I’m Five Years Old, Going On Six – Idea Stimulator

This stimulator helps people remember their past. It frees up a plethora of forgotten emotions. It is also useful in giving direction to your actors or models. Give them what you know about your character and ask them to go back and create the characters past using this method. Or use it yourself while creating characters for lifestyle images. Begin at the age of five and continue into your teens. Start by saying, “I’m five years old, and I…” filling in the blanks from that age until you run dry and cannot remember anything else. Then move on to the next age. Stay in the present tense: “I am telling a joke” not “I told a joke.” The following is an edited transcript from my own exercise:

I am five years old and I am sitting on the front porch. I am surrounded by comicbooks, coloring books and crayons. I am lost in a fantasy world. It is Sunday and I am waiting for the relatives to arrive. I hope they bring me presents. I am filled with anticipation…

I am five years old and I am in kindergarten. My teacher’s name is Miss Ada. She is fat. She likes to hug me. I love her. She asks me to tell her a joke. I tell her the one about what do you get when you goose a ghost. She makes me tell it to the other teachers. I make them laugh. I feel good. I am  five years old and my Great-Grand Father dies. The firemen carry him out of the house. I am scared. I don’t want him to go. He is gray. I am scared. I want him to stay alive..

I am five years old and I hear doors slamming. I want to disappear… I am five years old and we are expecting another baby. I am confused… I am five years old and I can hear my Grandmother’s footsteps upstairs. I wonder what she is doing. She’s getting ready to make me breakfast. I am angry. She won’t let me have a dog. I am sad…

I am five years old and am waiting for the wooden station wagon to pick me up. I go to Camp Bell. I don’t like it there. They want me to play games. I want to read. I feel left out… I am five years old and my Grandmother takes me to see Bambi. I am scared. I am crying. A news reel comes on and it’s about the war. I have bad dreams about it…

I am six years old and I am waiting for Mommy to come home from the hospital. I have a new brother. I am a man now. I don’t want to be. I have to be extra good. I have to help around the house. Dust the woodwork. I am lonely… I am six years old and the war is over. There are sirens and everyone is drunk. My baby brother is crying. I am outside. I am riding on my tricycle. It is red and has a chain.  I am going very fast. I fall off and skin my knees. I am crying.  I can’t get anyone to notice. I am invisible…

I am six years old and want to be an artist when I grow up. I love to draw comic books. I can read big books too. I am the best reader in my class. Mrs. Nichols lets me read to the class. I am important… I am six years old and I have dog. He has floppy ears. His name is Puddy. I love him… I am six years old and they take Puddy away. I don’t know why. They lie to me. I am sad. I am crying….