Good Day to you all. This is Chris, the Handler for Jan van der Roost, Resident Wrestling Dutch Deathstalker and currently employed by both Fight One and Monarchy Wrestling. As part of the E-Fedding for Rookies Character Development Program, I was offered a chance for a Guest Column towards Character after part of JvdR’s Twitter Trip to NYC.
As part of the trip to NYC, #WheresJan, I planned out the Train ride from Lowell to Boston then onto NYC and back. During the trip, I posted pictures of the days travel – Boston’s Train Station, Penn Station in NYC, the Loeb Boathouse, Hotel Edison, the Columbus Circle near Central Park, and The Majestic Theatre. All of these pictures are readily available on Google. I purposely didn’t add any faces or names, just generalities.
I scoped out the train schedules, the hotel availability, and the start time for the Opera, adding all of those into the believability of the trip. Special thanks to Melanie Walsh @MelSpeaksTweets for joining in on the fun at the Phantom of the Opera.
The fun part of the trip, was the retweets back from Amtrak, from the Hotel Edison and other Real, Non-wrestling People- (Who knew Crab Cakes would get a retweet?) I was expecting an issue from the Dutch Consulate for using their Twitter handle but nothing came from it…
Anyway, the reason for this column is to try and make your character as real as possible. When I started back in 19xx, Pic bases and posers were very new. Most characters had simply a description of who they were and it was on the Handler, and to some extent the Booker/Writer/Fed head to flesh out the character. Entrance and Themes, clothing designs, mannerisms – all of these things help bring he or she to life. The #WheresJan Trip is just one example of how to blend the imaginary into the real.
Getting into Character
As posted before, many people use their character as an extension of themselves. Others make the opposite of themselves to make them the person they wish they could be. Using my old D&D skills of Character Generation, I have created many a character using a look, a skill, a name, or a theme. All work, there is no right or wrong.
Does Music begets Character or Character begets music?
For some characters, it’s all about the look. The music is secondary. For others, Music is the focus, and the character adapts to the music. With JvdR, his theme begat the character. JvdR is originally based loosely on Randy the Ram Robinson from ‘The Wrestler’, an aging veteran looking for that one last payday. He’s a stranger in a strange land and now working to provide for the grand-daughter that his deceased son cannot provide for. Using the theme from Alice in Chains, ‘Rooster’, the character finds solace in ‘Ain’t found a way to kill me yet’, a fitting lyric for this character. The theme is slow and methodical, adding to his character. Using Rooster as a last name didn’t seem very believable, but Roost did have more etymology. Then, making it a little different, I decided to add the van der to the Roost, giving it a Dutch or German feel. A German character is normally a villian (The Von Erichs come to mind) so I went Dutch. *Side Note – There really is a Jan Van der Roost – He is a Belgian Composer… I had no idea 🙂
Backing into the Background
Since JvdR is Dutch, I did background on how to be Dutch. The Dutch have a set style, a way of talking, their beliefs and what they enjoy. All of these small things add in to the character. Evidently I did such a good job that the Handler of Kat Jones, who is Dutch, thought I was Dutch. I broke the news that I was not and it was surprising to her that I would take on such a character. When I received that message, I knew that I had put together a good character.
Working the Gimmick
For one of my roleplays in Fight One, I decided to be Dutch and ride a bike in Lowell, doing a small promo during the bike ride. I used a legit bike shop in Lowell, street names, bridges, the Merrimack River trail and other uniquely Lowell specifics to add to the promo. The character made it feel like he was in Lowell, impressing the fed-head of Fight One, who lives in Lowell, that I would add such spots to my roleplay. This led me to the trip to NYC and all of the fun that ensued.
Scheduling Timing and Making this Fit
Not everything works perfectly but knowing when a flight lands or departs, knowing if a hotel is free for the night, the believability adds to the show. Knowing I would be wrestling in Fight One on Wednesday Night, I made sureamy Trip to NYC would allow for the return back before the match. I ended up losing my match but that in turn, added another character trait. The blame for the loss can be made because of the trip and now JvdR won’t be making such a trip.
Bottom Line is not always the Bottom Line.
As with anything in an eFed, nothing is gospel. Everyone has their own style, their own guise, their own cadence. Use what you know and what you can find out to your advantage. Add little things in the real world to make your character more ‘real’. It can only add to your character and make you a better handler in the long run…
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