Just a Little Lovin – Thinking about the character

Until now my work with my character for Just a Little Lovin, the hedonistic Bruce, I described in my last post, have been very unstructured, a lot thinking in short. We got our spot for the game and character, just as I had gone to bed one evening and that set of a whole thought stream, so I didn’t sleep until 3. that night.

And since then I have let my thoughts dwell on the character once in a while, much like I work with my ideas I now realize. Let it be there in the background and only touch lightly on it once in a while, as I with do other things and if something new appears work and with that a bit until it is thought through.

In the beginning it was mainly worries, what if this, what if that?

See one of the things that troubled me with Bruce is his traits:
Competitive
Hedonistic
Dominant
Manipulative
Flashy

These are the traits of a strong and outgoing man. And I’m more to holding back. As I talked about in my post about playing “New Voices in Art”, I’m very self conscious about what others think about me. Therefore I created a character that wasn’t. And to some extent Bruce is like that. But the big difference is that he does care, or rather it’s important that he seems strong, where as in the artist character it didn’t matter, if he was seen as a fool, he just didn’t care. Neither does Bruce, he just never ends up seeming like fool. But I do. Or at least i’m afraid I do.

But this is role play, you might say at this point, can’t you just pretend? Well yes, but from experience I also know that I need to find some connecting points within myself to the character. Especially for the bits that’s very different from me. Because these parts are so alien to me, I need to find out, how I will express them, if I don’t, well then I know that I’ll either freeze up, (thinking too much about am I doing this wrong or right) or I’ll do it very cliche or superficially.

I need to convince myself, that I can play this alien character, so that I during play can relax and focus on the experience rather than on what to do now and is this good enough? And I do that by looking at how I will express the different and difficult parts of the character. And that is the process I will go through now:

Competitive: I’m not competitive, I just really don’t care who’s best. Luckily this part of Bruce would mostly come out during his working hours and they are not part of the play. But if they do, I think I’ll try and turn my own attitude to competition upside down: I don’t care because I know I can’t be the best. Bruce doesn’t care because he knows, he is the best.

Hedonistic: This is the one I know straight from the start I could do. I love pleasure and good things. Even to excess. It’s a part of me I’m a bit worried about sometimes, all I need to do is shut that worry down and just let myself go (and crank it up to 11). Bruce wants pleasure, and as much of it as possible. One of the things I talked about with Anine, (mentioned in my last post) is that Bruce is quantity over quality, more, more, more! I can do that. If something is boring move on from it look for the next pleasure. And that also solves another worry. Which we will come back to.

Dominant: This one I struggled with a lot, until I realized one thing I often do with strangers: I hold back, a lot, especially if we are talking in english. I speak english as well as danish (because I’m half english). I also try in workshops and group work to hold back, because I often have a lot of ideas and other things, I just want to throw out there. I’m very responsive, If someone says something that often gives me a new idea, and I’m worried that I take the spotlight too much, and often hold back. I want others to have a good time as well, you know give others room. Well Bruce doesn’t have that worry, so I just need to shut down that consideration. If I want to speak, if I want to grab center stage, I just do it. I know it’s not a traditional form of dominance, but it will be how I’ll try and handle it.

Manipulative: Again I thought this is something I’m not, but then I saw another thing: I’m a nice guy and I like to be nice to others. Bruce is the same, but he has other motives. He’s nice and I think complementing, but he does it, because it helps him get what he wants (calling back the the whole hedonistic thing). So he will be fun and nice to be around, a good party friend, but he has a reason for his behavior. It kind of fits, because he is living a double life: in the day he’s around straight traditional men and the stock exchange, but at night he parties at gay bars with young impressionable men. Also the personal issue with suppressing all other parts of life requires a strong mask. So it’s not that I need to change my way of being much but my interior motivation has to change.

I spend a lot of time on praise others and I want people around me to feel appreciated. I do this, because I like to please and I want to be friends with everyone and also I want others to feel good about themselves. Struggling with low confidence, I know what that kind of words means to me, so I want to share the love, (you bloody hippie). And that can be twisted to be seen as manipulation, (or rather it kind of is already). But again I need to switch the motivation. See nice guy Simon does it, because he wants others to feel good about themselves. But Bruce does it because he knows that it will get him what he wants.

Flashy: This is kind of the visual combination of the above four. He is a success and must show it in clothes and actions. I hope that comes with the other things.

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