Everyone is an actor deep down inside. Mystery dinner parties give us a chance to let go and enjoy something different with our friends and colleagues. Here are some drama tips that will help you make your character come to life.
When you receive your invitation with your character description and costume suggestions, spend some time imagining who this person/creature is.
Look at the costume suggestions. Think about your character in your mind’s eye. Picture the way the character moves, walks, and talks. See yourself as this character. Embellish your costume with accessories and carry props that express your character’s personality.
Using the character description in the kit as a basis, make up a history for this character (eg a childhood, friends, enemies, pets, a job, a hobby, a family). Give the character some habits (eg playing with your hair, rubbing your chin, fiddling with your clothes). Ask yourself, “Why is this character present at the party?”
Once you’re all dressed up and you’ve ‘become the role’ – you’re ready to enjoy the mystery party. While reading the clues and questions on your clue sheets, don’t just read the lines while looking at the page. Look up from the page as much as possible. Use an accent, move your arms and body, exaggerate your facial expressions. To add more drama to the role, create these actions just before you speak the words.
Try and sense if there is any underlying motivation in the lines as you read them. What does the character really want? Are you trying to praise yourself, defend yourself, shift suspicion, accuse someone, offend/ridicule somebody, compliment someone, get someone onside, befriend someone, help somebody, block the truth, confuse people, or simply have a good time?
Take your time to say the words. There’s no need to hurry, and you can repeat them if you wish. You can even adlib if something comes into your mind at the time. Spontaneity is always good when ‘play-acting’.
Trying some of the above acting tips may assist you and remember to try and be “dramatic”. The best advice to enjoy being your character – and feel free to improvise as much as possible. It’s a great opportunity to let go and be someone else for the night!