since: 21st Jun 2005
Total posts: 156
Posted:Originally Posted By: railspinnerpart of the problem is, I have a general dislike for the general public. It's hard for me to be charming or nice to average people unless im bold face lieing through my teeth.



hahahaha yea i think it would definitely aide you to have some kind of character.

alot of buskers use what is called 'persona' which is a slight exaggeration of certain parts of themselves, kinda like the Hats natasqi talked about. It makes you able to be out of your comfort zone without having to stay 'in character' for a whole show, which can be very hard if it doesn't come naturally.

a character/ persona also allows you to leave your performance at your pitch after bad shows. Its not you personally that the crowd didn't like it was the performance.

Bottom line, if you want to get a lot of money you gotta be likable and being funny helps.
If you are not overly concerned with that you could get some mileage with a ridiculously cynical character/ persona.
I would love to see a busker that hates people grin

Good luck! it can be difficult, especially at first.
They say that, in busking the first 100 shows don't count. So just getting out there and doing it is 99% of learning in this game.




Delete

MRC
MRC

Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:Yeah. I mean a sort of

"I don't know why I even wake up. FINE I'll light myself on fire for you lovely high-tipping folks..."

I'd say in that case it might be wise to try writing material before hand, and get familiar with some lines. Be able to recall a good joke without fumbling on it. It could work, it is just plainly unconventional. Who ever said that mattered though.


Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:That could be fun....

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:*mental note: must come back to this after work! Now we're talking!*

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:In general as long as your not a complete loser with your skills people are more concerned to be entertained than impressed. But if you really don;t like the general public, busking is not a good career choice. They will surround you, heckle, walk on your pitch, come up and talk to you afterwards, ask dumb questions, all sorts of people type things. Busking for money is about about pleasing THEM not yourself. Practicing in the back yard is about you and even then you might be worth adopting a character like 'perfectionist' or 'adventurer' to get you out of your comfort zone and into something interesting.

Patter, involvement, suspense, wit, a bit of 'wow what cheek!' all that helps entertain. One of the best buskers I ever saw had a 30 minute lead up to one acrobatic trick. Worth every moment, the trick was great and the patter, audience involvement (kids can be your enemy if not engaged), sexy flashy cheek, suspense building, costume, costume changes etc were terrific. 'Grumpy' buskers and audience insults have to be based on an vibe of actually liking people and the job or its just a turn off. Check out some vids of the Black Street Boys... an entire show on commenting on the audience with a tiny bit of dancing. People were running to give them $20 notes cos they had a good time!


But straight sarcasm that reads "I don't like you and resent being here' or self deprecation that reads 'like me I am insecure' sucks. Why should people give you money if you don;t actually make them feel good about themselves and you? Cos you can do some trick? Na. They can go online if thats all they want.

Also having some product can increase the $$ potential.. poi, vids, comedy handcream, postcards, whatever.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete

tim_marston
addict

Member Since: 16th May 2006
Total posts: 614
Posted:wow
it kind of sad that you don't like your intended audience of "average people",
firstly that's one hell of a sweeping statement, i not sure what you mean by average people but I'm pretty sure i fall into that category, perhaps your dislike for others comes from low self esteem or a deep dislike of yourself?,
its a shame you dislike so many people you don't even know yet, i promise you this, if you tried getting on with these average people and dropped some of your bigotry you would find some of them interesting,non-judgemental and possibly more kind and loving than yourself

secondly the best performers do it because they love it, with or without a character,they do it because they love making money doing what they love, they also love their audiences and that shows through,
i cant believe that you really want to make money pretending to like people that you claim to hate just because you have a few skills, this seems tragic for both you and your future audiences and i hope in the fututre you either hate late less or perform less cos there is already far to much hate in this world,
speaking of which i hope you take this in the shocked and concerned manner in which it is written and not me hating you cos i don't hate you at all, i feel bad for you dude


Delete

16.15.8
16.15.8

I cant think therefore Im not
Location: In my backpack
Member Since: 16th Jul 2005
Total posts: 291
Posted:Originally Posted By: tim_marstonwow
it kind of sad that you don't like your intended audience of "average people",
firstly that's one hell of a sweeping statement, i not sure what you mean by average people but I'm pretty sure i fall into that category, perhaps your dislike for others comes from low self esteem or a deep dislike of yourself?,
its a shame you dislike so many people you don't even know yet, i promise you this, if you tried getting on with these average people and dropped some of your bigotry you would find some of them interesting,non-judgemental and possibly more kind and loving than yourself

secondly the best performers do it because they love it, with or without a character,they do it because they love making money doing what they love, they also love their audiences and that shows through,
i cant believe that you really want to make money pretending to like people that you claim to hate just because you have a few skills, this seems tragic for both you and your future audiences and i hope in the fututre you either hate late less or perform less cos there is already far to much hate in this world,
speaking of which i hope you take this in the shocked and concerned manner in which it is written and not me hating you cos i don't hate you at all, i feel bad for you dude

Are you talking about what newgabe wrote?


"I dont like shoes, definitely not spinning with shoes, they make my feet feel flat, my feet are not flat...."

Delete

tim_marston
addict

Member Since: 16th May 2006
Total posts: 614
Posted:no
newgabe is a lovely lady and my mates mum!
i was talking about what railspinner said.


Delete

16.15.8
16.15.8

I cant think therefore Im not
Location: In my backpack
Member Since: 16th Jul 2005
Total posts: 291
Posted:Ok that makes more sense, thank you grin

"I dont like shoes, definitely not spinning with shoes, they make my feet feel flat, my feet are not flat...."

Delete

tim_marston
addict

Member Since: 16th May 2006
Total posts: 614
Posted:anytime )

Delete

Crimson_Circus
Spinner: (means "freak" in German)
Location: Traveling
Member Since: 14th Jan 2009
Total posts: 21
Posted:i haven't done many shows in public but it is always fun to dress up.
my tip is, that the costume should fit with the music and the place of your performance.
examples:
pirate birthday party; dress up as a pirate and let pirates of the carribean run in the background. (careful with the eyepatch;)
renaisance fair: dress up as knight in the background you have in extremo or some viking metal running.
the important thing is that the costume is (more or less) fireproof =not extremely flamable. it should imply a headscarf,especialy if you have long hair.
i think of myself as a performer when i am spinning. most performers dress up for their shows. sometimes it helps, to be someone else, if you are nervous.
ps: dressing up as a knight works realy well. leather and chainmail are fireproof X)

EDITED_BY: Crimson_Circus (1232414583)


Gata Gata Para Sum Gata Bodhisvaha.
Go far, go further, go further than ever imagined.

Delete

newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:spinning in chainmail?!?! phew. the last chain mail I had in my hand was HEAVY!!!

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Yeah... Might not be able to move freely enough either....

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

MRC
MRC

Funky Blessings Daily

Member Since: 17th Jun 2008
Total posts: 215
Posted:chainmaille is kind of heavy yes, but it's typically rather loose and easy to move in, it was designed for fighting in. Originally anyway, you could be doin a chainmaille bikini.

Anyway, I think it'd just take some getting used to for the weight, and you wouldn't be able to use it for long periods, but I think it would look great (shinny clothing plus fire?), and it's durable.


Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Could be interesting. Someone make some to try.

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:Ok - heres a thread in the 'tech' department i can actually contribute to! i lost track of inverted hyperlooping matrixes or whatever else is going on here a while ago.

after 5 odd years in the spinning scene i devoted some energy to a physical theatre course for about 1.5 years - so can happily crap on in actorspeak - which is as incomprehensable to most as poi-speak.

anyway, i digress. some comments. ive been meaning to address some similar thoughts about spinning/acting in a new thread for a while but never got around to writing - so forgive me if i drift.

Quote:using a character for public peforming rather then just being yourself

Theres a vague guiltiness with those newer to the performance scene (not being condensending - just comparing to hardenned veterans ive met) that by adapting a character that it is separate from own personal nature. I do not think that the two are mutually exclusive. When you are acting a character/persona - you should be putting your entire self and soul into that creation. It should be a different manifestation of yourself - rather that an isolated split personality type thing.
This is often not understood by an audience. they will see this spontaneous gregarious performer on stage - and not comprehend a quite thoughtful person behind the act.

The reason i make the definition - is because if you do not completely believe and put yourself in the character - the audience will see through it. its somewhat hard to explain - until youve been there.

Space Cowboy is a great example of this - after meeting him a couple of times - he superficially appears to be a very different person on stage - but now i recognise that both the performer and normal bloke are just differnt aspects of the same man. Theres some who are naturals at this - then others - like myself - who have to work incredibley hard to put myself in that different frame of mind.

Even then - theres many different approaches to the acting craft. the Daniel Day-Lewis and Heath Ledger types absorb the character for the entire film shoot - even staying in character off screen. Others like Mel Gibson and Kevin Spacey turn the character off in the blink of an eye.

Some performers - like Terry the Great (if anyone has seen him) is exactly the same onstage and offstage.

others - like various member of the Flame Oz clan - i find act quite differently offstage - but its clearly still the same guys. a different style of cheeze perhaps. monzarrella instead of a stilton perhaps.

then theres performers like Brisbanes Christine Johnson (absurdly multitalented comedian, singer, playwright etc etc) who has this most absorbing ability to command the stage in front of thousands of people - but blend back into a quiet corner at a small house party - and most people dont even realise its her.

but if you want to experiment - go and study a term of actor training. i can guarantee it will completely change how you view performance. you may work out which approach to performance and character is best for you.

if you can be bothered - well youll just have to impress the crowd by doing a 3 beat weave really really fast!

D ubbrollsmile


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Dude, you need to get down to the Eastern Cape and show me.

What you said makes sense though. Must hit up some drama friends at uni...


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

Crimson_Circus
Spinner: (means "freak" in German)
Location: Traveling
Member Since: 14th Jan 2009
Total posts: 21
Posted:Originally Posted By: newgabespinning in chainmail?!?! phew. the last chain mail I had in my hand was HEAVY!!!
yeah i don't have the chainmail in my HAND ^^
it had short sleeves, then it doesn't realy matter, if it is heavy. cleaning it afterwards is a pain in the A.......


Gata Gata Para Sum Gata Bodhisvaha.
Go far, go further, go further than ever imagined.

Delete

Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:Originally Posted By: astonDude, you need to get down to the Eastern Cape and show me.

What you said makes sense though. Must hit up some drama friends at uni...

sure thing. looks like ill be staying around in ZA till May-ish. Your back at Grahamstown for uni Feb-ish right? i was vaguely planning on heading down early march-ish for a few days smile


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

Delete

newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Originally Posted By: Crimson_CircusOriginally Posted By: newgabespinning in chainmail?!?! phew. the last chain mail I had in my hand was HEAVY!!!
yeah i don't have the chainmail in my HAND ^^
it had short sleeves, then it doesn't realy matter, if it is heavy.

That's hilarious. Ya, I didn't think you were were trying to perform whilst carrying a few metres of chain mail!! I mean it is so heavy to wear. Even with short sleeves, it would surely restrict movement, wear you out quicker!! But yes, could be fun to do fire in. Maybe someone could make some really groovy multiicoloured titanium chain mail!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete

Page: 12

Similar Topics

Using the keywords [presenting audience character v* naturalyourself] we found the following similar topics.
1. Forums > presenting audience with a character vs being natural/yourself. [41 replies]
2. Forums > Public Performance and Audience Nightmare [3 replies]
3. Forums > Character Development [12 replies]
4. Forums > Feedback from audience vs. feedback from artists [12 replies]
5. Forums > for those chemists in the audience [1 reply]

     Show more..