Personas, or How My Performing Arts Background Has Affected My Life

While I was working on my NaNovel, I sat down to list out my background as part of pulling together my elevator speech for the novel. As my novel is set at a performing arts school, I thought it might be relevant to include my own performing arts background as part of it to demonstrate why I felt like pursuing this particular story idea.

Some time back, I actually wrote out what I could remember of it and placed it within  my skills portfolio on this site, but I hadn’t actually thought about what that lengthy page actually said about me. It doesn’t cover the hours I’ve put into studying ballet or belly dancing when I wasn’t enrolled in a class, nor does it address my choreography experience (which is rather extensive, and nearly landed me a job choreographing the ballet in a friend’s opera that never pulled together). It doesn’t even address my performances in arts and sciences competitions and courts at Amtgard.

As I’m slowly working to redefine my life, to point myself a direction, I’m becoming very aware of how much that background has impacted me (aside from the desire to be doing something, preferably of a dancing or singing variety). I created a CafePress line illustrating some of the ways writing is like acting, and I have plans to explore how acting or performing is like other activities I enjoy.

I’m looking rather heavily into becoming involved with educational media and games, and keep running into the term “persona”. I hear that word, I think of my Amtgard character. Instead, i should be thinking automatically of the meaning interaction designers mean: a fictional being designed to represent a potential user. Personas seem to go in and out of fashion at will, but they’ve lately been showing up again. That’s what actually made me start to take serious notice of them. I was reading an article relating method acting to developing personas, and I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Acting was showing up in education, in a way I hadn’t already thought to connect the two.

It’s an interesting analogy, and one definitely worth keeping in mind as I’m working on various projects.


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