Here’s a little game to play when you’re in a public setting. It’s best if you’re only seeing people for a short period of time and not actually talking to them. All you want to do is give them two things: a character and a destination.
CHOOSE A CHARACTER
Determine who they could play based on appearance and mannerisms only. Be able to justify your choices. Consider what details support your decision.
Your powers of observation and deduction may be more keen than you realize. Maybe you can guess the approximate age and occupation of nearly everyone you see. Good for you! But the next step will add to the challenge.
PICK A DESTINATION
Where is each person going? Get specific here. Instead of seeing a nurse going to a hospital, consider which department she works in, what she does there, and what will be the very first thing she faces there today.
This is a good exercise for every actor, whether they work on it solo or with others. We each need to remember our characters, like us in real life, are often more focused on where we’re going than where we’ve been. The destination we have in mind and the path we choose to take is what gives our life color, flavor, and meaning.