Still, I am an actor playing a part. My job is to suspend the disbelief of the other people in the room. And because so many different kinds of people die (all of them, in fact), I need to take on a number of different characters. That's where it gets tricky. My background story needs to be effective and convincing, while simultaneously including valid reasons I would never have seen anybody at this funeral before. The family is often very helpful with this, but I have to do a lot of the study on my own. One time, I needed to learn some archery, because I was supposed to arrive as a deceased archery teacher's former protege, and there was a chance I'd actually have to fire off arrows.
Remember, socializing is a key part of mourning. We have to mingle with the crowd and play the part; that's why we're there. Most actors don't have a lot of experience interacting with their audience and improvising in character. Still, if you do enough character study, you end up knowing more about the deceased than some people who were truly close to them. I once sat next to an acquaintance of the deceased, in character as a former co-worker. I brought up a couple of funny stories and somehow slipped the deceased's middle name. This guy had known him pretty well, but had no clue what his middle name was.