Method Acting & RoboWombat



Notes from Scriggler writing workshop 11th April 2015

I attended a writing workshop hosted by Francesca and Dave yesterday. I enjoyed being in a different environment, surrounded by writers and having a play with the exercises they set.

Here is what I managed to get down, I’ve resisted the impulse to edit.


Exercise 1&2 

Create a character based on a photo prompt and put them in a scene. I wish I took a photo of the photo, it would make more sense then.


He is dressed in his finest black tie and white shirt, his thick dark hair dyed an even blacker black, a glossy mullet, an urban mane.

Audition time.

Although in his mid twenties, he likes to appear older. This is easy because he has lived an interesting life, including an early marriage and early divorce. 

He is a method actor by intention, restauranteur by profession. 


Adrian Schumann leant against the wall and smirked for the camera. Another agent, another head-shot.

In a few moments he would be called to stage to act, to fulfill his destiny. Time to bring all his methods, tools and tricks from the realm of the theoretical, into the practical.

This time it would pay off.

For Adrian, there would be no more languishing in the suburbs, judging coffee and working odd shifts in two star restaurants.

His performance would be applauded and he would at last be welcomed into the world of 'serious acting'



Exercise 3 

Write prose around dialogue. All the dialogue was in the script. The rest was added by me. That was the whole point of the exercise.


'Get some tweezers' said June.

The three scientists crowded around the metal bench watching the creature, half wombat, half robot, writhe in pain, and anger.

'Okay okay' said Hank, stepping away into a corner of the lab, and opening one of the many  cupboards.

Molly looked at her old friend, who stood silently watching the RoboWombat wail and struggle.

'Uh, you ok?' she asked gently.

'No' came the reply.

This was June's life's work. This demonic construction, this RoboWombat,that was failing to live, rejecting her help, was an all consuming passion.

'Can I help?' Molly teetered near her friend and moved her hands to comfort her.

'I don't know...'

Molly's expression changed and she became keenly intent on the subject of her friends misery. Surely this problem could be fixed somehow. She waited for Hank and took the tweezers in her hand.

'Tell me what's wrong and I'll see what I can do'



Exercise 4

Write dialogue using words randomly selected from the table. I have underlined the words I picked up. I chose to write a monologue which is probably cheating.


"It has never been easier to be famous. You don't want to be like I almost was — some old unhappy dude.To me the world was a dark place, a suffocating and stifling grey-brown blanket of blandness and misery — until I decided to toughen up and act! Method Acting. That's right. You can do anything. You can be anyone. I can show you how, and I can show you now. So what are you waiting for? Apply to ‘Unity’, the worlds first and only Method Acting live-in university, taught by me, Adrian Schumann...or am I?"


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