Jamie – Administrator

System Administrator

Age – n/a

Location – Computer system

Occupation – Overseeing actions and tasks carried out by the applications within the system

Character Analysis –

My characters fundamental role within the performance was to instruct and guide. The website ‘SysAdminDay’ describes a System Administrators (Sysadmin’s) job role as ‘making a computing system — a whole network of resources and servers and software — work together, work right, work even when parts of it fail — and work for you.’ (SysAdminDay, 2010). When taking this quote in relation to the performance it highlights the role of my character within the piece not only to the other cast members put also to the audience. It was my role not only to direct and guide cast members, but (if not more crucially), to direct and guide the audience so that they would get from room to room as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The original idea for the idea was to be dressed and presented as an operatic style conductor in which I would be portrayed as ‘playing’ with and manipulating the other applications in the system. This then graduated to become a circus style ring master in which, not only playing on the term media circus, it would show the system as being more fun as well as chaotic with myself still being at the centre and integral. But, in the end we decided that I should wear naval captain garments so that the audience members get the connotation’s of an experienced guide whilst still being in charge of the rest of the crew. The captain was favored over the conductor, as we still wanted characters to have a degree of free will (however slight) as there are just virtual representations of the same people located in reality (the basement); the captain was favored over the ring master as we wanted to show a degree of organization and control, control and regulation that one would think of when thinking of a naval captain.

I didn’t wish to assert myself as this overbearing role from the beginning and then throughout the piece, and wanted to gradually reveal the influence my character had over the performance as it progressed. This meant welcoming the audience as a mild-mannered friendly character, based loosely on air stewards – happy upbeat monotone voice and a smile, and therefore my first impression being asserted as such. Then half way up the stairs bellowing the cast to ‘Get back to work!’, before standing infront of a door allowing a girl to get fraped – this would then prompt the audience to reevaluate their perceptions of me and hopefully leave them confused.

When I joined the audience again after they had been relocated to the Check-In lounge my characters annoyance at the detectives being there and there obedience when telling them to leave, accompanied with Tamagotchis compliance and submissiveness, would then illustrate to the audience the influence I had over ALL of the characters; despite them each having their own primary functions and purposes, however unrelated. Slowly my character was becoming more and more 3 dimensional and the audience members were hopefully becoming more aware that the pleasant demeanor of my character towards the audience masked a more sinister personality.

When in the Junk Mail Box/Spam Room, the boisterous more playful side of my character surfaced again in a macabre scenario of selling the applications and the unnamed profile. The fun setting and atmosphere was to almost distract the audience from the actuality of what was actually happening. The sinister aspect of selling things was meant to mirror that of sex-slave auctions that were depicted in a filmic influence Taken (2008) directed by Pierre Moral. By being at the centre of the auction and controlling that of which who was selling, and who was buying asserted my influence.

Finally within the main room my characters influence was fully highlighted as I deactivated the profiles and characters accompanied by the personification of ‘The System’ (Dumi). By altering my voice and making it more robotic and cyber-like it showed my relation to the technological aspects of the systems. And by accompanying visual slideshows showing what was happening both visually and aurally the audience fully understood I was determining the fates of the characters. Within the deactivation process I personally left the stage and crossed the dance floor to strip and deactivate Jane Smith (Sorcha); this was to show that despite being assisted by Dumi I still had control.

After the deactivation process and the characters had left the performing area, my characters playful demeanor resurfaced when addressing the audience. After splitting the audience into red and blue groups (which then affected how there performance would end) I guided the audience to the basement and abruptly left them to not only navigate down but through the basement (reality). In this time I had to change costume and run around the building to meet the audience at the exit dressed in messy, paint dabbled overalls. This would signify a completely different character. The overall character greeting them at the exit was meant to be the administrator in reality, realizing the phrase ‘You Can Be Anyone on the Internet’ which was the centre theme of another influence TalHotBlond: (2009) (see previous post).

I think my characters depth was conveyed to the audience, and the audience saw more than a two dimensional character. The reasoning for my characters change at the end my have been lost, but I think that by walking through the basement and seeing the other characters in their basic forms it may have helped with rationalizing. I think I could have worked on my clarity with regard to dialogue in relation to acoustics of the different rooms. But as a piece I think it worked and entertained and made the audience interpret it from different perspectives.

What Does a System Administrator Do? (2010) SysAdminDay [Online] Available from: http://www.sysadminday.com/whatsysadmin.html (Accessed on 17th May)

Taken (2012) IMDB [Online] Available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936501/ (Accessed on 17th May)

TalHotBlond: (2012) IMDB [Online] Available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1370889/ (Accessed on 17th May)

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