Categories of Heroes

A cool table taken from an old anthropology article titled “The Sports Hero: an Endangered Species” by Garry Smith. I think it has a lot of relevance toward improvising character work. A shorthand list like Johnstone’s ‘Fast Food Stanislavski’. These are a great primer for the types of heroes that one can be or portray.

Category Theme

  • Strong Man
  • The Brain
  • The Smart Operator
  • The Great Lover
Getting what you want, beating everyone, being a champ
Splendid Performers

  • Showmen
  • Heroes of Play
  • Playboy
Shining before an audience, making a hit
Heroes of Social Acceptability

  • The Pin-up
  • The Charmer
  • The Good Fellow
  • Conforming Heroes
Being liked, attractive, good or otherwise personally acceptable to groups and epitomizing the pleasures of belonging
Independent Spirits

  • Bohemian
  • Jester
  • Angry Commentator
Standing alone, making one’s way by oneself.
Group Servants

  • Defenders
  • Martyrs
  • Benefactors
Helping people, cooperation, self-sacrifice, group service and solidarity

Published by bradfortier

Educator, Anthropologist, Entertainer who lives in Portland Oregon.

5 thoughts on “Categories of Heroes

  1. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!


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