Friday, February 18, 2011

Characters: Meet Emily Monroe

She appears quiet and somewhat sullen, but deep inside Emily Monroe burns a passion for her dream as vibrant as her flaming red hair. Her life, curiously juxtaposed between her unreal reality and everything she desires.

A landing forced by unusual circumstances, Emily finds herself grounded in the most unlikely place for a would-be dancer-a stuffy office that has given her a terrible cough. But she is determined not to be out-tapped by the finger pounding typewriters and there brain numbing rhythms.

Strangely, a glance outside her office window reveals a giant billboard of her secret heart-throb, Ace Rogers. The host of "Dance Your Own Dance." The distance of the billboard, somewhat poetic, for sure. She can almost see the sparkle in his eyes...

The story is set in the city I always love. New York City. The word is "street car" rather than trolley.  I got it, now. Thanks.

You could say that Emily, a name that stuck with me like glue for her, is the classic archetypal daydreamer. The hopeless romantic. The determined performer. I can relate to her on many of these fronts. Of course, as the writer, I know her motivations. She is the embodiment of the emotional experience of many artists. Intense. Quirky. Dare I say, temperamental? But please, not 'flighty.'

Animating Emily is a study in emoting. The look in her eyes. The challenge of animating her expressions to convey what she's thinking, feeling. Also, I enjoy animating characters that are not a "mini-me." Emily's dilemma is "Is there ever a good time to chase a dream?" She must deal with fears on many sides. But are dreams pursued out of convenience? Rarely. Perhaps, mostly out of necessity. Like Emily, I've learned, the fish-out-of-water experience makes a dream...oxygen.

Meet more of the characters along the way....