There are many ways for the student actor to make changes to appearance and
personality in order to practice characterization. There are three areas that are fairly
easy for the beginning student to practice simple changes:
includes such things as walk, gestures and posture. Changes could incorporate pace, rate,
rhythm and style.
Voice-this includes accent, diction, sound and vocabulary.
Changes might include pitch, rate, volume and words specific to the character type.
Personality-changing the movement and voice will often
change the personality of the actor to fit the character. Or the characterization might
take place in the opposite way-the actor could change personality traits and the voice and
movement changes would follow naturally.
The exercises included on this page come from many years of teaching beginning
actors in public schools. Many of the exercises involve observing others and then
incorporating the observed traits into the student's memory. Careful observation is one of
the most important tools for the student actor.