by Jemima Ham | @jemimaskitschin
So – you’ve decided on your costume for Halloween, found the perfect ensemble, makeup, accessories…. but what can you do to stand out from the other Jokers, Zombies, and Vampires out there?
Why not make it MORE than an outfit, and REALLY embody the character by adding a voice…
There are three things to remember when developing a character voice to go with your costume:
- Attitude, Volume, Pace & Energy
- Character traits: Facial expressions, quirks, voice pitch, accent, body movement, ticks, personality –
Is your character scary, cute, grotesque, sweet, funny…?
- Make the choice and COMMIT to it
Here’s a simple example – if you are going the traditional route of a zombie, you would start by physically making yourself a a zombie, so hunched a bit and moving your limbs in an awkward and stiff manner, slightly crouched at the knees. Then think about how a zombie’s face moves – usually dead or rolling eyes, with little focus, mouth hanging open ready to bite. Arms are outstretched with stiff fingers, ready to grab. Now focus on the voice – a zombie’s attitude is basically ‘I want to eat your brains’ so you will need to try and emulate that with sound only. It should be a guttural sound, deep and gurgley from the bottom of your throat. You are grotesque, not human anymore – so convey that to your audience. Put it all together and unleash your inner zombie!
Now, here’s our pick of a few interesting and super current Halloween dress-up ideas – with some tips & techniques on how to put some character into your costume!
Daenarys Targaryen (Khaleesei)
Why? She’s a kick-ass, fierce feminist figure who takes no prisoners. Plus…. DRAGONS.
What’s not to love?!
Characteristics: Merciless, Ambitious, Calculating, Resilient, Independent, Emotionally Strong, Decisive, Dominant, Powerful, Determined
Key Phrases: All men must die, but we are not men | I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria. I am the dragon’s daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming | I will answer injustice with justice | I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel
Voice traits: RP British accent (Queen’s English), powerful rhetoric, persuasive, seductive, low in pitch, charismatic, over enunciated, clear, direct
Individual traits: Facial: smirking, seductive, playful, amused, bares teeth when passionate, hard stare, one eyebrow raise.
Body: Regal posture, Upright, slow and purposeful movements, open-palmed gestures, head high and shoulders back
Why? Widely thought of as a down to earth president who comes across as cool, calm and collected – Obama is a great pick, if only to shout his powerful ‘YES WE CAN!’ slogan whenever any of your fellow party goers suggests an idea.
Characteristics: Authoritative, Charming, Strong Communicator, Decisive, Determined, Witty, Confident, Astute, Calm, Defiant, Committed
Key Phrases: YES WE CAN! | My fellow Americans… | Let me say this… | Make no mistake… | Here’s the deal… | It will not be easy… | Greater together
Voice traits: Mid-west American accent, frequent pausing accompanied with ‘Uhh…’ or ‘Ummm..’, clear, slightly clipped, enunciated, mid-pitch, persuasive and impassioned rhetoric, speaks with conviction
Individual traits: Expressive hand movements and open body language, trademark wry smile, lots of forehead rubbing to convey self-deprecation, upright and powerful posture, uses the thumb and index finger to emphasize important points, purposeful movements
Why? More like DeadCOOL – you can bet this will be the top choice for anyone who wants to emulate Ryan Reynolds witty repartee and ninja-like reflexes.
Characteristics: Vengeful, Sarcastic, Passionate, Physically Adept, Clever, Superhuman, Insecure
Key Phrases: You may be wondering why the red suit. Well, that’s so bad guys don’t see me bleed. This guy’s got the right idea. He wore the brown pants. | What’s a nice place like you doing in a girl like this? | I had a Liam Neeson nightmare. I dreamt I kidnapped his daughter and he just wasn’t having it. They’ve made three of those movies. At some point you have to wonder if he’s just a bad parent. | I didn’t ask to be super, and I’m no hero.
Voice traits: American (North, general) accent, hero-ish (direct, mid and low pitch, strong), sarcastic, playful.
Individual traits: Lots of hand movement to show expression eg. Finger to mouth, head to one side to show thinking sarcastically, both hands to face to show mock fear/shock. Coordinated (weapons).
Barb from Stranger Things
Why? Don’t pretend you don’t secretly have the urge to dress up like the biggest fun-sucker 2016 has seen, so far…
Characteristics: Awkward, Nerdy, Adolescent, Insecure, Stubborn, Loyal, Smart, Moralistic, Misfit, Unapologetic
Key Phrases: Nance, seriously. You’re gonna be so cool now its ridiculous | You better still hang out with me, that’s all I’m saying | Nance…seriously? He invited you to his house. His parents aren’t home. Come on, you are not this stupid. | Is that a new bra?! | I’m chill | HEEEEELP!!
Voice traits: American (North, general) accent, whiney, 80s lingo, low nasal pitch, patronizing tone
Individual traits: Raised eyebrows, looks down frequently, awkward run, frumpy movement, slow walk, judgmental (headshakes, eye rolls), clumsy, open-mouth expressions.
Why? In our humble opinion, we think this is going to be a popular choice this Halloween, and it’s no wonder – with a veritable excess of traits, ticks and phrases to choose from!
Characteristics: Proud, Stubborn, Grandiose, Powerful, Sarcastic, Extreme, Extrovert, Showman, Callous, Cynical, Machiavellian
Key Phrases: Let’s make America great again | I love [insert any subject here] no one loves [chosen subject] more than I do | WRONG! | YUGE! | I don’t know, but that is what people are telling me
Voice traits: New York accent, nasal, drawling, emphasizes first vowel eg. L-ooo-ser, direct, confrontational, expressive, repetitive of singular words eg. stupid, vile, money
Individual traits: Facial: smirking, grimaces, pouty, open-mouthed, shows his teeth, frequent nodding, raised eyebrows. Gestures: big, open-palm, double-hand motion downward