Reading this may transform your life. You may experience a brand new perspective, an awareness you thought you would never have. You may not. I hope it does.
Transforming from one form to another, from one belief to another is a powerful experience and a powerful tool for the story creator. As we watch a film and witness in the span of say two hours the transformation of the hero we can believe we too can transform to something greater, something more adaptable to the circumstances around us. We love to know this is even possible. We all know death itself is proof we all will transform, if not transcend from one form of existence to another.
Think about how many films use the idea of transformation. Morphing. Changing from one state to another. Becoming a mutant. Changing into a superhero.Changing from a weak belief about our capabilities to a new belief that we can do all we can imagine.
The transformation process is really dramatic. The hero witnesses the process in real time. We watch, through the eyes, the release of one form, one way of living of thinking to the other. The actor portraying this process has to allow this kind of transformation happen so their audience can learn how it happens.
How does it work?
The hero must truly transform from a negative belief to a positive one. It is the rule of the hero. The hero must see how their negative attitudes are adversely affecting their experiences here. These doctrines must be challenged, must be shown and in the end, must transform.
In reality, it may take years and years of gradual, backbreaking work to transform from one belief to another. For example… how does one learn to love your enemy? It may take years, lifetimes to figure out our enemies, our villains are symbols, actual helpers in prodding the hero to work. In films, this process has to be reduced down.
We all have a head-on collision with change. We are all on course here. We all have this in common and there is no escaping it.
There are powerful acting exercises that can aid or prepare the actor portraying this process.
I encourage you to all, me included, to work to transform negative beliefs to positive ones. In movies it takes two hours but for you it may take an entire lifetime to experience the benefits of a changed perspective. Some of us are born into such toxic conditions it may take a lifetime to convert, transmute this. It’s hard.
To help equip the creative let’s unlock how the archetypes work to help the hero transform.
The villain has transformed from positive ideals to negative ones the villain believes this work will award them more power over others. Throughout the movie, they work to transform the core beliefs of their minions by convincing them by various nefarious means that their ambitions are law. By stealing the power from others, i.e. stealing the hero’s business, their girl, money, ideas they continue to disobey the universal natures and descend into the consequences of their actions. These negative patterns create a polarizing loop and slowly drags the villain deeper and deeper into the swamps of delusion until their own minions turn against them. The villain may also believe they have a final dark transformation in which they will be awarded more and more possessions. They want to transform the good results of the hero to theirs.
How to spot a villain. Do you have a villain around you? Villian mindsets are hard to spot. A con man is skilled in tricking the hero to think one thing while behind their back they do another. A skilled con man will flatter the hero then intimidate them in order to sustain their servitude.
The archetype that transforms the most is the hero. It must be. We are watching the hero, as we see ourselves as heroic and when the hero transforms we can experience the same. This is what makes films so awesome. We need stories to teach us or show us key lofe principles about life and when a hero learns a valuable one we can adopt it. We want to see a hero start out in their ordinary with this tragic flaw, which is always a misuse of a principle which is causing the flaw to occur. This addiction to the flaw is indeed tragic and it must be corrected. All things are being corrected and your hero must be the example of this, we must have proof. Some good examples of transformation are: greed ~ selflessness, selfishness ~ gratitude, addiction ~ freedom, judgements ~ acceptance, self-doubt ~ inner peace. So we see the hero hold a flaw that leads to tragedy that they let go and we see the actions that lead to a freedom, so that the tragedy will never happen again. Make sense?
See if you can account for these transactions in your own life. What weak belief have you held about yourself, those around you or your circumstances that you have been able to transform? What did you do to change?
Do you have a tragic flaw you feel is operating now? In other words, are you feeling that no matter what you do your life continues to end in tragedy? Take note and as you transform these negative patterns to positive habits, as you learn why they were formed and as you gradually grow out of them you will become an authority of the process and lead you to mentorship.
The mentor has figured out a life of serving others vs a life of self-development is worth the while. In other words, the mentor strives to serve the needs of others better. They acquire skills not to serve themselves, is to be given a kings ransom but rather acquire skills only to help them help others, serve others. So a life of serving proves more rewarding, proves more fulfilling as we watch others we serve to develop, grow and become more awesome. So in this, the mentor is the transformed. They are selfless. They are confident because they are connected to the results of their own choices, and learning these laws have allowed them, or rather they have earned this confidence. It’s a wonderful, quite positive loop. The mentor has finally mastered the golden rule and this has transported them a loving, kind, peaceful existence and they are here to do a job. Help us.
No doubt you have a gift, a positive resource that serves others. If you can’t write it out right now then you have a challenge. Try and write out what you think your gift is, which would be of the best service to others, which to our theme of this module would benefit others the most. What is it? If you can come into an awareness of your gifts then what can you do to use this gift to serve others better?
Understanding these things can dramatically aid you as a creative. What if all the things you created resulted in providing your life with a sense of peace, purpose, direction. Become the mentor. Help lift others up with no agenda, without a promise of their loyalty. Transform your thought process. You can do it!
The minions are in the process of transforming to negative directed by the luring of the villain. This process changes their once vulnerable outlook on life to one that views the world as a super competitive place. During the film they draw closer to what they believe is the truth, the villain’s truth. These are actually lies but they are so convincing to the minion, and the minion is also in a state of desperation to fit in someplace that a toxic relationship between the two is formed. You really don’t want to be here in reality but for the writer, you now have the foundation of spelling it all out for your audience so they are better equipped to becoming aware of the nature here. These are hard lessons and we hope the audience pays attention here and learn not to end up like a minion, and believing the lies.
In reality, it’s often hard to discern a villain from a hero. We want to follow at times, we don’t want to always lead. So we seek wisdom or counsel of others. But how do we know those people, organizations have our best interest at heart? Often times we are tricked into the wrong relationship, we are seriously catfished and wake up to find ourselves in what feels like a mental or an emotional prison.
No one is perfect and we all have traces of all the archetypes flowing within us. But as we correct ourselves and lean forward towards the higher principles of life we learn from our mistakes and we apply them in making future choices of who we associate with.
Write out any feelings associated with your current relationships. Jot down these emotions. This is a wonder databank of your own experiences with people and the feelings you have are often the results of spending time with them. Do you feel positive or negative about it?
These are wonderful blueprints for incredible storytelling practices. Use them to help others learn and grow. Illustrate the negative to help reveal the opposite.
Understanding the shapeshifter has got to be the most difficult. Their shifting on the hero results in the painful awareness that a villain does indeed exist and is, in fact, trying to punish the hero. Inevitably the hero has to accept aspects of the punishment, as this process ultimately becomes the heros best teacher when the hero is a bit hard headed.
The real fun of the shapeshifter is witnessing the transformation. As an audience, we get to see how this archetype tricks the hero’s loyalties by transforming from good to bad. We learn the entire time that this archetype has been secretly working for the villain and has lured the hero to a trap.
Let’s try this: in your monomythic improv structured exercise, I want you to try and bring this moment to life. One actor plays the hero and the other actor portrays the shapeshifter. In this scene the hero will discover that the character they assumed was their ally or something else is really colluding with the villain and because of this does not have heros best interests at heart. Many awesome creative factors can be made here as to why the shapeshifter is betraying the hero. These factors are indeed wonderful areas to explore throughout the improv and into the writing.
Enjoy the gameplay and I hope it helps to illustrate the transformation of truth into the scene.
The Prince/ Princess:
The prince archetype has transformed to the highest possible state, love, but is under serious attack. The stealing away of this love usually stems from a mistake the hero made, and this is the consequence. Their purpose is to show the hero there are things worth fighting for and this will, in the end, transform their heart to the light.
Often times these are the hardest characters to write for. Sometimes it’s easier for the writer to focus on the hate of the villain towards the hero but not so much the love directed at the hero from the prince or princess.
A good way to help make this easier is to take note of all the things that bring you love, that love you. Spend valuable time here. Create space here. Use this time and space to cull real dialogue to understand the way love is communicated.
A good improv exercise is to have one actor play the prince or princess and work to create an experience for them that is a demonstration of their devotion to the hero. Its really hard for the actor at first. They tend to be much more skilled at creating harsh, dramatic, toxic scenes vs these really kinder scenes.
This dynamic holds eternal transformation language for us. In other words, there are endless manifestations of love and I hope more stories reveal it. It’s why the hero embarks on their journey.
Of any archetype that deserves to see the transformation of the hero its the ally. This good-natured soul has dedicated to the challenges the hero faces and because they enter in the trenches of the hero’s life they deserve to witness the fruits of their labor. The ally prods pushes and sometimes forces the hero’s transformation process. This is why comedy is so useful here because the heros reluctantly for change towards the positive is often so obvious its comical. In the end its the ally who also transforms as well, they are proof that their devotion here draws them closer to mentorship by fulfilling there duty. Much like the good energy that flows through the heart of the prince or princess the ally is linked to this higher power as well and shows this in such a relatable and kind way. They tend to teach the hero the art of acceptance.
Scenario: The ally brings passion to the movie because they are passionate about the theme of the movie, the genre. This archetype represents this joy the screenwriter has for it as well. For example, if the movie is about a monster, the ally typically exudes a genuine passion of this monster, i.e. the folklore, the myths, the legends of the monster as well as potential tools to aid the hero in stopping the villain. In this acting improv setup or scenario create a monster then have the actor playing the ally know everything there is to know about this monster. Make sure the hero is deeply connected to this knowledge, by now lets pretend the prince or the princess is taken so they need to acquire all the insights about the vision they can.
In summary, here transformation is just fascinating. We all love to witness this process. We are mesmerized by seeing properties transform before our eyes and in the span of two hours we get to witness this through the monomythic structure. The hero starts the movie with a weakness of character but ends the movie having transformed this weakness into a new strength that no one can take away.
No doubt you have experienced this process for change in all of us is inevitable.
A good idea is to jot down as many transformations you have gone through. Create a list of them and look back to your list and reflect upon the journey of each one. Just like a movie replay the timeline and go as far as jotting down who played a role. Who would you say was the archetype.
Having done this exercise you will be proven how archetypes are always flowing, always moving in your own life so that perhaps you can learn how to better script out your own life. It’s a hard but enriching process and knows, no matter what we are all undergoing a correction process. The soul is destined to a return back to light.
Let us know how this goes for you.