Acting the Part
So I will do a post later about my role for Monday’s panel, but I was bored today and after failing to find something to watch, I remembered about the fictional panel and Echo from the Dollhouse. So I just watched the first episode and I tried to keep notes on how Echo’s “blank” personality is portrayed versus her given roles. How does one convey a person without a person-ality anyways? So I’ll just make a little list and try to watch some more of the show this weekend and add onto it as I see it.
I apologize to those who have watched more already. Please remember that I have only seen the first episode. I’m basically just thinking aloud/online. Feel free to add your own observations.
Echo at the Dollhouse: short sentences, generally only consisting of a subject and a simple verb. At the Dollhouse they seem to do only stereotypically peaceful, passive activities such as sleeping, yoga, showering, and going to the doctor. She is serene, blank-looking facially, and hesitant to probe into anything very deeply. The dolls are often described as childlike, blank slates with no worries.
Echo on Assignment: her head moves a lot more, lots of facial expression, uses longer, more complicated sentences, is relatively intelligent if not brilliant, confident, and lively. So far she has done very active activities. I mean active both mentally (mediator in a kidnapping) and physically (motor cycling). She is very much an active agent in her other lives. Her roles are very much made up of her appearance as well as her performance. Most of her roles include very feminized clothing and makeup.
I just think that as this list expands and as other people comment (hopefully) that it might be interesting to compare the “passive” female role to the programmed female role that the clients request. I think that as the series goes on it will be interesting to see how gendered the character is in her performance both in the Dollhouse and out. Even when she has no personality she appears to have a distinct gender identity in her performance. Is gender a part of a person’s personality? What do you think would happen if she was programmed with a male memory set? If gender is such an important aspect of a person’s performance, as it appears to be in this series, could the actress portray a man when her character has been completely wiped of everything?
EDIT: I watched the other two episodes today and I updated my list a bit.