So as mentioned in my last post I’m playing Bruce, let me just give you the lowdown on him from the character description: (It’s a completely transparent game, we even get all the other character descriptions, so we know what to play on.)
5 defining characteristics:
Also the character description starts like this: “Yuppie, this is your age. Rags to riches story. High on testosterone, money and the high life of the city.”
When I first got the part I thought “wow he’s everything I’m not,” and even for a few seconds considered turning it down, (that would have meant forgoing my spot and only getting a spot if someone else backed out, and then maybe even getting a less fitting character).
But the more I read and reread the character and thought about it and talked to others about it, the more I could see that my first reaction is both true but also not so.
At some points he’s like me, at some points he’s what I pretend to be in the right circumstances, at some points he’s what I should be (by now), and at a few points he’s the opposite from me, which is also something that’s fun to explore (such as my experience with New Voices in art, Read about that here.)
But the main reason I want to play Bruce is his personal issue, the internal conflict that will drive this character, especially as we move into act two and three and his current superficial lifestyle comes under pressure and is seen in the harsh light that AIDS epidemic will set it in. For that same reason I have decided to not think about this character beyond the first act. I don’t want to know how he will react until it happens.
So in my work with this character I will only look at him as he is right now even though this is a clearly unstable condition that can’t last. And it is:
He lives to hard! Spends his working hours at Wall Street, high on the adrenalin rush of the stock market, he throws himself at this full hearted. And throws himself just as powerful at the city’s party life after work is done. This is the city that never sleeps and I don’t think that Bruce sleeps much either. He works too hard, he parties too hard, and as a result:
“You have been forced to shut down so many other parts of your life and personality: Friendship, Family, Insecurity, Guilt, the need to relax and the need to simply pause and think.”
“You can sometimes feel these shut down parts of yourself hammering on the iron doors you have locked them behind.”
And that of course leads to the question:
“Will they (the locked away parts) manage to escape, or will you succeed in keeping them subdued?”
And that question will be central in act two and three, that is why I want to play Bruce, and that is why I don’t want to think about it before hand.
I was visited by my friend Anine recently and we ended up talking a lot about the game and my character and that actually become an important part of my work with Bruce. (See the thing is the character description is actually rather short and you are meant to interpret on it yourself, (atleast thats how I understand it). You can’t play your character wrong, because you will be playing your interpretation of it.)
And at one point she asked me: “what happens if a close friends die” and after a short pause I said “I don’t know and Bruce definitely doesn’t”, at this point he never even thinks of death as a possibility, which is why I dont want to either.
In the next posts I will write about what I have done so far, in my work with finding my version of Bruce.