No character is automatically sympathetic. Sympathy has to be earned, as in Chaplin's Dog , and the all too good Hero. Self-pity will kill the audiences sympathy for a character. There is no bigger turn-off on the stage. Avoid self-pity at all costs, except when playing a ridiculous character in a broad comedy!

In some cases, where the actor plays out to the audience, pleading or competing for their sympathy, the audience are turned into “gods." Thus, in Tragedy the audience becomes arbiters of conscience; in Comedy, scorekeepers of a game of one-up-manship.

"Sympathy for the Devil..."

- The Rolling Stones

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Jonathan Paul Cook © 2010