Geek Girls Rule! #46 – Playing a Serious Character When… You’re not.

Yes, I admit it.  I’m a giggler.  I giggle.  A lot.  I’m an easy crack up.  Ok, not as easy as Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live, but still pretty easy.  This can be a problem when I’m trying to play super serious characters, which is something I tend towards because I like playing against type.  I enjoy playing characters that are very unlike me.  Unfortunately, this means I spend a lot of time saying things like, “Ok, this is the player cracking up, not the character.”

We’re in the process of wrapping up an Amber Diceless campaign, and my character is a very angry, serious, killing machine sort of character.  This means that we’re having a lot of serious scenes full of pathos, which make me giggle uncontrollably.  This is probably driving my GM crazy.

I’ve run into this problem many times before.  In a past campaign I played an assassin whose concept was “the silent knife in the back.”  There would be an intense stalking scene, and I’d burst into giggles, because stress does that to me.  I laugh a lot.

I know this can be frustrating for my GMs, but honestly, the harder I try not to laugh the worse it is.  I can bite my lip, dig my  nails into my palm, whatever, it just doesn’t help.

You have to understand I’m the kind of person who gets overcome with giggles at funerals.  I’m serious.  It’s one of the reasons I generally don’t go to them.  And it’s not that I find them funny, it’s just the combined weight of all the serious starts to get to me, and the next thing I know I’m trying to make “hee hee hee” sound like “boo hoo hoo” while covering my mouth with a handkerchief or my face with my hands.

I wish I could tell all of you out there who might share my little “problem” that I’ve found a way to combat this, but I can’t.  I’ve just cultivated a series of very understanding GMs who roll their eyes when I hold up a hand and turn away, biting my lips to keep from breaking the mood completely.

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4 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #46 – Playing a Serious Character When… You’re not.

  1. Oh that is so me, down to the laughing at funerals. Maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t able to make it to the Frood’s grandma’s memorial…

  2. I laugh when people get hurt. Which sucks, because I really do care and I’m horrified! And nothing makes the injured party feel less secure than the person administering first aid going *snx shrr hrr* under her breath.

    I swear, laughter is a fear response. Why else is so much of comedy steeped in misfortune?

  3. In the original UK version of the sitcom Coupling, one character describes a phenomenon he calls “The Giggle Loop.”

    It’s real. I have experienced it, you seem to be its bitch 😀

  4. Laughing during a RP session should be encouraged; to me, when i run a game, if someone laughs or ‘giggles’ as you put it, its understood as non-character (unless you specify so)

    If your GM gets to angry, hes taking the game to seriously and murdering the fun of it all. Laugh harder next time.

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