Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Becoming Arrow 2: And now for the 'play' !

After the costume is done, the next thing is to actually 'play' the corresponding character. It may be sufficient to make a costume, put it on and that's it, but to me the attraction is to actually try to become that character in some way. That is where "roleplaying" comes into the whole thing.

At the Convention where I was going to cosplay Arrow for the first time, a few pointers were given by the actors present on how to build a character, from scratch, if necessary. To give an example, as actor Barry Jenner points out in one of his panels: "It all starts inside. Acting is only going to work if the actor believes inside in what a character is trying to achieve and which barriers he/she is facing and tackling. A good character is written in such a way that an actor can dig deep and find things that will enable him/her to recreate the character in a unique and personal way."

So, in order to play Arrow, I start by asking myself questions like: "Who am I really going to play? Oliver Queen, the hero of the story who becomes Arrow? Or "Arrow", what- or whoever that may be? What actually happens when Oliver becomes Arrow? How much of 'Olly' is in Arrow? Where to begin?

Let's just begin with asking: Who is Arrow?.  I don't really think of him as a person, the way he looks and acts is more in the way of a symbol, an archetypal image. He hides his face, he hides his entire identity, he becomes an anonymous and faceless creature performing a function and a mission: to bring justice and order to a corrupted world. He thus becomes a force for good in a world of evil.

Next: why Arrow? Why can't Oliver himself become such a power for good as the person that he is? Why does he need to adopt this anonymous character in order to do what he - apparently- is compelled to do?

These are questions that are quite significant for the character building, but at this time I cannot answer them. The answers -if available at all- are hopefully found in the series, and I cannot go into that that right now. So, for the first try-out I will focus on a few keywords and see what happens when working with these. ARCHETYPE, FORCE FOR GOOD, ANONYMOUS, HIDDEN, MISSION, FACELESS, are among the words that I let run through my mind like a mantra as I put on the costume, clasp on the quiver, apply the make-up and finally lower my hood. And what happens then will be in part 3.

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