Saturday, June 30, 2012

KUNTA KINTE IS MY UNCLE

The title of a comedy I'm currently working on. You like? Picture Kevin James trying to land Beyonce by proving he is black.

Among (many) other things, I'm also working on a baseball comedy, SONS OF PITCHES. Think BAD NEWS BEARS if they were old enough to drink.

Both of these projects are ensemble scripts (meaning a large cast of characters) and I've been asked by a few people how I manage to come up with so many different personalities.

Easy answer, my friends! I study real people. (not judge, but study)

People I know, people I come across on the street, people I interact with on the internet and people on Youtube. Oh, and also myself. There is always some part of the writer in every character.

Real life people turn into real life characters.

Take the baseball comedy, for instance. There is a whole baseball team of characters and I based each character on someone I used to play baseball with, or currently play baseball with.

In a few of my characters, I didn't even change their names that much. The name they have in the script is a letter or two off of the same name they have in  real person. 

Here are a couple of little gems from YouTube that I studied for the Kunta Kinte script. In the wedding video, about halfway through, take note of the old man in the rose silk pantsuit with the white hat. You'll catch glimpses of him until the end. Beyonce's* uncle's character is based on him. For an old guy, he can sure cut a rug! And in the script, he's also loose with his hands when a woman is around. Any woman. Any size, any shape and any color.



The Kevin* character's brother is an aspiring rap star based loosely on this guy 'cept he dresses better. The character, not the real guy. But he still has the same outlook on life. Matter of fact, he gets along great with Beyonce's uncle ...



So there you have it. Pretty much every character I write is based on something that comes from a real person. It can be as simple as the way they look, the way they walk, the way they react, the tone in which they speak, etc, and the character "grows" from that one aspect until they come to life. Or it could be much more complicated, such as an amalgamation of a bunch of different people.

Anyway, it's Canada Day tomorrow and I'm spending it in Campbell River with some dear friends. We're going to check out the celebrations in town and then the fireworks on the beach!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend as well!

*I haven't given either leads their real names yet, so for now they are Beyonce and Kevin.

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