Staying in character

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Staying in character

Vancouver is known for many things:
– Spectacular scenery (rainforest, desert, mountains, ocean – we have it all!)
– Hosting world class events like the 2009 World Police and Fire Games, the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics
– Friendly people
– Close proximity to 3 local mountains for after-work ski/snowboarding/mountain biking as well as a quick drive to world famous Whistler Blackcomb ski resort
– Having the busiest sea port in Canada
– The nickname “Hollywood North” for being 3rd largest film production centre in North America

Last week, Vancouver hit the headlines for another reason: post-Stanley Cup riots. This was the Vancouver I saw from my balcony:

Vancouver riot fire

Vancouver post-Stanley Cup riot fire

Now there are ongoing debates as to who is at fault, how it could have been prevented, what is the fall out and kids these days… what really caught my ear was hearing people that were involved in looting, setting vehicles on fire, destroying public property and/or taunting police say that their behavior was “out of character” for them.

The curious juxtaposition for me is that Vancouver is home to a vibrant film, television and theater scene. We create great entertainment here and part of why it works is that actors create characters that we believe.  There is an acting term called “staying in character”. This means that the actor responds and acts in the way that his or her character would. Instead of seeing an actor going through the motions of a line or action, we, the audience, see the character. When an actor breaks character, or doesn’t act in the way that their character would, the effect on the audience is that they are no longer able to suspend their disbelief and believe in the character.

This brings up some great coaching questions:

– where are you “out of character” or out of integrity?

– what does it feel like when you are “in character” or in your integrity?

– what stands out about your character?

– what would you like to strengthen about your character?

– what does “I’m sorry” mean to you?

In Joy,

anne