coming to roleplaying from a drama background, i find both my actual play and personal play feel like performances to me. The main difference being the size and composition of the audience. When i’m playing a personal game it tends to feel lower stakes a bit more like a rehearsal, i’m still performing for myself and my friends, but it feels like there is more room to try things out and take chances. In actual play there is the added pressure for me, not present in drama performances, of feeling like my choices and the things i say represent me in some way. Even though i’m playing a character it’s a character i created and whoes views, even if they don’t line up with mine, how i frame them says something about how i seen the world.
If I may ask—do you find a significant amount of carryover from your drama background into your tabletop experiences? Speaking as someone who also comes from a theatre background, a lot of my friends lean really heavily into the embodiment of their characters during emotional moments, not just in the overt ways (character voices, body language/gesticulating) but also trying to grapple with the interiority of their character—trying to perform both for their fellow players but also for them to understand the character as best they can.
I know some of my theatre-adjacent coplayers place themselves heavily in the method acting sphere of trying to stay in-character as often as they can, whereas others are a lot more directorial and inclined to break out of the character's headspace in order to think about it from a narrative-driven perspective (e.g., "what needs to happen in this scene in order for the plot to advance"). Obviously neither of those is the end-all-be-all, and it's not like this is a binary system, but I'm curious about the degree to which the performativity of a game tends to skew it one way or another.
i personally find while i draw from my drama skill set often, and they feel similar to me, i don’t draw from it as much as some of my other drama friends who play too do. for me they are pretty different experiences due to the nature of improvising a character, thogh i’ve never really done improve so i can’t say if that would be a similar experience, and due to the ability to play in a space outside of just what your character says and does. It’s something i really find vauluable in roleplaying because it’s not something i find in a lot of other places.