One thing we can’t stress too much is the importance of knowing each of your characters. Even if you are working from a very tight script, little things can happen in a performance to affect your ability to stay on script. On the other hand, if you like to perform and at the same time work the audience, knowing your character is critical.
Sit down for a few minutes and write up a short bio for each character. This is not something just for beginners. I’d bet that most of the best known Vents have bios worked out for each of their well known puppets.
Get to know everything about your character. How many brothers and sisters does he/she have. What are their names. What kind of home did your little friend come from. Mom and Dad still married to each other? Does he/she have any interesting relatives or friends that you need to know about so that you can convey each of them to your audience at the appropriate time?
If you don’t think this is important, did you ever hear of Marcell Ledbetter? He is a good example of one person being able to tell stories about the main subject and the relationships in his/her life. Since most of the funniest material that you can use comes from real life situations, the more you can know about your character, the funnier you can make your performance. You need to keep the folks laughing so they will keep paying you to come back and make them laugh some more.
We will talk again next week,
Steve and JET