How To: Portray a character that stutters.
Today I’ll be explaining how to properly play a character that stutters. Sadly, this question’s been on my mind for some time and I’ve quite literally checked the entire “how to” tags and could not find one on this particular topic, and so here I’ll try to elaborate from research and personal past experiences.
1. Before anything know exactly what stuttering is. Here I’ve included a passage from the web explaining the definition of stuttering; Stuttering also known as stammering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by people who stutter as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels and semivowels. For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. Blocks and prolongations are learned mechanisms to mask repetition, as the fear of repetitive speaking in public is often the main cause of psychological unease.
2. Secondly, once you’ve got all that down. Read your bio. Find out why they stutter(if it doesn’t say, make it up, or ask the admin for clarification.) Stuttering and the severity depends on the person, so here’s a few questions you can ask yourself for better insight.
The impact of stuttering on a person’s functioning and emotional state can be severe. This may include fears of having to enunciate specific vowels or consonants, fears of being caught stuttering in social situations, self-imposed isolation, anxiety, stress, shame, or a feeling of “loss of control” during speech. Stuttering is sometimes popularly associated with anxiety but there is actually no such correlation (though as mentioned social anxiety may actually develop in individuals as a result of their stuttering)Stuttering is not reflective of intelligence.
The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on the anxiety level connected with that activity.
3. Primary stuttering behaviors are the overt, observable signs of speech fluency breakdown, including repeating sounds, syllables, words or phrases, silent blocks and prolongation of sounds. These differ from the normal disfluencies found in all speakers in that stuttering disfluencies may last longer, occur more frequently, and are produced with more effort and strain.
Remember: The severity of a stutter is often not constant even for people who severely stutter. People who stutter commonly report dramatically increased fluency when talking in unison with another speaker, copying another’s speech, whispering, singing, and acting or when talking to pets, young children, or themselves.Other situations, such as public speaking and speaking on the telephone are often greatly feared by people who stutter, and increased stuttering is seen.
4. Not every character who stutters has to be sad, depressed, and isolated from the world. Stuttering can impact a person’s life, but it doesn’t overtake it. Yes, your character can be confident and have episodes of stuttering, it isn’t uncommon.Just remember that they’re all different and stuttering affects people differently.
5. When it comes to the conversation aspect. Here’s some tips.
6. Para’s are in my opinion, are easier to act out.
For more tips or suggestions on stuttering, contact me and I’ll be happy to answer.