Writing internal character analysis, English

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Next, on a separate sheet of paper, give the scene "subtext" by providing a brief "internal character analysis" for one of your two characters, either A or B.  Imagine you are playing that character and answer the following in complete sentences:

 1. What does that character want MOST in the scene?  (goal/motivation)  

EXAMPLE:  Bob wants (LOVE?SHELTER?,HOPE?SEX?,MONEY?DIGNITY?) choose one word that accounts for the overall scene.  Be creative here.  You can use "metaphorical" language if you wish.  Make it personal and meaningful for that character.   I once had an actor tell me that the only way they could get to believe in the scene was by imagining that their acting partner was their "morning bus,  that they couldn't afford to miss!"  No joke. 

 2. What's in the way of this character getting what you just identified as the goal?   (Obstacles)  Choose two things here.  Choose something INSIDE the character and outside the character (internal and external obstacle)...But try to justify these by what's happening in the scene.

EXAMPLE:   Let's say I think Bob's goal is DIGNITY.  Bob  can't get it because:

            Bob has been drinking a lot as the scene opens.  (internal obstacle)

            The other character, Sheila, is shouting him down.  (external obstacle)

3.  What is this character doing to try to OVERCOME the obstacles? (use a few active verbs here.  The more implied action, the better!  Actors ACT!)

EXAMPLES:  Bob    "advances".  Bob "withdraws".  Bob "yells".  Find at least  three verbs that might be possible for this character... (THE "CONTENTLESS SCENE" IS ON NEXT PAGE).....

"The Scene"

A:  Hi!

B:  Hello.

A:  How's everything?

B:  Fine. I guess.

A:  Do you know what time it is?

B:  No. Not exactly.

A: Don't you have a watch?

B:  Not on me.

A:  Well?

B:  Well what?

A:  What did you do last night?

B:  What do you mean?

A:  What did you do last night?

B:  Nothing.

A:  Nothing?

B:   I said, nothing!

A:  I'm sorry I asked.

B:  That's all right.

My (incomplete) Example of Pt. 1 of this assignment is below:

TEN YEARS EVER AFTER

This is The Prince and Cinderella, ten years later.  The prince and his bride, Cinderella have been deposed by a hostile army and are now forced to live in poverty... many miles away from their familiar kingdom.

The lights come up on the interior of a one room stone cottage.   It is not present day.  It is "once a upon a time"..Medieval?  A dirty stone floor.  A stone fireplace center stage.  One door up right.  A small table with primitive- looking stools.  A bed. Nothing much more.  Two tarnished crowns appear on the fireplace mantel, carefully preserved.  After a few beats the door opens and Cinderella enters.  She appears to be wearing the remnants of a ball gown, but it is dirty and in tatters.  It looks as though it's been hemmed and re-hemmed many times and is now much too short for a ball gown.  Cinderella is carrying a wooden bucket and brush and crosses down left to an area where she goes to her knees and begins to clean.  She is obviously frustrated and angry.  After a few more beats, the door opens and The Prince enters...A very old shirt.  Pants that are ill-fitting and vaguely military in appearance...but again, worn and old..   He carries an animal-skin drinking flask over his shoulder.  The Prince does not see Cinderella at first, and stumbles over to the bed.  He is obviously drunk.  He sprawls on the bed and begins to giggle wildly.  Cinderella is startled.  Gets up...surveys the situation and then:

Cinderella:   Hi!

(the Prince, caught mid-giggle starts up from the bed...there is an uncomfortable pause as he tries to focus on who is speaking)

B:  Hello.

(Cinderella, barely hiding her displeasure, returns to the floor and her scrubbing)

A:  How's everything?

B:  Fine. I guess.

A:  Do you know what time it is?

B:  No. Not exactly.

A: Don't you have a watch?

B:  Not on me.

A:  Well?

B:  Well what?

A:  What did you do last night?

B:  What do you mean?

A:  What did you do last night?

B:  Nothing.

A:  Nothing?

B:   I said, nothing!

A:  I'm sorry I asked.

B:  That's all right


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