I have always loved acting, I took part in an amateur dramatics group for ten years playing various background and main roles. In school I also gained a GCSE and A Level in Drama. I always thought that English, Drama and History would go well together, but only now have I realised just how much it helped me and my writing.
Firstly the writing of scripts. I always seemed to be put in a group that was absolutely useless, they didn’t have an idea between them and could string a sentence to save their lives. Although at the time having to write the entire script was stressful and generally led to tears over the short amount of time to write it! Now, the script writing seems to have been a blessing, I have a general idea of what makes drama work and managed to get good marks in drama (so I’m guessing it was at least half decent?). Then again you get no marks on the script, just the acting. So it was probably awful!
It was not only the script writing that was a help. Having the chance to play a variety of roles led to a deeper knowledge of characters. I started to understand characters feelings through having to act them. I played, Jasmine in Aladdin, a brother in Joseph, a talking and singing candlestick! An evil stepmother, a terrorist in the 9/11 bombings (however we changed the viewpoint and made it about Flight 93 rather than The Twin Towers), a sibling from ‘The Endless’ named Delerium and a few others which were background parts. Because I played such a range, from good and kind, to nasty and evil it gave me a diverse viewpoint of the characters I was writing.
So now, if I ever get stuck when writing characters and cant think of how they would word things or do things I imagine how I would act them if I was handed a script with their name highlighted as my part. It may sound mad, but in my head, acting a character can bring it to life as much as writing one on a page! All the brothers from Jospeh!