Technique: Creating Behavior

Instructor: Susan Rumor
Its undeniable that humans all have basic needs and you do whatever you can to get these basic human needs or else we die. We need support, safety, sex, nurturing, companionship, power, socialization, community, etc.

There are three specific things that create this behavior that you must acknowledge before this behavior can naturally stem from your soul.
1) Character – your autobiography. Knowing your personal life, heroes, what makes you laugh, etc.
2) Facts/Circumstances – Scripts will give you a certain number of facts and/or circumstances that you need to stay true to as you build your character. You can’t deny the reality of the script – for example if the story is set in 1800’s earth, you can’t have a cellphone… Seems pretty intuitive, but not always as cut and dry.
3) Objective – We always have an objective in life. I want acceptance, I want understanding, I want to kill him, I want to make love to her.
→ Once you establish your character, the script will lead your through the rest of it. All you need is the behavior, and then you can trust that you put in the work and the rest will simply fall into place.

What we want and need are always based on our conflicts. Unfortunately, we always have problems preventing us from getting what we want. I want to date this woman – but she has a boyfriend. I want become a respected actor but I have no finances. Always start with your problems. The more specific we are in our work, then things happen clearer and faster.

Look at three objectives:
1st objective (script objective); look at the overall problem.
2nd objective (scene objective); look at the problem that will occur
3rd objective (opening objective); what’s the first objective in the opening, and what just happened. It gets you living in the very first beat.

Example: CAST AWAY

1st objective: I want my life back. The overall problem is I am stuck on this island by myself.
When you can’t get what you want, you feel pain.
The hardest part is getting your objective from your head to your soul. This can only be done through extensive character work.

For your objective…it can be derived from your problem preventing you from reaching your objective. Check the objective against these helpful hints.
1) Is it important to my character?
2) It must lead to action.
3) It must have an obstacle.
4) It must be positively phrased.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *