All the World's a Stage is brought to you by David Bowers every Sunday evening, investigating the explorative performance art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.
For a long time now I've wanted to write an introductory guide on how to get started as a roleplayer. After all, roleplaying is something a lot of people would like to try, but really don't know how to begin. The problem with getting started is that various misconceived assumptions may sometimes block us from trying and dampen our enthusiasm. In the particular case of roleplaying, these mistaken assumptions might be along the lines of: "Roleplaying is lying to people about who you are," and "roleplaying is something weird people do," and "roleplaying is a waste of time for noobs." To the contrary, we have seen in previous articles that roleplaying is actually an exploration of who you are, a way to understand and connect with other people, and, in fact, a variant on things perfectly normal people do all the time anyway.
So now -- where to actually begin? Certainly there is no perfect way to begin as a roleplayer, so today I'll outline three basic steps, which you can try and see if they work for you. I would be particularly interested in feedback from people who try out this method as first time roleplayers: if you do try it and have a great time, please come back and tell us about it; or if you try and something doesn't work, come back and tell us what went wrong. It's been a long time since I was a beginning roleplayer, and though I'll do my best to plot a path into this hobby, I only got to be a beginner once! Perhaps other beginning roleplayers will also share their experiences below, and you can see which path suits you best.