Stage Success: Developing Your Stage Persona
Why You Need to Develop Your Self
As a performer, your audience NEEDS you to be the best that you can possibly be.
Actually, what your audience secretly want is someone to look up to! But to meet that kind of demand, you must stand consciously and powerfully on your own two feet. You should understand what makes you special, what makes you stand out from the rest, and what gives you an edge. At the same time however, you have to do so while remaining completely AUTHENTIC to you.
While there can never be a formula for self-discovery, this article should help orient and give some perspective to yourself, that is, your Self, as to it’s unique character, so you can start to weave your natural and authentic essence into a brilliant stage persona.
While you don’t have to write a biography about your life, you should have some perspective on what has made your life different from others, but also what is ultimately universal about your experience, so that others can align with it.
Ask yourself: What have been the major forces and experiences that have shaped your life? Who have you always wanted to be? Who have you become? What stirs your emotions, your heart? What are the reasons you behave the way you do? What are 3 aspects of your life that you find challenging or that challenge you with degrees of tension? What 3 prominent people do you admire or relate too and why? What are some personal stories of yours or others that have really made an impact on you or your life? What if you were put here by some mysterious force to deliver a message… Who would you be? What would the message be? How passionate would you be? How would you dress? How would you interact with people? If your life and your passions were condensed onto a series of canvases by a master artist, what would they look like? Abstract? Landscape? Caricature?
Your answers here can also provide great starting points for some songs now, or later down the line.
Your Personality Type
Renowned swiss psychiatrist CJ jung’s most famous development was his personality typology theory, developed further and known now as the Briggs Myers typology test. By using it, you can start to become familiar with some of the things that deeply motivate you, that you probably didn’t know about. Find it here: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp. Knowing this aspect can shed some light on your perhaps unconscious behavior and ultimately add some depth to your performances.
Character Strengths & Weaknesses
Knowing what your character strengths and weaknesses are can help you to deepen the essence of your stage persona. You should know what flows easily to you, so you can maximize your potential.
Two great strengths tests are: VIA character test and strengths finder. The free VIA test is here: http://uat.viacharacter.org/. Strengths Finder requires that you purchase the book, but is well worth it: http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx.
Once you know where you are strong, you must also become aware of and grow stronger at where you are weak. This emotional intelligence test shows you exactly how to improve on your character weaknesses (online survey costs $40): http://www.talentsmart.com/products/surveys_noflash.php?ID=43.
After you have got some perspective with these tests, it is time to let it sink in. Become acquainted with any of these newly known aspects, and the nuances of how you naturally flow. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to self-knowlege, and crafting your unique stage persona.
Coming up in pt 2 of Discovering your stage persona – discovering archetypal themes in your story.