Are You Revealing Too Much Too Soon?

 In Blog

We encourage talent to share stories and life experiences. Vulnerability is a powerful way to connect with the audience.

However, if you are a new show or a new character on an established show, be careful about revealing too much too soon.

In the beginning it’s best to focus on the essence of your character. In our character-definition exercise, we identify the unique characteristics of a person and narrow those down to the three most prominent endearing qualities, quirks, and flaws.

Years ago, when we did this with emerging radio host Ryan Seacrest, we narrowed his character definition to the superficial, self-deprecating metro-sexual. Once this persona was established with his audience, we added layers and more dimensions to flesh out his character.

An established character sharing sadness over a miscarriage will evoke empathy and compassion from listeners, while a new player telling the same story without a trust relationship could be awkward or uncomfortable for the audience.

Ideas for New Player Character Development:

  • Begin revealing more about yourself as a new character by using the Theory of the Third. An example of this theory is if two strangers strike up a conversation outside of a sold-out movie they most likely will talk about the third thing, the movie, rather than talking about themselves. Pick a third thing – a trending or relevant topic – and share your perspective and point of view with the audience.
  • If you have not gone through a character-definition exercise, meet with co-workers, friends and family and ask them to describe you. People tend to only mention the positive. Encourage them to include what they tease you about or your quirks and flaws. Make a list and focus on the three or four that resonate with you.
  •  Run imaging promos that highlight your character perspective.
  •  On ensemble shows, the best way to bring out character traits is to look for opportunities to bring them out in each other.
  • Tell stories that reinforce your character perspective.

Start as a one-dimensional character to establish who you are essentially. In radio this can take several weeks or a few months, since time-spent-listening is short, and people listen at the same time daily based on their schedule.

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