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Old 05-25-2005, 03:18 PM   #1
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Over the years, I've encountered quite a few talented roleplayers in-game who were also actors in real life. Anyone else dabbled in theater, even as a student? If so, how do you apply acting principles to text-based roleplaying?
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:35 PM   #2
Ilkidarios
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In high school and college I was often involved in dramatic productions. Though I must say that I don't often use a lot of the tricks of the trade in text MUDs. Most of the things I learned had to do with voice control, which is quite hard to convey in text-based games. I think what most helps me express ideas in text-based games are the many literature courses I took. It always helps you find the right words to use in a situation to show emotion and such.
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:58 PM   #3
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I've done improv acting a couple times, but the one thing I always loved doing (and wished I was better at) was stand up comedy.

A lot of it feels like acting, maybe not so dramatic but it and improv have enough of a connection that it does help me when roleplaying, especially when I try to come up with characters or a quick remark on the fly.
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:49 PM   #4
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I've participated in my school's improvisational acting programs for a while and I can definately say that it can help on-the-fly RP. Learning how to extend a scene and keep it from being a stare-fest is something very important in any game that doesn't constantly throw stimuli in the players' faces, and since that's one of the goals of improv, it works as an excellent training tool.

Of course, some things are just talent, timing, and wit.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:17 AM   #5
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I have been a professional actor & Santa (which gives you an idea what I look like!) for over 30 years. I also teach stage combat (fencing/fighting for live theatre) & taught at a major university back in 1977. †While there, I was introduced to a mysterious game called "D & D" by some of my students, & I was hooked. †Now our gaming group was all actors & folks in the theatre, so our emphasis was always on the role-playing aspects of D&D, so I find I prefer RP-enforced muds.

Now my training as an actor in character development helps me when it comes to coming up with a bio that can be unique. †First I decide what class & race I want to play, my preferences usually lean towards warriors or monks, maybe a ranger or paladin from time to time. †I also like to play really stupid ogre/orc/uruk-hai warrior/barbarians. †No spells to deal with, & the roleplaying can be fun. †To add spice, if the mud has alias mode, I will come up with 10 or 20 gross & disgusting emotes so I can lend a colorful slant to my character. for example:

alias pick emote picks nose & wipes the booger on his jerkin.

or

alias scratch emote scratches his groin as if he's tying to kill something in there.

Now my training also helps keep me in character, although I also will turn off any ooc or chat channels so I don't have to listen to the r/l stuff. †If I have any pet peeve it would be with players who don't stay in character on a RP enforced mud. †I remember having an ogre barbarian character in the town square, & this elf maiden kept talking about some movie she saw & was speaking in the room, as opposed to on an ooc channel. †I tried to get her to take the hint be having my character respond by saying: "Whut be mooovie? Is dat some a dat hokey pokey spell flinkin stuff. Me no likey dat stuff! Me also don't likey pointy-eared elvees dat do dat hokey pokey stuff!" I then emoted hawkin' up a loogy & spitting at her feet. She wouldn't take the hint & eventually left the room because I wouldn't respond to her movie question oocly. †Lucky for her, I'm not into PKing, cause she sure would've deserved killin' :-P
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:55 PM   #6
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Anyone else want to chime in on this?
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Old 05-27-2005, 07:37 PM   #7
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I feel RP is more out of my comfort zone than is acting. Iíve studied acting and worked professionally at it for years now, while my mudding experience hasnít been so long. Itís a challenge to think on your feet and try to adequately capture your character with words. In acting, -good acting- the focus has to be completely off yourself and onto another person. So in an ideal world you arenít aware of your gestures and your tonal inflections. While with mudding, I find myself often doing something and at a loss how to describe it. You need to capture the third person perspective (with emotes) and at the same time deal with the interior dialogue (think command). It's difficult to watch yourself and also be immersed. I think in some ways, writers have more advantages stepping into this medium than actors.


On the other hand! There Ėare- a few instances in mudding where acting techniques do seem to help.
Exploring what makes a character tick. Why they do what they do. Itís my favorite part about both mediums. Acting wise, you know whatís going to happen. The joy is finding out what reason they have for doing it. In mudding, you have no clue what the next moment brings. No clue at all. Itís great! Each moment is an opportunity for your character to be tested and some new facet of their personality could be revealed. Will she have the heart to betray her commander? Or will she fail miserably?


Objectives. Now, IMO objectives and goals are quite necessary to both. The character that wants to rule the world is probally going to be a lot more interesting than one that just sits around in a tavern twiddling their thumbs. Not that objectives need to be so grand. Something as simple as wanting to make another character smile can provoke interesting things. Now in a scene while acting, you can have the objective of trying to get the other person to dance around like a little kid, but you are limited with the words and tactics you use. In mudding, the opportunities (if allowable by the character youíve created) seem to be wider. Like, my char could do anything to accomplish seeing you dance, from giving you a present to shooting at your feet.


Lastly, playing opposites. I could probally rant for ages but Iíll try to refrain. I find it much more interesting when a character (acting and mudding) plays against what they are doing. For example, a characterís mom dies. Now instead of said character emoting Ė A tear trickles down her face. Yadda Yadda. I like when the character tries not to cry. If someone onstage (and I think it remains true in the virtual world) is like ĎOh poor me! Boo- hoo! Everyone look at me Iím so sad!í Nobody cares. I know I donít. But if you see someone try Ėnot- to. Maybe the character is hunched over, staring with grim determination at a spot on the wall, hands clenched tightly together. And suddenly, I find it much more interesting. Itís harder to convey. But ultimately worth it.


Another exampleof playing opposites. Playing drunk. They always tell you in acting that to play drunk you have to play a char trying really hard to be sober. In real life, when yer drunk you try really hard to act like you arenít. Mind you, people fail. Badly, most times. But they try. I think the same applies to mudding, hiding and trying hard to appear sober when, of course, you fail most dismally. It makes things much more interesting.
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Old 06-04-2005, 12:02 PM   #8
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