This post features Samantha from Waiting Room
Here’s another of my Character Surveys 🙂 (The first was Trevor’s a few weeks ago.) Samantha was just so much fun to work with. Even though I finished her story a long time ago, I end up thinking about her every time I go to the doctor’s, and I remember, “Aw, yeah… Samantha… You were weird and I miss you.”
- Gender: Female
- Age: 27
- Hair Color: Brown
- Eye Color: Dark Brown
- Hair Style: Long, worn many different ways depending on her persona of the day
- Body Type: Slightly taller than average, curvy
- Favorite color: Burgundy
- Typical Outfit: Haha… there definitely isn’t one…
- In a nutshell: Extremely perceptive and interested in other people, but prefers small and meaningful interactions over long-lasting relationships. Understands a great deal about people in general, but is very rarely introspective.
- Does everything happen for a reason? I don’t know. I could make the argument either way, depending on who I’m with and what they need to hear at that moment.
- What kind of people do you get along with? I can figure out how to get along with pretty much anyone.
- Make a wish: I wish that everything turns out okay for every person I’ve talked to in a hospital. I almost never get to follow up with them and see if the person they were waiting for got better, but if I had the power to make that the case, I would.
- What is the worst question I could possibly ask? I would hate being asked where my hobby came from. I mean, I wouldn’t mind the question if it was asked in earnest, but I just know that anyone asking that would have the subtext “What’s wrong with you?” and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to talk to people and comfort them.
- Choose a special ability: Teleportation. I’ve thought so many times how much easier everything would be if we didn’t have to ‘travel.’ Example: I absolutely hate driving in the snow. If I could teleport, the weather could do whatever it felt like, and I wouldn’t care.
- Describe your perfect weather: I really like late autumn. Like one of those silvery overcast days where you think that maybe this will finally be the day we get our first snow flurries.
- Go to Yahoo’s homepage and comment on the first news story. It was an interview with Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski making predictions about women’s ice skating. I always find it weird to think that figure skaters have such a short time frame to accomplish their life goals. Almost all of them are younger than me, and I still haven’t really figured out what I want out of life.
- If you made a commercial, what product would you pimp? I’d actually feel pretty embarrassed to be in a commercial… maybe a costume shop?
- What motivates you? Wanting to get the most out of life, I guess. Normally that’s at the root of my decisions. I feel like my life is too boring or that I’m wasting it, so I’ll decide to do something to change that.
- What do you lie about? Haha… well, mostly everything. But not to be malicious. I’ve always felt that lies are only as harmful as their intensions.
- Never have I ever… Been locked out. Not of my apartment or car or office. Nothing. Of course, now that I’ve said it I’m sure I will be, but it was a fun streak while it lasted.
- What instrument would you play? The flute.
- Name something that is not possible. You mean besides the obvious? (People can’t come back from the dead, etc…) Well… When I use my gothic personally, it isn’t possible to wash the hair gel and makeup off in less than an hour. It’s just something I have to keep in mind when I’m planning my day.
- What do you know well enough to teach? I could probably step into the secretary’s job at the hospital and do pretty well. Fill out these forms, sign here, take a seat there, let me make a copy of your insurance card… I’ve heard the signing in procedure more times than I can count.
- Make a list of 5 things. Any category. My five favorite personas
- Goth – punk outfit, dark makeup, spiked jewelry. It’s one of my grumpier personalities. I start most of my conversations like I’m only talking casually to strangers as a way of rebelling against social conventions, and then gradually slip into something more sympathetic. I like this one because it’s tricky, since it’s more abrasive and that turns off a lot of people.
- Awkward – Mismatched clothes, clunky glasses, ratty hair, and really big shoes that make me trip a lot. This is fun because when people see me making such a fool of myself tripping everywhere and saying embarrassing things, they know that nothing they do could possibly look awkward in comparison, so there’s not as much inhibition.
- Business Woman – black outfit, very professional, hair pulled back. This can sometimes be intimidating to people who are particularly disheveled, but once the conversation is going, it’s not normally a problem. Occasionally, there will be someone else dressed up in business clothes, and it’s much easier to reach them in this persona than my others.
- Young – teenager outfit, bright colors, cute makeup, braids. The goal in this one is not so much to be young, but to be someone who is trying to be young. The personality is someone who doesn’t want to accept that they’re an adult now, which makes it easy to be bold and forward with people.
- I-Never-Do-This – reserved clothes, hair down and in my eyes, twitchy demeanor. This one is tricky, because I need to wait for the entire waiting room to turn over between conversations, but it’s worth it. I act really nervous and frantic, and then when I approach someone I start by blurting out that it’s so unlike me to talk to a stranger, but just this one… etc. Once I confide something in them, they generally return the favor.
- If you could increase one thing: beauty, talent, or power, which would you choose? Talent, though I’m not at all sure what I’d want to do with that. Maybe I wouldn’t do anything with it; just amuse myself when I’m bored. But I still think it would be worth having.
- What is more important than most people realize? Having important details memorized, or at least written down and carried with you. I’ve seen so many people run into problems because they didn’t know a policy name or the date of a last shot. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until someone is hurt and you need to get help for them as soon as possible and you’re too upset to think clearly enough to remember details like that.
- How likely are you to change your mind? Extremely likely. I change my opinion all the time, and sometimes I get so focused on saying what other people want to hear that I honestly couldn’t tell you what I think under all of that.
- What sort of person would benefit from knowing you? I’d like to think that lots of people benefit from knowing the many versions of myself. I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought I was the only one getting anything out of the experience.
- What happens when you break down? I find a place to be alone. Fast. Immediately. It’s not that I’ve never cried in front of people before (I do that a lot, actually), but it’s always about them. I just can’t stand not feeling in control of myself, and really need to be by myself until at least the initial intensity passes.
- What is your biggest secret? Well, the hobby, I guess. That’s not the sort of thing you tell people who see you every day.
- What is your deepest fear? Investing too deeply in something and then regretting it.
- Describe yourself in one word: Malleable
For once, Hannah didn’t initiate conversation with the character. She stared at her, lips pulled to the side in utmost puzzlement until Samantha was forced to open the communication with, “Okay, what?”
Hannah blinked and looked down at the survey. “I can’t decide if I think you’re creepy or not. I don’t normally have difficulties making that distinction with people.”
“Aw, really? I’m flattered,” Samantha said, which seemed a fitting enough answer given that she was wearing her ‘young’ persona, and the response was appropriately cutesy.
“No you’re not,” Hannah challenged. “You wouldn’t be if you were in the gothic persona, anyway.”
Samantha narrowed her eyes. “I’m not crazy, okay?”
“Obviously. You’re not in your ‘crazy’ persona.”
“See, this is exactly why I don’t like to tell people about this,” Samantha said. “It’s more complicated than—”
“Oh, calm down,” Hannah sighed, crossing her arms over the clipboard. “Believe it or not, I really like you. I’m just a little disappointed that you came in costume. I was hoping to actually talk to you.”
Samantha appeared less angry at that, though exceedingly more uncomfortable. “I don’t…”
“Please? I’d much rather talk to whoever you are when you’re not in the hospitals.”
Samantha looked around her, and then mumbled, “Fine. Be right back.” She returned a few minutes later wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, hair twisted into a knot behind her head.
Hannah smiled. “Good girl. Now, let’s start again: I can’t decide if I think you’re creepy or not.”
“I’m not,” Samantha said with a shrug that was nearly apologetic. “Creepy would be if I was trying to steal personal information, or if I tracked them after they left. I don’t. The interaction ends when it ends, and I really don’t have any other motives than wanting to interact with people.”
Hannah nodded that the answer was far more acceptable than the last one, and turned her attention back to the survey. “Your chosen special ability surprised me. I would have thought you’d want to be able to read minds.”
Samantha shook her head. “No. Not at all.”
“Really?” Hannah found this hard to accept, and not only because she had a bet going with the author on this particular point. “But the whole point of talking to people is to get them to open up with you about what they’re thinking.”
“Yeah, that is the point,” she agreed. “But the key word is ‘get them.’ People who knit sweaters know they could just go to the store and buy one already completed, but just having a sweater isn’t the real goal of knitting. What I like is the process of getting people to trust me.”
“Got it. And how long did it take you to become good at it?”
“A long time. Years. But I also don’t go as often as you think. Maybe once a month.”
“Mm. So… you’d feel embarrassed to be in a commercial?” Hannah pointed at that particular answer.
“Definitely.” Her head bobbed in one emphatic nod.
“I don’t really think of you as shy.”
“It’s easy to be outgoing when you know you’ll probably never see the other person again. But if I was in a commercial, people would see it over and over, and that’s just so much pressure.”
Hannah still wasn’t convinced, given that Samantha obviously had all the tools to be a good actress, but she skipped to the last question anyway. “Do you think you’ll continue the hobby after the story ends?”
“I don’t know.” Samantha hugged her arms at the elbows, waiting for Hannah to ask the next question. When the silence continued, she said, “I guess… I hope not?” She paused, then nodded, then repeated without the questioning. “I hope not.”