A series of questions from the video series.

  1. Look at your persona through other people’s eyes. Ask other people what they think.
  2. Take a picture of yourself and compare it to period images.
  3. Find other people outside of your group who are interested in what you do and connect with them for the purpose of learning from them.
  4. Pick one piece of your equipment that could be better and upgrade it.
  5. Try to make at least one item, especially if you persona has a particular skill, e.g., sew something, whittle something, forge, or paint something.
  6. Interact with the public and learn from their questions. No question is a dumb question. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.
  7. When researching, keep an eye out for common modern misconceptions. If the misconception is yours, fix it. If it belongs to someone else, think of tactful ways to gently bring them around.
  8. Take advantage of the off-seasons, when you can’t get out to events, to concentrate on research. KILLING IT
  9. Find a period book (either fiction or non-fiction) that deals as closely with your persona as possible, and read it slowly. Image your persona in that book. CHECK
  10. Consider writing your own book that tells the story of your persona. WORKING ON IT
  11. Consider how your persona kept informed about current events of the day.
  12. Consider what your persona should sound like? Does he or she has an accent? Search for YouTube tutorials on “How to speak with a ________ accent”. Write down a few phrases or paragraphs phonetically and practice your accent. Considering northern England…but what did it sound like in 1680? And what is my persona’s level of education/class?
  13. Consider what your persona would think was a good joke. Recount a story about your persona’s family. Don’t mention the war.
  14. If your persona could read, read the books or publications that he or she would have likely read.
  15. Imagine / research what money would have meant to your persona. What would they have earned? What would a common item have cost them?
  16. Try to purchase at least one small period object to directly connect you with your persona. Check in coin collection for colonial-period coins, at least English currency.
  17. Try to visit the location where your persona lived or find a similar location. Planning a trip to Hadley and Deerfield, Mass.
  18. Imagine what it would be like for your persona to be transported to your modern life. What would they understand, or not understand? What would they have to teach us about our life?
  19. Prepare and eat some of the food your persona would commonly eat. (If you need ideas, check out the cooking videos on our YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/1SQ4zXf) Already pinning recipes, watching JTS’s videos. Have a lot of the right spices.
  20. While at an event, try to leave everything from your modern life in your car (except the keys).
  21. While at an event, try to “survive” a weekend with the fewest pieces of equipment. Then evaluate whether everything you have is truly necessary. Ask yourself whether there’s something you really ought to have.
  22. As an experiment, try to have a period conversation with someone in your group. Then consider what was missing in your conversation.
  23. Consider what a typical day entails for your persona, from waking to sleeping, minute by minute, hour by hour.
  24. Consider how your persona would respond to changes in the seasons.
  25. Consider with whom your persona would have commonly connected. Try to find folks doing that kind of persona and connect with them.
  26. Look for “paired-persona” opportunities, ways to create planned first-person conversations or encounters with other interpreters.
  27. Build an “image bank” of art and artifacts that pertain to your persona. Pinterest.com is great for this. In progress.
  28. Build a digital library of period books that pertain to your persona. Compiling.
  29. Find a museum that specializes in your persona’s field and visit it online or in person. See Historic Deerfield, Hadley Historical Society, Boston museums.
  30. Watch movies that deal with your persona. Watch them critically. Look for common misconceptions as well as for things they did right. If you see something you question, research it. New Worlds, Outlander, Turn, The Witch.
  31. Pick a person who does what you do particularly well and ask them about one thing that you want to do better. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
  32. Start a blog or vlog of all your research discoveries. In progress.
  33. Start a blog or vlog from your persona’s perspective. Fantastic idea.
  34. Write letters as though they are from your persona. Practice your cursive writing with a quill and ink.
  35. In your research, pursue the “rabbit trails.” One thing is bound to lead to another. If you prefer to avoid the distraction, write down the side topics as you run across them so you can research them later. Having a ball doing this, but need to find a way to see larger pictures, let patterns emerge, tie it together. Can’t help but combine two goals: create a persona, and also maybe write a novel about that persona.
  36. Always be curious. Can’t help myself.
  37. We can’t encourage you enough to HAVE FUN!