Saturday, July 3, 2010

Theme Songs

I have found that having a theme song for my characters helps me get the right mood, tone, personality and even generates some quotes.

I also have books, movies and TV shows that give me food for thought (as mentioned in my last post). I lived & died by "Without Remorse" while playing Jak. Mr. Kelly/Mr. Clark were invaluable resources for the deep well that was Jak's mind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FX Network: A Man's Mind

I am an admitted TV Junkie. I watch a lot of  cable-specifically USA, TNT and FX. I love my DVR.

Last season, I noticed something of a trend on FX- shows aimed at, about and featuring what my head calls "men's men". Examples:

Rescue Me- It's about a Firefighter. An alcoholic Irish firefighter, sure- but a firefighter.

Sons of Anarchy- It's about a Biker Gang.

This season, they introduced Justified. It's about a southern lawman- an old fashioned gunslinger.

All of these shows feature male leads. These men are NOT metrosexual, "sensitive" or any of that post-modern stuff. They are what I consider "old fashioned" men- tough, rugged, independent, just a little crass (how crass depends on the character) and vulnerable. Maybe a little broken, but they live within their confines the best they know how and they don't WHINE. (Much. Jax did tend to throw tantrums.)

I made a special point not to miss a single episode of Sons of Anarchy last season. I saw the Jax/Clay relationship and thought to myself  "now HERE is an Alpha fight". I thoroughly enjoyed the tension, the anger, the frustration and violence. I thought SoA was the perfect lesson on ways to improve Jak. I modeled some very key actions in game after Jax because I saw him as a strong example of how I felt Jak would behave.

[BTW, very important point- Jak was named and implemented before SoA and before I was introduced to the show. It's just coincidental that their names are so similar.] 

Then I started watching Justified.

I was stunned at how in tune Raylan seemed to be with Jak's motivations. Raylan did things (or didn't do things) with many the same intents and rationales that I had in mind for Jak.

It was really interesting to see this character on a TV show and know I'd never be able to use any of the material- Jak died the week I started to watch "Justified". I still loved the series- I like Elmore Leonard and Timothy Oliphant is brilliantly cast. I found the father/son relationship to be very genuine and intense, as well as the Ava/Raylan/Winona dynamic to be gripping.

I love these shows. I love the insight to men, men's minds, lives & actions. I find myself amazed at how RIGHT this network gets the many hoods that males find themselves in: brother, father, man. I enjoy gaining just a little more perspective on those wonderful beings, and seeing them in a different, fuller light. I spend my days immersed in men, and yet I find these shows compelling, innovative and wonderful.

I'll gladly admit to modeling behavior, habits, phrasing, personality and even looks of characters off of TV or movie inspirations. FX is giving me a whole lot of material, and I truly enjoy it.  It's especially good material for someone that likes playing across gender, and wants some revelation to how men think & act in today's society.