Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NaNo Update: A Question for Performers

So, wee update on the NaNo project here:

1. I have 400 words of a re-written beginning and I think I'm getting a sense of Nicole's voice. There's a little more meat to her plot, too, but I haven't figured out how that's going to wind through yet.

2. I'm reading some research on the Victorian era, in particular The Glitter and The Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, which is a really lovely book. Her descriptions are going to be so helpful when I go back to revise the Victorian portions of the book. I've also bookmarked other books that might help; will wait for after Christmas to get those.

3. Found some fiction from that era, too: Edith Wharton to start and then maybe I'll read Henry James and then scrounge up some time to watch the movie of The Importance of Being Earnest.

4. I've also been thinking a lot about what makes Victoria tick, exactly. She chooses to become an actress in a time when girls like her did not go on the stage, so she has to have a drive and passion for acting. I've known a few singers, dancers, and actors, but I don't exactly know what drives them to do what they do. I imagine it's similar enough to my compulsion to write, but probably not.

So, if you're a performer or know one, could you get them to answer one question?

Why? Why do you do it? Why do you want to do it? What makes you keep doing it, whether acting or singing or dancing? Help an extreme introvert out! If you think your answer might be too complex for the comments below, then use the contact form on the About/Contact page.

6 comments:

  1. it's *exactly* like your passion to write. Creative outlet is a creative outlet, introverted or extroverted. The only difference I can think of is the rush you get from applause and the adoration of a crowd. Can be very addicting to some people. But regardless, your craft is your craft.
    ~ E

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    1. I know there are similarities because of the creative aspect, but I can't really get into the head of someone who likes to perform or has a drive towards it because I don't and I'm interested in the psychological aspects of it. I've been on stages, but I can't say the experience was enjoyable :-)

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  2. Oh my gosh, I used to LOVE the attention from performing. The laughs. The applause. I've always been introverted, but for some reason when I got on stage, I was able to just block everyone out and have fun. This did NOT translate to my dance class days, but dancing in front of people is a lot harder. It can be funny and go unnoticed when you mess up a line. It's not funny when you miss a step (to the performer anyway).

    People who like to be on stage do it because they love it. They love being another person, playing a part, dressing up. Like how we feel about writing, we love being in someone else's head, creating a new world, telling a story. Actors just tell stories louder.

    Despite my awkwardness around people, I think I would have actually loved to be a bard. It's the right kind of attention, you know. They would be listening to me tell my story and hopefully enjoying it, and I would love that.

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    1. Hmm. Thanks, Krystal! Victoria finds that she likes being a different person very much at the moment she starts acting, and she's a bit...dramatic. Nicole likes theater and acting and singing, but she's not really a performer per se; she has really bad stage fright.

      I've written actors in stories before, but this one felt a little different, so figured I'd crowd-source motivation. Don't know if it's the time period that makes it different or that I'm writing an unlikely actress and her motivation for doing something like that needs to be pretty airtight.

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  3. I agree with Krystal's input. I am such an introverted person, but I loved getting on stage and doing an open mic, I enjoyed being a commencement speaker on the day of my graduation. I sang and played guitar even though I knew I wasn't that great. And dancing on stage was one of the most memorable and exhilarting experience I've ever had.

    I did it because 99% of the time I kept to myself and faded into the background, but that 1% in front of the crowd allowed me to be seen. I find it's the same with writing. When you work on a manuscript, you keep to yourself your characters and ideas, and then when you share it you get the sense that the reader is finally seeing you by seeing the things you've kept hidden in your mind.

    Perhaps with your character you can use society's double standard as motivation. Women at the time were suppose to be pleasant, docile, and inferior to men. Maybe acting is your character's way of going against the grain as well as a device for her internal struggle about the way she sees the world.

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    1. You expressed my character's underlying motivation a lot more succinctly than I have! Victoria is a fairly angry and hurt character at the beginning and for her, the theater world is a chance to be a little rebellious but also admired.

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!