Firmin Firmin


My name is Firmin Jean-Bourdeaxleuf Firmin. I do not know my father. I am not aware of any siblings. My mother died from the flu when I was twelve, at which point I had to make a life for myself. It was difficult, but my mother prepared me well, knowing that one day I would have to fend for myself, for she had been sick for the last seven years of her life. I fortunately managed to acquire a job in a seminary doing laundry, where I was given a place to sleep and food to eat. I absolutely detested cleaning the clothes of the priests and monks. Over time, the seminary fell to pieces, so I had to search for new employment. In Montecarlo I found a job working for the gautier family. I started working in the kitchens and in the laundry, and gradually worked myself up through determination and efficiency. When the two girls moved to Paris, I was sent with them, to be their chief servant, which I have done for the last seven years. Years of being in charge have led to complacency, and I have allowed myself to sometimes slip into the absurdity of the household. I now refuse to deal with clothes, because it reminds me of the days when I struggled for my life, washing the clothes of the old dirty monks and priests. In the scene where I must pick up Lucette's clothes, I am already upset just having to touch them, and that Emile catches me dealing with them makes me all the more enraged and upset.
I have difficulty reading large amounts of text but I enjoy newspapers and magazines, just to look at the pictures and to be surrounded by things of intelligence
I dress with precision; I am orderly, even though no one else seems to be
I do not practice religion; I hate those monks
Coming from low backgrounds in laundromats, I fed of gossip to learn about others. I still carry the same affinity for gathering dirt.
Read Lucette and Marceline's pages. You all should agree.
We all agree now. I think. At least out loud. Maybe not on the site.


I walk with a rigid torso and stiff legs, holding my head completely still. It seems as if I am gliding across whatever surface I am walking on, not making much noise. Where do you lead from? From my feet


Subdued in nature. Never too loud or high, but slower and more measured, with a deeper quality. Never increased in tempo because I do not get flustered


No accent. Proper tone. Rounded vowels and sharp consonants for perfect articulation


Marceline - my best friend in the group. She helped me get to where I am now. I try to teach her things about life as she is still young and seems to have difficulty comporting herself in company. We sometimes read together or play games to amuse ourselves when there are boring guests around

Lucette - I often want to smack Lucette around, but I cannot, because she is my employer. I am as polite and proper as possible, but share no connection of friendship or love with her. I find her obnoxiously full of herself, and I often feel trapped having to smile and say things under my breath or in sarcasm, which she can't understand for the life of her.

Chenneviette - Love/hate relationship. He causes chaos, and it makes me angry, but he is so much better than Bois D'Enghien and we do have a good time observing the craziness of the others.

Bois D'Enghien - arrogant and insane. I want to get him very far away from me. I do become on his side when I am trying to make his marriage with Viviane work.

Fontanet - he is a nice man, and I like him the best of visitors because he is the most normal. However he is best at a distance

General - He gives the best prestige to the family, and I do want him to marry Lucette in the long run. However, I am seeing his personality, and I am enjoying the chaos he causes in Emile's house, but I am having second thoughts about him in my house, especially given his servant

Antonio - I want to defeat Antonio. He is a rival servant. He picked me up, and though I refuse to show how upset I was, I very much was.

Emile - I must destroy him. Now.

Mdm Duverger - She is the pinacle of classy, and I must impress her, no matter what.

Bouzin - get him out of my house. street rat. and rude. I have only disdain for him.

Moment Before: I just completed by daily stretches and zen focus exercises to prepare myself for another day of insanity.
Moment After: I go home to reexamine my own station as a servant, and try to repair my wounded pride.

I identify well with penguins. My rigid posture and style of walking with feet first match those of a penguin. The emperor penguin is the one I like best, because emperor has the connotation of being in charge.

Daily Routine:

6 am - I wake up immediately at 6 every morning, not a moment sooner, not a moment later. I take 7 minutes and 30 seconds to dress, which I do impeccably. I make sure my own quarters are in perfect condition. I begin my morning duties; I review the schedules of Lucette and Marceline, which I commit to memory in under 4 seconds. I check with all the other servants, making sure everything is coordinated (menus, meal times, cleaning timing, among others). Marceline is normally awake during all of this (I do not know why, Lucette takes forever to get out of bed, even when she isn't pouting). She always asks about the menu and when we will eat, and loiters around the kitchen, if only to smell the scents of breakfast.

Until 9 - After I complete my morning duties with extreme precision and efficiency, I use the hour or so I have remaining to attend to my inner chi. I begin my first of many exercises throughout the day of zen focus and release of chi energy throughout my body to achieve peace.
How did Firmin learn about the inner chi? A wise monk once passed through and taught Firmin. I think a bit of research is warranted.

9 am - Breakfast. For Marceline at least. Lucette has a habit of showing up late. Once both sisters arrive, I recite whatever information they need to know about their days. I never relay superfluous information. I only say things once. Until Marceline gets distracted because of her food. And then I have to repeat myself.

Morning - As the upper classes of the city wake up, I deal with the lower classes, who awaken earlier. Before noon, any business of repairs, cleaning or delivery occur in the house. I chastise those who arrive late, or ruin my flow in any way.

1:30 pm - Lunch. Often the most social part of the day. All sorts of guests come through, mostly members of Lucette's middle-ish class. Many of them are dumb as doornails. I don't like them.

Afternoon - Any guests of importance come through at this time. Although, most days no one comes. Except for Chevy. He comes all the time. Or Bois D'Enghien. He used to come often. I accompany Marceline if she wants to go on an adventure into the city, and I try to insert a visit to a museum or monument or something educational for her. However, we often end up just in a park watching birds fly or something else inane.

Evening - The city awakens. Lucette must depart for her job. I am happy. Marcline sometimes goes, sometimes stays behind. If she stays behind she can eat dinner at the house. If not, I essentially am free for a few hours, as I get to go with the two of them to another house where my duties are much less strenuous. I get to meet other servants, who I generally like. Except for this one servant Emile. I have heard bad things about this man. If I ever meet him, which is unlikely because Lucette is not nearly as high class as Emile's employer, I will surely let him have it.

Night - I take care of the family on the way home, and urge them to go to sleep so I can as well. I circle the house, ensuring that all doors are locked and everything is put away. Then I go to sleep.

TODAY: Lucette has conveniently delayed my whole routine by a few hours. She is ruining my flow. I dislike her. There are an inordinate amount of visitors today. It is an especially frenetic day, with all the delays and comings and goings over these flaky upper class folk. And to top it all, we have a scandal of Herculean proportions.

Rehearsal Choice Assessment:

My character becomes real pretty much only when I am walking like him. I have to shift priority to make sure that first my character is real, and then make other choices. Sometimes I get distracted by lines or stage business and lose my focus on my walk, and then I break character. But as long as I stand like Firmin, then I can talk more like him and be him always.

Props and Clothes

Watch - I love precision and attention to detail. I need my watch in order to survive
Chess board - It is my intellectual haven.
Shirt - I only own three.
Pants - I had to sew these myself. I hate acting like a maid.
Coat - My prized possession. My chi master gave it to me after I showed proficiency in the art of chi.

Character Diary

6 am - Wake up. Morning chores. Preparation of breakfast, overseeing of cleaning, menu, organization, etc.
9 am - Breakfast (in theory). Instead Lucette is being spoiled again in her room.
11:45 - Marceline is complaining again. Like always. But I find out that Mr Bois D'Enghien is in her room (SCANDAL!!).
12:00 - Chenneviette arrives. Right on the nose. Like every day. And of course he is staying for lunch. I know. It happens regularly.
12:10 - Nini arrives. A little early today. She is normally one to be VERY fashionably late. It must be because she is so thrilled to relate the news of her engagement.
12:15 - Fontanet arrives. Normal time for him. He likes to be a little past noon, because he has status, but not too late, because he is too polite.
All throughout this time, Bois D'Enghien is acting a little funny. Putting newspapers in his shirt. If those had gotten on the ground, he would have been a dead man. Lucky for him they didn't. But honestly, he creating unnecessary confusion, and making a scene. Luckily no one important was there.
12:30 - Madame Duverger arrives. Surprising to see someone so classy on a day like this. Good thing Bois D'Enghien and Chenneviette are in the other room. I don't think she'd like them much. She seemed to not be so thrilled with me, just because I gave her bad news. But I tried to be as professional and polite as possible.
12:35 - Bouzin marches in. Why? Because he thinks he's special. Newsflash: He's not. Clownman. I was polite enough to him. I mean, I could have been nicer, but did he deserve it? No. I feel at peace with my decision.
12:40 - I gave Bouzin his song back. He was very upset. I tried to help him. I gave him a nice offer, but he stormed out angrily. What, did he expect me to treat him as an equal? In that awful suit? Not a chance. I showed Madame Duverger out after we agreed that she could come back later in the afternoon. It felt awesome to make her come back later. It made Lucette seem important, which then makes me important. Success.
12:45 - Bouzin came back. And everyone wanted to see him. I did not understand at first, but I learned later that they thought he gave Lucette that nice ring. What a joke. They are so stupid sometimes.

Performance Recap


Objective - Remember everything I have to do, especially that Madame Duverger is in the dining room, not the kitchen.
On Thursday, I missed the timing on two lines, but those lines were right in the aftermath of the couch moving incident. Starting off the show with a miscue like that just kinda slowed the show down for me, giving it a strange, calming energy that almost lulled me into a daze in the first twenty minutes. But I found myself backstage during Bois D'Enghien and Lucette's first big scene together, and I decided to experiment and walk out on stage, something I'd wanted to do all along but kept forgetting. The audience's positive feedback so far, even during moments that I thought were not so great, gave me the confidence to try something new and luckily it worked out. The same thing happened during act two, as I took a new approach to my fight with Emile, endowing myself with more status that I had before, which allowed for a fresh cause and effect circle.


Objective- Build on Thursday. I realized that I had discovered a lot about my character just the night before in doing some things for the first time, and I wanted to keep it going. Almost disappointed that everything was running smoothly, I found a challenge in act two, when Olivia changed up the timing on the dress throwing scene. I found myself in a different place than I normally was at a different time. I was reaching for a dress that Siri was holding, but every time I went one way to get it, she turned to the other side. Eventually she just threw it in my general direction, and I couldn't quite catch it. I ended up kicking the dress across the stage in anger. I realized that I was actually a little angry in that second, which meant that I had impulsively acted like Firmin would, if only for that one second.


Objective- Cement everything I'd done so far. I had a paralyzing fear that I would look back Sunday on to this performance and realize what I'd done wrong. I wanted so badly to end the play on a high that I actually was nervous before the show. I almost feel like I overcommitted, focusing too much on the little things, becoming almost obsessive to the point of distraction. I kept the moments that I felt like the audience responded to the most, and tried to cut things that I felt were unnecessary to my character.


1. I would have nailed my physicality and voice earlier on, because the voice I settled for was not the voice I wanted, but it was the one I managed to build by the time the show opened. I found infinitely more opportunities on stage when my physicality was working for me, and I can only imagine how many more I would have found with a better voice.
2. Next time I would have incorporated a sarcastic attitude right away, instead of discovering it on Monday night before the show.
3. I wish I'd known that precision and focus from each character make the show good. I kept interpreting Firmin as a fluid presence, but he needs to have a distinct personality; just being there does not suffice.
4. Very good during the last two weeks. The first six or eight, only average. Everything in class though was good commitment.
5. I felt like I took some substantial risks by changing things up on the night of the show. I think I took adequate risks for my character.
6. Out of rehearsal work was very hit or miss. I really tried with the building the life and personality of the character stuff, but some things, like the inspiration one, I did not really see value for, and did not do as thoroughly as possible.
7. Journal should be complete.
8. Growth came from experience. Next time I am in a full blown production like this one, I will be more prepared. I felt pressed towards the end because I had not paced myself well throughout the year, doing work in bunches and not all along. But now I know the flow of a production a little better, and I feel accomplished in the area of creating a character through specific physical characteristics and repetitive actions, to the point of incorporating their mental framework into my own.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License