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Question: Is it good for an actor to copy the handwriting of their character? - by Sheila Kurtz

Updated: Jul 11, 2019


Yes! It’s brilliantly good exercise for actors to copy and recopy a real-life character’s handwriting and to experience how the markings contain a profound and accurate way to glimpse inside the structural personality of the writer.

For an actor, the handwriting of a “non-fictional” character is a gift from the gods.

If the actor’s role is juicy enough, it’s helpful for the actor or the company to employ an expert biometric graphologist to help the actor and cast learn the basic signals in handwriting, including indications of more than 200 personality traits and nuances.

Handwriting tells an accurate and detailed background story about the authentic personality of almost any non-fictional character an actor may work to capture and play with.

If an actor learns to counterfeit the actual handwriting of a non-fictional person they are preparing to play, the actor will both consciously and subconsciously learn insights about the subject that otherwise they might never suspect. To learn about what true tales are told by a character’s handwriting finely enriches an actor’s theatrical character with sparks of vivid life.

If you seek a serious and brief acting test, choose one personality you might like to play from the following short list of famous and infamous people:

Diane Sawyer; Donald Trump; Benjamin Franklin; Lady Gaga; Vladimir Putin; Madame Curie; Elvis Presley; Your Mother and/or Father; Richard Nixon; Son of Sam; Michael Jackson; Mozart; Oprah Winfrey; Warren Buffet; Mark Twain; Yo Yo Ma; Your Hero.

Locate their full handwriting, not just their signatures, on Google or elsewhere. At least a sentence or two is minimal. More is better. Copy and trace their handwriting as faithfully as you can. Do it often enough to get smooth with it. What you may feel about their handwritten script is almost as close to the true character of the character as you are likely to get. Describe how much you have learned about the way their mind works simply from following, with your own mind, the lines and symbols their mind has made.

If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know at or call at 786-999-2413.

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