Defining character with outside situations…
Last night I went to a yoga class (if you’re an actor, I highly recommend it as nothing else develops better muscle control of your instrument) and as I was sitting on my rubber mat noticed how specifically differently people “prepare” for the class to begin. Some are actively stretching hard. Others are slouching, presumably conserving their effort until the instructor instructs them that it’s time to begin. Some are clearly inwardly and intensely focused while others are scanning the room looking to connect, perhaps with another beginner.
And I thought, how would the character that I recently took on in play Bedroom Farce (by Alan Ayckbourn) behave at the start of a yoga class?
It can be a really interesting exercise as you develop a character to put them into situations that are outside the world of the play or script and that you personally experience. Then look for the differences. Therein lies the character outside of you.