Monday, June 20, 2011

IC and OOC - does this standard really work?

I've thought about this for some time.  General concepts I've heard for RP on IC and OOC is that they discern from that which is in character and what is out of character.  You are supposed to dull your emotions to what may happen to your character, or others around you and only play as your character would react.  Being somewhat method in my approach to RP and acting in general, I find this basic concept disingenuous.  How can you immerse into your character without having certain emotions?  Those emotions can be both what arises in character and out, as we relate to both the characters around us and to their players that are the authors of their words, thoughts, and actions - words and actions being the most readily available aspects that a person can react and interact to.  And while I can agree that it would be nice if everyone was at least OOC friends, and should just let the drama only unfold IC, that is just plain not going to happen.  This isn't a perfect world, and not everyone you meet is going to be your friend and have your best interests - IC, OOC, or otherwise - in mind when they do things.  Thus is why, first and foremost YOU have to be in control of your character, and YOU have to decide what is best, and what you want to do with your character in any given scene.

Let's take a step back and put this more into acting.  The whole drama  between Michael Bay and Megan Fox is a prime example of how the utopic concept of 'let's just be friends' OOC just  doesn't work.  It also shows the consequences of such a belief.  OOC, Fox called Bay's style of directing as being like Napoleon or Hitler.  At the same time, she also says,  "[W]hen you get him away from the set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it's endearing to watch him."

Granted, what is said is not very tactful, but I think it is in earnest to her comparison of the director and the person (another similar aspect to IC and OOC, IC being the director on set, and OOC being the person the director is off set and away from work).  I don't think Fox's comments were anything worse than, say the Seinfeld joke about the 'Soup Nazi' or the common way in which many of us in college used to joke about campus police being parking Nazis for their near relentless duty to giving out parking tickets to students who had let their time expire on their meter, or had to park in the wrong place due to all other spots being taken already.  Most of us would distinguish calling such things as being Nazi-like as something said in jest, and not meant to harm or damage a reputation.  But apparently Spielberg, according to Bay, anyways, decided the Hitler quip was foul play enough to fire Fox.

In this instance, whether what is being told is true or not, the changing of Fox out of her role had nothing to do with her acting, but that her words outside of the set were in bad taste.  The OOC completely changed the IC.  No more Fox means her character is written out and a new leading lady steps in.  And that's how the 'professionals' in this whole playing of roles deals with things.   The reality of it is, and as La Beouf so aptly put it, if you start "Shit talking the captain," IC and OOC have no boundaries.  You take the OOC and you edit out the undesired IC.  And that's the way the 'professionals' play this game.  You don't like it?  Then don't play in the big leagues.

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