Acting for Dummies

July 25, 2017:

Batman coaches Spoiler on acting technqiues

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

At the Batcave, Spoiler is getting the weirdest of lessons from Batman: Acting lessons.

He'd introduced her to Stanislovsky's method acting; some books and movie clips about creating a character; how to project a voice, modulate posture, and 'the process'. Surprisingly, he's pretty good at it; in fact, there's a bit of … pleasure? at it. Batman must have once aspired to be an actor, deep in his black heart.

"The heart of a character is motivation," Batman says, his cowl removed and draped on a nearby hood mount. "You must /become/ the character. Encapsulate their hopes and fears. Invent reflexes. Stephanie? You bury her deep down. You have to /become/ the character."
Like anything academic, Stephanie is a focused stubborn student. The reading material was read and notes were taken (and color coded). Movie clips watched and re-watched. Her own cowl is pushed back, purple lips pursed as she chews on the inside, deep in thought. Motivation. Steph is flipping the motivation. Instead of wanting to spoil her dad's fall into crime and villainy, she's following after. She's using a motivation that's alright near to her: the want of praise from him.

"alright…"

"So it's not just the words. It's how you speak." Batman moves to a big whiteboard, and writes Miss Stery on it in blunt, bold chisel-tipped red. He writes 'Ambition', 'Fears', 'Motivation' and makes columns around them.

"The first instinct is fear. What are people afraid of? Not just afraid of pain; everyone is. Fear of failure. Fear of … hunger, or a closed room, or being exposed. Or being caught. What are her fears?"

Stephanie inhales as she thinks through this, eyes on the board. "Rejection. Failure. Loneliness," she replies, putting her mindset into that other part of herself that she doesnt like to acknowledge.

Batman writes them on the board. "Good. A good start. Now— Ambitions," he says, moving to the other column. "What does she want out of life? Is she short term or long term? A schemer or a hedonist?" he inquires. "Does she plan for tomorrow, or only live momoent to moment?"
"Get Cluemaster to see her," is the respo se, too fast and too sure to be anything but honest and something she does want in some weird twisted way.

"Short term. Long term? Live up to her family's expectations. The pmans are… far reaching. Little things today that can ripple where I… she wants them a year from now." because so fsr, those havent really been possible for steph.

"So you've got to span that gap between wanting Cluemaster to see her, and looking /desperate/ to see him," Batman tells Stephanie, writing on the board in red ink. "If he thinks he's being played, or conned, he'll turn the whole exercise on your head."

"Okay. Fears. Ambitions. What motivates her? What gets her out of bed? Why does she rob instead of destroy? Mug instead of kill?"
Stephanie nods at the gap he exposes. Her lips pouting. There is a gap between her dad seeing her and….. living up to her bat family's expectations. Somedays she's never sure where they are.

"Hmmm… She doesnt really need money. But destroying is wasteful. and killing… leaves no one to talk about her, to notice her or comment on the clues." but it doesnt really answer and so Stephanie frowns again.

"So she's obsessed with perception," Batman tells Stephanie. "She needs to be noticed. Wants it. Wants to be feared and respected," he offers, writing on the whiteboard. "She /needs/ the attention. Needs to know that she's the one controlling things, that Cluemaster /has/ to pay attention to her."
"Yeah."

The single syllable hangs there as Stephanie stares at what is essentially a very twisted view of herself and she finally jist shoves herself up. She turns away from it, walking away a bit just to move.

Batman caps the marker, and stares at Stephanie's back.

"The hardest challenge here won't be acting like this woman," Batman tells her. "It'll be resisting the urge to /become/ her. You're going to be tempted. At some point you'll get that smile from Cluemaster. He'll approve. He'll tell you how proud he is. And you'll be sorely tempted to become what he wants you to be."

He doesn't get up; he just bores holes in the back of her head with his sharp blue eyes. "That's the real temptation that comes with being a Bat, Stephanie. It's not falling off buildings or fighting your enemies. It's not /becoming/ them."

"I know," she whispers into the cave. Her arms wrap about herself. Her eyes close, because she can picture it, the look on her father's face. She can almost feel what a hug from him would be like. And it would make Mom happy, and she'd lay off the drugs and come home and then there would be Christmas again. Stephanie swallows harshly and forces her eye to open on a slow steady inhalation of air to fill her lungs.

"You know it's a lie." Batman seems to read thoughts sometimes. "He's not going to change. He's not going to look at you and change his ways. Your mother isn't going to get better. Life won't change for you just because of his sudden approval, whether you're being the best— or worst— person you can be."

He walks over to Stephanie and rests a hand on her shoulder, gently. "Don't do this for him. Don't do it for the girl you were. Do it for the woman you want to be. Show him that you make your own life, on your own terms."
The soft shudder of her her next inhale soundtracks Batman's sage words. Her eyes close again to the gentle warmth of his hand on her shoulder.

"Spoil things for him again?" she retorts on a watery sounding hakf chuckle. Her head is leaned a bit toward that hand, though she doesnt dare lean fully in for a hug. It's not his way. The hand on her shoulder is more than usually given.

"No."

Batman shakes his head, hand slipping away. "This is the hardest lesson yet, Stephanie. Look at the people I've fought over the years. The enemies the boys have faced." He gestures at the trophy room. "The difference between me and every one of my enemies is that they are obsessed with defeating /me/. The only thing I'm obsessed with is stopping their plans."

"If you turn your life into a war of vengeance, it'll destroy you. There's an old saying: before beginning the path to revenge, dig two graves."

"Think about that. Think about who this mission is really for: the people of Gotham… or you."

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