Thursday, 23 September 2010

Seeking inspiration: The Art of Role Play

"When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge." ~Tuli Kupferberg

"Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life."~Simone Weil

Hello Dearest Devotees,

I think it was towards the end of the summer that I read Harry Potter Book 4 (The Goblet of Fire) that I first decided to explore my own imaginary world. Using Hogwarts and the rest of Harry's world as a jumping off point, I began to create an intricately detailed alternate reality, occasionally furnished with ideas from other fantasy-like books I'd read but largely full of places that I had come up with. Each place had their own wildly different culture, languages and physical environment as well as their own well established royal family. I loved being in this place that I called "my magical world" ( I know. Extremely creative :P) so much that I would spend hours of my day interacting with this place and with people and friends I'd created in this place. I would imagine full length conversations, and would sometimes even invite my siblings to join in my crazy adventures.

It was around this time that I first gained serious interest in writing novels and I'm pretty sure it was sparked by my love for the imaginary place I'd created. I desired to share this world with others and I thought that by "becoming" a character in my imaginary world, I would be able to have a special connection with the characters and therefore be better able to accurately represent them in my books. The character I chose to become is called Aury and I now have a wealth of stories that in diary format that I have collected over the years about her life. Acting as Aury was my first experience in the art of role play. I later found out that actors often use role play to get into character and to be better able to portray their characters during performances. In a similar way, role play helped me to realise that in the world I was creating in my book, Aury and all her friends are people with "real" emotions, problems and relationships and not just characters. I want my readers to be able to believe, at least for a little while, that she is real and in order for that to happen I must believe it too. Only by truly believing this will I be able to make her actions and emotions real enough that my readers will be able to see themselves in her and relate with my novel.

I believe that role play is a skill that can be used by people in general and artists in particular. Our art comes from our realms of experience and our personal realms of experience are pretty limited when you imagine all that it could be. Role play enables to expand that realm giving you the opportunity to tap into feelings and experiences you may not have otherwise had in order to draw from these experiences and create something extraordinary. Also role play can be used to help you reach your goals and ideas of the person you want to be. If used well, it could help you get a realistic idea of what it would take to become that person and maybe even let you decide if that person is really who you want to be. Finally, the art of roleplay can be used to help you understand people in your life better. It will give the chance to " walk in their shoes" and understand things from their point of view. The art of role play is so much more than a game. It is a way of letting your imagination help you see what your eyes can't.

Seeking Inspiration Assignment:

Use the art of roleplay to pretend to be someone who you could see as the opposite of you. Or step into the shoes of someone you aspire to being. Be this person for at least a day.
*Clarification edit*
In order not to freak people out I would recommend you do this on a personal day- a day in which you have a lot of personal time. Or you could just take some time out and just go through the motions of an average day in the life of your character by only pretending to do the activities.

Links I've loved

GenYwealth gives 5 weird habits that can make you rich. Hmm...

I so LOVE the Lolita Lifestyle.

These dates are soo sweet!!! .

I really like this ode to overachievers. I don't know if I'm there yet but I think I'm pretty close.

Wishful thinking is giving a free course for Creative Professionals. If you haven't signed up yet do it! It's gold.

Two pretty awesome morning routines on Zen Habits.

And its pretty random but I really love Taylor Swift's Mine and If I Die Young by The Band Perry. The colours in their videos are so beautiful.

Love you and Stay inspired,

P.S. So let me know what you think. Have you role played before? What for? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.


Jeff King said...

Thx for sharing... and thx for the great links.

Zmaga said...

Wouldn't it be weird to actually be someone else for a day? I mean, weird for people who know me? I love the idea, but I'm not sure how to make it happen.

Shakespeare said...

I like the idea, too... but unfortunately, Harry Potter isn't feasible. I'd love to get an iPhone, though, and buy the app where I can duel with other people using my phone. That sounds awesome!

I'd also love Hermione's timeturner. So useful! I wish I could play to that extent.

But I'm old and respectable, so I'll just have to do that in my imagination.

ellie said...

I definitely think creative nonfiction is always an insightful way to writing. I was reading a bio on Patricia Highsmith(the talented Mr. Ripley) how she'd sabatage her own relationships just for her characters in her novels. It was unbelievable, but she did make her one lover quite suicidal.

DT said...

You have been TAGGED!

meg said...

Wonderful quotes. I really like the assignment. Great post. Hope you are having a beautiful weekend.

cass and cady said...

So enjoy your writing. said...

this is very interesting! so true that the writer must believe for the reader to believe. i see a connection between the excercises actors to to get in character and writing believable characters.

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