Lately I’ve been striving to build up my cold reading skills. Cold reading is one of the most dreadful aspects of acting. Sure if you hand us a script in advance, we can do wonders, but handing us one that we’ve never seen before? With only moments to scan it over? That’s a whole ‘nother ball game.
My technique teacher would always tell us to practice our cold reading. Practice,practice, practice. But when I would go to practice I wasn’t sure how to measure my growth or performance, and I found that I wasn’t sure as to how to do it. I looked through many different blogs and articles that only seemed to touch at the surface and most obvious. I even called up Acting with Skylar but didn’t receive much help. Do I try to memorize? Should I be looking at the script? What exactly are the auditors looking for?
I didn’t take an audition class, so I figured the next best thing was to find a book on the subject. So I went to Borders scanned the drama section and found Audition. This is a GREAT book! I’ve just got it and haven’t put it down yet. It’s so informative and breaks down everything you need to know about readings.
This books value is timeless in that it’s not only a very useful-mandatory even- guide for actors, but even more for people in general. There are numerous musings in the book that can be applied to various areas in life but I found one piece in particular that made a great point. In the prologue, the author writes in the second to final paragraph:
Human beings, fortunately, don’t operate out of reason(for if they did, no one would become an actor). What motivates human beings are their dreams. Dreams of love, dreams of fulfillment, dreams of success, dreams of beauty and power. It’s what we wish would happen that makes us do everything we do.
How true is that?
We all know that tomorrow is never promised and that we can die at any moment.We also know that the only time we have is now, the present.Yet, most our actions are based on what we wish would happen, what we expect to happen, dreams, what we hope for. It’s what the future is made of.
During the cold war people were hopeless. They avoided having children, starting businesses, buying homes and even going to college because of the possibility of a full-fledged war breaking out.
But the war never happened. They gave into hopelessness
At times, when I’m in a stressful position it’s usually because I’m resisting what I expect to happen instead of accepting the possibility. Yet, if you remember that you’ve got to have hope you can’t go wrong. You can’t be hopeless. Even as an actor, or someone being recently laid off due to the recession, you’ve gotta have hope.