Acting Cold Reading

Acting - Cold Reading
In regular theater an​ actor may prepare a​ monologue that he has spent many hours memorizing, for a​ part that he will also perform at​ every audition .​
He's spent a​ lot of​ time on this and has perfected his art and delivery .​
When going for an​ audition he is​ quite comfortable with his prepared lines .​
However, in​ a​ film or​ commercial audition the actor is​ expected to​ perform a​ script given to​ him that he has never seen before .​
This is​ when the art of​ cold reading is​ very important and can be a​ life saver.
The technical definition of​ cold reading is​ the auditioning for a​ part with a​ script in​ hand, one the actor has never seen .​
The profession says that the actor is​ supposed to​ be given the script at​ least 24 hours before the audition but all too often this just doesn't happen .​
This is​ why cold reading is​ so important to​ actors who work in​ film or​ commercials.
So, how do you learn to​ cold read? Brute force .​
Pick up a​ script, read the first line, commit it​ to​ memory and then say the line without looking at​ the script .​
You've just done your first cold reading .​
At first you may only be able to​ memorize a​ few words at​ a​ time, but with a​ little practice you'll soon be memorizing several lines at​ a​ time .​
Being an​ actor is​ kind of​ like being an​ athlete .​
The more you work at​ it​ the better you'll get .​
After you feel comfortable doing cold reading by yourself try it​ with another actor .​
This is​ when it​ gets fun.
When you're at​ your audition it's very tempting to​ try to​ sneak a​ peak at​ your next line while the other actor is​ doing his lines .​
Don't do this .​
How you listen to​ your fellow actor is​ just as​ important as​ speaking your lines .​
Wait until it's time for you to​ respond and then look at​ your next line .​
Memorize as​ much of​ your line as​ you can in​ a​ few seconds .​
Then make eye contact with your partner and say your next line.
If you've got more to​ memorize than you can with just a​ glance, repeat the process until you have the line memorized .​
But keep your face out of​ your script .​
Never read your lines while looking at​ your script .​
This is​ a​ sure way to​ blow the audition .​
Make sure you stay in​ character while reading your lines.
When you're actually at​ your audition even if​ you don't get the script until you get there, try to​ read the script in​ its entirety at​ once and remember as​ much of​ it​ as​ you can .​
This way you'll at​ least have some idea what the scene is​ about, who the characters are and how the conversation should go .​
If you have more time try to​ memorize the first and last lines .​
This will give you a​ strong start and finish, which is​ what the person auditioning you will remember the most.
When holding your script, hold with your left hand if​ right handed and at​ chest level .​
Never have your head buried in​ the script .​
Don't wave the script around like it​ is​ a​ prop .​
Make believe it​ is​ just a​ natural extension of​ your body .​
The less attention you draw to​ the script itself the better.
A cold reading goes much slower and feels a​ lot more awkward than a​ normal reading .​
This is​ normal and there is​ no need to​ worry about it .​
The casting director knows this is​ the first time you've seen the script .​
He is​ more interested in​ what kind of​ personality you have as​ the character.
Sadly, you may be the greatest actor in​ the world, but without being able to​ cold read well you aren't going to​ get many parts as​ you'll never get past the first audition .​
So include cold reading in​ your training .​
You'll find you'll get more parts because of​ it.

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