By: Thought Admiral Kethas epetai-Rustadzh
"It is not enough to look like a Klingon. One must act like one!"
-Cdr. Worf, DS9
Many of us play the game, but not the part. As Klingons, we are proud, strong, stubborn, honorable warriors. And those are just some of the more popular aspects of a Klingon. Playing a Klingon is much harder than one would think... It took me fourteen years to develop my character thus far, and I'm still improving it.
While some of the simpler explanations on how to act Klingon would have to put a rock in your boot, or rub salt in an open wound. That just gives a short outward appearance of pain. I don't suggest that to anyone, unless you're into that sort of thing... And even then... It's not much fun when you add fifty or so pounds of battle armor and make up on top of that.
I could sit here and tell you about different aspects and attributes of a Klingon, but it wouldn't mean anything. It's something that you need to take to heart. Not the anger and battle lust, that will just come naturally, given the motives... To act Klingon is rather hard to explain, and I admit that when I started writing this I thought it would guide you all to creating a persona that fits your style... But instead, it is more of a philosophy. Above and beyond the costumes and games.
There is a book that I will recommend to you all, "The Klingon Way" by Marc Okrand. In it there are many phrases and pseudo-philosophical explanations of the phrases. I've found, at least in my own life, that there are certain phrases that hold a special meaning to situations I have come across. When you read the book, try to reflect on situations that you've been in for each phrase.
I won't bore you with my own attitudes to life, but I will share some of the aspects that come to mind. For example: "Only a fool fights in a burning house," To me this is a simple way of choosing your battles (personal interests or situations) wisely (looking before leaping). Or another example: "Ten thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man." If one is motivated enough anything (project, problem, or life-goal) can be dealt with (One can accomplish anything as long as they put their mind to it).
The basics of a "Klingon attitude" begin with three words. Duty, Honor, Loyalty.
Duty to ones Country, Service, Family, Friends, and finally self. Duty can mean a great many things beyond that as well... Rather hard to pinpoint.
Honor. Honor is described in Webster's Dictionary as:
"1.) Honesty, fairness, or integrity in ones beliefs and actions: A code of honor.
2.) A source of credit or distinction: To be an honor to ones country.
3.) High respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in great honor."
It goes on through 23 other descriptions; all meaning a different but linked thing, which is rather hard to describe. I can go on for hours about Honor, Personal Integrity, and the like. But to generalize such a thing would lose the point. Honor is a hard thing to find in people these days. Just look in the papers, you'll read about people lying, cheating and stealing. Not everyone is like that; just hard to find the ones that hold honor to a higher level. I promised some of you I wouldn't get preachy about this so I'll move on.
Loyalty. Being loyal can be just as hard as being honorable. We all know that "Sometimes doing the right thing, ain't doing the right thing." Again, it leaves a lot for personal interpretation. Webster's Dictionary describes it as "a feeling of faithfulness and allegiance."
To act Klingon is more than merely putting on a costume and running around a con in search of feddies and tribbles to stomp. That's just the game. But acting Klingon is more of a way of life.