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To all you awesome actors:

princessbellprincessbell Registered User Posts: 2,079 Senior Member
edited September 2006 in Musical Theater Major
I'm in high school, and I'm trying out for my school play this week. I've never been good at cold readings, because I always pick some bad part to read and it's too short a time to get a feel for the role. I'm going to a thespian honor society cold reading help class on tuesday, but that's really all the prep I'm going to have before auditions on thurs and fri. I am really hoping to make it this time. My school is huge, and the play is definetely more serious than the musical. I'm not the greatest actress, but I do put a lot of effort and passion into plays when I do them. I went to Shakespeare camp for 3 weeks over the summer,and learned a lot of awesome things, but I don't really think Shakespearean acting can really compare at all to regular theater. Please give tips!! I'd really appreciate it.
Post edited by princessbell on

Replies to: To all you awesome actors:

  • WallyWorldWallyWorld - Posts: 255 Junior Member

    I love your honesty and your heart. My D has struggled with cold reading also. Its one thing to have professionally trained actors cold read but HS students or even college students doing cold reading is a lame proposition to us. My D has similar issues with improv. There are many different versions of improv yet the slapstick silly stuff just has no correlation to acting for her. Acting takes thought and preparation. We know dancers, musicians and singers and many good actors have way more prep time than they do. Taking a craft that is so reliant on preparation (and talent) and basing casting decisions for students on impromptu is disappointing.

    How to overcome it? You have to cold read every day (out loud, to yourself or family or the dog, etc). Maybe its only two minutes, but every day. Watch people who cold read well in auditions and notice the acting choices they are able to make. Not the stupid, weird, look at me stuff but the subtle stuff that shows they are comfortable doing a reading. One of the greatest lessons in life is turning your weakness into your strength. Be determined to be the best cold reader on the planet. Its not like your four feet tall and want to play in the NBA.. you just need to put in the time. :)
  • mikenthemaddog66mikenthemaddog66 Registered User Posts: 2,680 Senior Member
    Now as an improver, I disagree with the above post. Just do something, make it big, make them want to watch you.

    That whole "whats my motivation" is crap. Just do it. If it doesn't work, firgure out why and make it better.
  • typecastme22typecastme22 Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    As my old drama teacher used to say, big bold choice. Decide what you want the character to be and just go with it. Don't think about if it's right or wrong. Make them know that you have talent and that you have something to work with. Don't worry about "is this right for the character? would the character really do this?" Go out there and give it your all. Don't hold back.

    But, also be sure to listen to your scene partner in the cold reading and react appropriately to what they are saying. Don't anticipate the next line, pretend like you are hearing what they are saying for the first time and let the most honest, natural reaction come out.

    I find that when I remember these two things, my cold readings work for the better. Break a leg!
  • princessbellprincessbell Registered User Posts: 2,079 Senior Member
    Update: I made the play!!!! I'm an Oompa Loopah. (You guessed it, Charlie and the Chocolate factory)

    About 150 people tried out, and only 40-60 made it. (lol, about 60% are oompa loopahs) I was nervous, but I read really loud (almost ridiculously so) and clearly and was moving around like an ADHD kid on drugs. I decided to make the narrator (the part I was told to read) a spastic psycho, and i had a great time up on the stage by myself rolling around. I messed up (A LOT) and the teacher cut me off REALLY early compared to everyone else. I was stressed all weekend long, thinking I'd over done it. But I guess they liked me because I'M IN THE PLAY!!!!!!!!!
    thanks for all the advice.
  • WallyWorldWallyWorld - Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Hey, congatulations!

    My D was an oompa loopha in a production years ago and had a blast with it.

    Have fun! :)
  • TheatreJockTheatreJock Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    congrats princess bell on your role..doop-a-dee-doo
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