When it comes to invocation, I think the pop culture magician has a wealth of material available for crafting an invocation working that is efficacious. We have multimedia resources available that can allow us to study the various portrayals of characters, as well as multiple versions of characters to draw upon, with different characteristics emphasized depending on whatever suits our needs. All of these resources provide us lots of inspiration for invoking pop culture characters.
When I invoke a pop culture character I like to learn as much as I can about the character. I'll study the various versions of the character, what they wear, what they say, how they say it, and how they move. I'll pay close attention to what triggers them emotionally, positive or negative, and how they react to situations. I'll put myself inside their heads, getting a feel for what they are thinking. I need to know all of this if I'm going to invoke them, because part of invocation is identification. I want to become the character as best as possible.
For some people, pop culture invocation will involve getting the costume of the character and certainly that can work, but what I do is focus on movement and voice. How does this character move? How do they speak? If I can get their movement down and speak the way they would, I've already established a muscle memory I can use when invoking the character. For example, if I work with a stealthy character then, I want to be able move in a stealthy manner. I'll observe how the character moves...does s/he stay out of sight, stick to the sides, or is s/he in plain site, but unobstrusive?
I think part of an invocation is identity. Can I let my identity go and take on the identity of another being? To take on the identity of another necessarily involves shifting everything about yourself into the identity you'll become. Method acting is used by actors for that purpose, but magicians can also use it for invocation. When I invoke a pop culture character I am embodying that character in my movements, words, actions, everything I do, and also everything I am.
What the character says is also important. Does the character use big words or say very little? Is the character funny or serious? Does the character laugh and if so how does the character laugh? The laugh of Joker is very different from the laugh of Rumplestiltzkin. You might not think this is important, but its all part of the identity you are establishing. You become the character when you do what the character does.
After the invocation is done and the pop culture character has done what it needs to do, there's also the question of getting back to you. If you are wearing a costume, you could just take the costume off. If you aren't, then what you need is some other way to get out of character. What I do is use a specific anchor (an NLP technique where you use a gesture of some sorts to create a specific frame of conscious reference). In my case, the anchor is cracking my fingers. When I'm the character I won't crack them, but when I'm ready to come back, I crack them and I'm back.
How do you approach invocation of pop culture characters? What do you do to get into the role and change your identity? What do you do to get out of role and become yourself again?
Book Review: The Functions of Role-Playing Games by Sarah Lynne Bowman
In this book, the author shares her research and experiences with role playing games and explores how such games can be used to explore different identities. I found this to be an intriguing exploration of role-playing games and how people use them to explore their identities as well as how they are used by society in general for problem solving. The author does an excellent job of showing the breadth of role-playing games, and the various uses they are put to. This is an excellent book to read to understand identity alteration and how the assumption of different roles allows people to explore who they are in relationship to the characters they create and become. The author also provides some useful insights via Jungian theory on archetypes and identity that can be helpful for understanding the psychology of role playing games.