Indebted To The Spock Archetype

Indebted To The Spock Archetype

When Leonard Nimoy passed away recently I began to realize that many of my roles had been connected to his famous character of Spock on “Star Trek.”

Of course, that was after I went through the strange grieving process one does when someone they know of but have never actually known dies… The threads between what Spock represented and me – the rational, outcast kid in elementary school – came back into focus.

So did the warm feelings of watching a syndicated rerun episode with my step-dad came back to me, too. We didn’t relate with each other on too much, but we both wanted to be like Kirk, yet had the approach of Spock and, when at a party, left the impact of Chekov.

But I’ll leave the in depth Leonard Nimoy/Spock posts to everybody else and, instead, focus on how his character influenced roles I have been lucky enough to play. How that my characters Chase (“Transformers: Rescue Bots”) and Legion (“Mass Effect” series) owe a lot to the “Spock Archetype.”

TV Tropes describes “The Spock” as:

A character who will always think before acting, The Spock is an archetype that can be loosely summed up as the tendency to apply rules, reason and the greater good to all of his/her decisions. This character can exist by themselves, but more often, they will have a more emotional and humanistic counterpart to contrast their decisions.

What’s interesting is that the two characters I have played went through an evolution of sorts. Though they started very cerebral, we eventually added in more emotional qualities (embracing some of Spock’s human tendencies).

The best way to illustrate this is by showing you my auditions for the two roles. [Side note: CAN YOU BELIEVE I FOUND THESE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?! Shout out to Eric over at Studiopolis!]

Here is my audition for Legion. It’s actually my call back. The first one was a monologue a la “friends, Romans, countrymen!” You’ll notice in this call back recording that I’m leaning heavier on the facts and less on the thoughtfulness. It’s subtle, but anyone who knows these games will hear it:

And then there’s Chase! He was a challenge once we started recording the first episode. The breakdown (description of the voice the producers wanted) was that of Friday from “Dragnet.”

Now, here is the audition for Chase – keeping these qualities in mind… And, apparently, after I chugged a cup of coffee.

But once in the recording session, the creators realized it was just a bit too limiting and began shaping Chase with more of Spock’s Mother’s tendencies. Over the course of 3 seasons Chase has evolved into quite a lovable character.

And now the post “Spock Archetype” performances:

See the difference? It just reinforces the notion that the way into someone else’s heart is to open your own. Leonard Nimoy’s character did that. And, on a much more meaningful level, Leonard Nimoy, the actor, seems to have done that in his life, as well.

About D.C. Douglas

D.C. Douglas is a voice actor and film / television / theatre character actor based in Los Angeles, California. He also dabbles in gadflyism during slow weeks. Leery member of Google +.

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