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Acting 101 | How to Play Your Murder Mystery Character

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If you have been invited to a murder mystery party or if you are hosting - either way, it's time to hone your craft and get into character. These are five things to consider when developing your character role.

The Accent:

  1. View your character's bio and see if they hail from a foreign land. If so, hop online and search for tutorials that show you how to speak in the native tongue.
  2. Also, search for slang words from the location, such as Cajun slang if your character's from New Orleans or British phrases if the character is from London. If your character bio doesn't say they are from another location, you should feel free to do any accent or none at all - it's your character role to play, and you should have a blast with it.

The Look:

  1. There are costume suggestions for each character, so look at those and see if it inspires you. You always have the option to wear whatever best suits you - maybe you have things in the closet or old costumes from Halloween that will work?
  2. Whatever you decide to do - ensure you've covered all bases down to hair, fingernails, shoes, and props. Think about the little things. If you're playing a mechanic or gardener, shove some brown eyeshadow under your fingernails like you just got off work. Is your character an insomniac? Grab some blue and black eyeshadow and make some dark circles under your eyes. Or, if you're playing a glamorous movie star - make a nail appointment and have them done. If you feel like your character, you'll be able to slip into character and stay there until the game has concluded.

The Quirks:

  1. Some of the characters in My Mystery Party games will have assigned quirks. If so, it's never too early to start practicing them.
  2. If your character role doesn't list a quirk - feel free to make one. Here are some fun character quirks to add:

Talks in the third person

Speaks to food before eating - apologizes to or thanks the food.

Obsessed about personal hygiene, grooming, appearance

Energetic (overly)

Emotional (overly) - have some tissues for when you fake cry

Lethargic/narcoleptic - takes cat naps.

Tells everyone they are vegan but wears leather and eats dairy.

Takes everything personally - easily offended

Suspicious of everyone - don't trust anyone

Paces while thinking

Boasts about their accomplishments

Steals bites of other people's food

Taps chin or their nose while thinking

Over explainer - has to give the minute details of everything - even when obvious.

Takes credit for other people's work

Clears throat constantly

Has an annoying &/or loud laugh

Hums when the room goes silent/hums in between sentences

Smacks gum while chewing

Sniffs everything

The Fine Details:

  1. Study your bio and the pre-game website at Your Mystery Party for your game. This varies by the difficulty of the game. Still, we typically give you minimum details about your character and other characters as not to overwhelm you—too much information provided to you before the game starts to feel like homework. It would be best if you didn't have that feeling.
  2. Take what your bio says about your character and use your imagination to fill in the details - but don't add any details that will make a difference in the overall mystery - for example, don't make your character a psychopath unless the description states that you are. Maybe talk about how you had to leave your hamster named Phil at home or hire a pet sitter. Or, maybe talk about how your neighbor kept you up all night with loud music. Just think of things to have a casual conversation with others. When you get to round one, you'll have more information to build on, but for starters - just try to imagine being your character and what they would do, say and feel about any given situation.

Character's motivation: 

  1. While you are mingling about and speaking to other players (or if you're on video chat), you need to think about what your character would want out of the interaction. It would be best if you justified your character's actions.
  2. If your character bio states you are a nurturing, caring friend to everyone - don't start being nasty to others - it just doesn't make sense. Why would your character be motivated to do that? On the flip side, if you are playing a villainous character - own it. Your actions, in this case, must always be self-serving.

I hope this helps you play your role in a manner that you are most comfortable with to have an optimal experience at your murder mystery party. There is no right or wrong to acting a character role at a mystery game. Just keep one thing in mind - it's a game, and you are there to have fun.

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