sight reading

  • (Me in an orchestra first-read-through where the conductor is going fast)
  • Me: OH GOD
  • Me: SIXTEENTH RUNS, OH
  • Me: OH THERE THEY WENT, I JUST LOST COUNT
  • Me: WHERE AM I
  • Me: JUST WATCH THE FIRST CHAIR'S BOWINGS
  • Me: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
  • Me: I'M STILL LOST
  • Me: LONG TONES, OH FOUND IT
  • Me:
  • Me:
  • Me: LOST AGAIN
  • Conductor: Come on guys I know you can do better than that.

Love and First Sight: Chapter One

Vice Principal Larry Johnston extends his hand.

To clarify: I don’t see this. I hear the swish of his shirtsleeve.

“Nice to meet you, William.”

The fabric sound plays again&emdash;the hand retracting.

“I’m sorry, I guess you can’t do that now, can you? You probably want to feel my face?”

He grabs my arm and smacks my palm against his cheek, knocking me off balance so I have to step into the musk of his aftershave.

“Where do you normally start? Eyes? Nose? Mouth?”

He shifts my fingers across the front of his face with each suggestion. His skin is rough and pockmarked, like the outside of an orange.

“No, actually, I don’t do that,” I say, pulling my hand away. “I identify people based on their voices.”

“And…also…” I add. I can’t resist. “Yes?” he asks, all eager to please.

“Well, I don’t usually touch faces, but I am gifted with a heightened sense of smell that allows me to recognize a person’s pheromones, which are concentrated just below the ear, so if you wouldn’t mind … ?”

I touch my pointer finger to my nose.

His excitement drops. “Oh…you want to…smell… my ear?”

Keep reading

My Top Tips for Cold Reading ~

So, it’s a common scenario: you’re in an audition, either having been asked to prepare a monologue/song or having been told to prepare nothing - the casting director hands you a script and says “We’d like to see how you handle sight-reading this script, we’ll give you five minutes outside to look over it and then we’ll ask you to come back in and deliver the scene to us.” The panic, dread and downright terror that comes alongside the prospect of cold-reading a piece of text to an audition panel is a common sensation that most actors are all too familiar with. So, what is cold reading? It is when you’re handed a piece of script that you haven’t prepared (and so do not know off-by-heart) and most likely have never seen before. It can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, so I’ve come up with some of my top tips to help make the process easier for you:

🎭 READ IT AT LEAST TWICE. Yes, read the entire thing from beginning to end at least twice before you even start considering character and vocals/physicality etc. This will familiarise you with the text so it will come more naturally to you in a few minutes’ time when you have to perform it to the audition panel. This will also help you to resist the temptation to look down at the script the whole time, which can really inhibit your acting.

🎭It might help to read the text out loud once to get a sense of how the words feel as you say them

🎭if it’s a duologue or a bigger scene, I can’t stress enough how important it is to read the other characters’ parts too! DO NOT just read your character’s lines as this will stop you from getting an overall impression of the scene, not only in terms of cues, but also the dynamics you need to playing upon

🎭Don’t keep your face glued to the page when you’re back in the audition room. Even if this means you have to take the text at a slower pace, at least the panel will be able to see your face and it gives the impression of confidence. 

🎭 Don’t let the fact that it is an unseen text stop you from using your physicality during the audition. It’s impossible for you to have fully developed a character in the five minutes of prep time, but the panel will appreciate an evident effort to think about how the character might move (the same goes for vocal quality/tone). It is still an acting audition after all.

🎭 Following on from the last point, focus on the acting as opposed to getting all of the words 100% correct, especially if you struggle with reading. The panel are much more interested and receptive to seeing someone get some of the text wrong but who really brings the character to life as opposed to someone who reads completely fluently and accurately but with no vocal or physical personality

***POTENTIAL, NOT PERFECTION***

Cold reading may seem daunting but, at the end of the day, it’s just text on some paper and it’s not a crafty trap laid down by the audition panel to catch you out and humiliate you - it’s merely another method of assessing your suitability for the part. I hope these tips helped and put your mind at ease! x