“Watch for Gesture”

As an actor I always pay attention to a person’s gestures, body language, etc. because some day maybe I can use them as inspiration for a character. The place that I do a lot of this people watching is at work. This is because I get to watch a lot of people with whom I don’t usually interact. Also because I work in an office¬†here on campus, I get to see how students deal with “professional” situations and questions. During my most recent shift at work I encountered three very different types of these personalities.

The first student I encountered came up to the window very calmly. She sat her bag down and proceeded to ask her question. The first thing I noticed was that she folded her hands and laid them on the counter while she spoke and stood up very straight. This made her come off very controlled and like she knew why she was there but it was also a little off-putting as the person trying to help her.

The second student I assisted was the type of student I encounter most often at work. This student was a very tall, football player type of guy who came to the window and immediately leaned over on the counter resting his chest on his arms. He was a little perturbed and threw his paperwork down on the counter rather harshly. He kept looking around away from the office as if he was waiting for anyone to come save him from this interaction. He obviously wanted to be anywhere else at this time.

Finally, I encountered the very nervous student type. This person who came to the window talked very fast and gestured wildly. When I went to help her I noticed she was constantly tapping her fingers on the counter and when she wasn’t doing that I could see her wildly bouncing her heels. He posture was very tense and once the situation was resolved I immediately saw her relax.


1 Comment so far

  1.   fuglsang on November 19th, 2017

    Nicely done overall, Joey. A good approach.

    Based on the intro, I’m curious how you might use these mannerisms as part of developing a character. Something else you might have considered, though it would require your readers to be theater experts, is which characters these three students reminded you of.

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