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Playing Mr. Vanderhof

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Acting
Forum Discription: Q&A about auditions, character development and other aspects of the craft
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4262
Printed Date: 6/25/24 at 3:08pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Playing Mr. Vanderhof
Posted By: mainstage
Subject: Playing Mr. Vanderhof
Date Posted: 9/20/09 at 2:23pm
So I just got the part of Grandpa (Martin Vanderhof) in the play You Can't Take it With You. I am just starting to get into the mind of this character but I'm having a little trouble getting into his body. His character note is that he is 75 years old but still bursting with youthful energy. I have been trying lots of different things and I'm having a ton of fun building this character, just wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks Guys!



Replies:
Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 9/20/09 at 6:14pm
Do it by playing the role in front of a mirror.

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      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: Amos Hart
Date Posted: 9/20/09 at 6:23pm
The thing is, how old are you?
 
If you're already the right age, just play the part as energetically as you can, with great interest in everything that's happening around you.
 
If you're much younger, play it exactly the same way, but pretend that your limbs and bones need some WD-40.  You would move as fast as a person your own age, but you can't do that.


Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 9/21/09 at 7:10am

ONE thing NOT to do is to make it caricaturish!!  If you TRY to make it cliche' it's going to look it.  I saw a production of Moon Over Buffalo and Charlotte's MOTHER, played by a much younger actress, shuffled and was bent over like a 100 year old lady and it looked ridiculous.  Just be careful.  Look around. OBSERVE people who ARE that old and see how THEY move.  I think you'll find that many 75 year olds that are spry and energetic, don't move all that much differently than normal healthy younger people.  They don't move QUITE as fast and with a slight bit more caution, but I know people older than that who move better than I do.  There's one guy I know - an older friend who is likely now about 90 (reason I know is because I went to his 80th birthday party quite a number of years ago - 10 maybe more) but he moves better than I do.  He runs at the gym and so forth.  I can't run to the mail box but what I'm out of wind.  And he's in great shape.  Likely to live to 100 no doubt about it.  So look around.  See those who are 75 or thereabout, and without doing a cliched act of them, try to duplicate how they move.  If you overdo it - it will show and look ridiculous.  Go for realistic and legitimate if that's what you need to do for the character.

TonyDi



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"Almost famous"



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