Recently I’ve had the opportunity to act at a local theater in its production of Jekyll and Hyde, the ultimate good vs evil with outstanding choral musical score that never fails to give me goosebumps. It’s been ten years since I’ve treaded the boards and it’s been great fun and a wonderful stress reliever for me. I’ve also been told I’m a natural as a snooty society lady, LOL!
As an actor, one of the things which happens as I progress through the show is taking my character and making it truly mine—so it’s a different show if you see my double. My movements, my expressions and the way I interact with other characters has evolved since we started the show and I’ve gotten to know “myself” better.
In many ways, that’s how creating characters in my writing works for me. My books always begin with my characters “introducing” themselves to me, followed by them “telling” me what kind of trouble they are in and that they need me to find them a way out of it.
At first, I don’t know my characters very well. They are, in some ways, stick figures, much as I was the first time I stepped on the stage and took on my role as a high society lady during rehearsals for the show. But by spending more time in rehearsal, or in writing, I get to know my characters better and they truly come alive for me.
It’s at this point where, in my books, they’ll likely take off and do their own thing, surprising me as much as (I hope) they surprise the reader. Similarly, I started interacting with other cast members and (I hope) am now bringing something uniquely me to the stage production.
I’ve enjoyed my time on stage, and I’m enjoying diving into a new series for Harlequin Love Inspired and meeting a brand new set of characters in a new setting. So in a sense, I’ll get to see…in the words of my character’s solo part, “What is lurking…right behind the façade.”
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