There is acting, and then there is playing a role. Acting is straightforward … based on material given to you ahead of time, and meant to be consistent and the same every time. Role playing is something entirely different … slipping into the mind of the character you portray to make decisions and reach conclusions for them. It’s the difference between a movie-star shooting a single film and a soap opera star who has played the same character for decades; with the latter, we expect them to occasionally stray from their normal portrayals, if only because we’ve had a chance to ascertain what normal really constitutes. One is not harder than the other. In fact, to consistently act and to act consistently are two different concepts entirely.
Okay, so, what i’m trying to say is that i didn’t get cast in Fiddler, but in my ever-loving geekdom i started a role-playing campaign of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons tonight with other assorted Drexel Players. We sat around in an attic bedroom for more than three hours, talking to each other as who we were portraying rather than as ourselves imitating a character. Eyes were shifty, and stories were inconsistent. We began to establish the baseline of how we would act from there on out. Stories were told around campfires, relative lack of wisdom was played with Keanu-like naivete, and secrets were kept.
We’re going to meet again next Thursday. Most of the other people have rehearsal most of the nights between now and then, but i don’t. And, really, it’s not a problem.