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Author Topic: *gestures frantically*  (Read 2537 times)

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Offline Niennis

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*gestures frantically*
« on: February 21, 2010, 10:21:06 PM »
How does everyone else deal with a character that is either mute or doesn't understand English?

I only have one human character, a pirate, and that's easy :D But I have a faun, a gryphon, and next a...something, and none of them speak in English. With my gryphon I got away with lots of nods, but it got to the point where it was good to have speaking friends around to explain things (that I made my mask, that, yes, it WAS hot in the 90 degree weather, etc.)

My newest character, a creepy critter from my imagination, only speaks a variant of Latin that is quite far from English.

So, those of you who don't speak/don't understand English, what do you do? How do you answer questions or explain that you can't audibly communicate?

Thanks!
Hey, why not?

Offline GirlChris

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 10:37:01 PM »
One weekend, I actually could not talk (completely lost my voice.Woo) I made up a bunch of signs for simple things that would likely come up, including a sign that said, as I recall, "Speaketh Not." Anything else I mimed.

Offline Fireflicker

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 11:33:03 AM »
It's all about acting. Being in a costume is improve, really, and acting like the character. For questions about you, like heat, food, etc, you can act those out by fanning yourself, rubbing your stomach, etc. For the questions about the mask , or what you are just act like the character- look at yourself in confusion, poke yourself, shrug, pretend that the other person's face is a mask, etc. If the person is really persistent or a friend or something you can always take them to the side and talk to them. I've found that just acting like the beast that your representing usually "answers" the question or people are too busy being entertained to bother!

Offline Captain Cornelius Howard Duckman

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 12:10:51 PM »
Explain it to any children nearby. No, seriously, having played mute characters, it's amazing how the kids will pick up on what you're miming well before the adults do.

Offline Niennis

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 10:28:06 PM »
I would explain it to kids, but I play a fairly creepy character, so I'm a bit scary. I hope that not too many people will ask me in depth questions!
Hey, why not?

Offline Fugli

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 08:05:14 AM »
My newest character, a creepy critter from my imagination, only speaks a variant of Latin that is quite far from English.

If this creature is from your imagination, then why do you allow your imagination to tether you so?

The key to characterization is not to separate yourself from the people, but to make them complicit in your act. Allow them to see your frustration that they do not comprehend. We do not understand everything set before us in life, why do we feel the need to explain where no explanation would normally be forthcoming?

Perhaps you just need a motivating reason to actually interact with people in the first place. Sometimes it is not enough just to be a character.
Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 10:30:52 AM »
You could also play a variation on Charades with people. The key, I think, is to have precise, easy-to-understand gestures. Or you could always play the characters as just learning English--I play a Spaniard who speaks English pretty poorly, and it's very fun, and makes people laugh. You can then answer questions like this:

"We say [long string of nonsense syllables]. In your English, it mean...'put not all ye cows in one privy, lest ye weep over hill of moles.' *shrug* Is not exact translation."

Offline Niennis

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 02:44:04 PM »
"If this creature is from your imagination, then why do you allow your imagination to tether you so?"

I cannot defy my muse!!! :D

And thanks, stonebiscuit! I'll probably do something like that XD
Hey, why not?

Offline BubbleWright

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 09:00:17 PM »
Perhaps you could place a few different sounding bulb horns in pockets on your costume that could be hit with your arms or legs. You could talk with sound (think Harpo Marx). Maybe throw in a couple whistles, bird calls or a kazoo.
"It is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."
   Antoine de St. Exupery

Offline Keno

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 05:55:38 PM »
In my group we have a girl that plays a mute fairy, she just dances, smiles, frowns, and moves her hands alot. 
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Offline Finnian

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Re: *gestures frantically*
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 10:46:42 AM »
When people have asked me questions about "did you make your costume" or "how do you horns stay on your head" I may look confused. When I'm in character my stuff isn't "costume" its part of my body. I usually am with speaking friends who might say something like "his horns are real" and kids might touch them or try to tug on them if I'm sitting down or something, which is fine as long as they don't pull as hard as possible. XD (As they're glued to my skin, obviously.) I usually will only discuss the actual "costume" aspect of my garb if it's with a friend or a person working the faire or something, and that's always off to the side. But if I'm in the lanes, or in or near a crowd I'm in character and that means the garb is real. ^^

As for communicating. I'm sure from playing a few different characters you've got some of the basics down. Depending on each character you can take them to totally different places. Not sure if you're familiar with the Bristol Faire's group known as the Fantastikals? Youtube them, they are all mute fae/elementals and rely on their movement as communication. They are very inspiring!

 

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