Acting Scene Analysis And Cold Readings

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Acting scene analysis and cold readings might seem like opposite fields of study. Analyzing a scene is often a luxurious, lengthy process. The first week of rehearsal is often devoted to sitting around the table, pencils in hand, discussing the script. Cold readings, on the other hand, are immediate. Decisions usually come straight from the gut, and actors are required to fully commit to their first choices.

However, on closer examination, acting scene analysis and cold readings are not nearly as different as they may first appear. Both acting scene analysis and cold readings are about making decisions. Analysis might be slow and cold readings quick, but in each case, the actor is deciding who his character is, how he fits into the arc and theme of the scene, what he wants, and so on.

Learning Acting Scene Analysis and Cold Readings

In fact, many actors improve their cold reading skills by taking acting classes for scene analysis. The better they are able to break down a script, the quicker they are able to break down a script. In fact, many actors who want to improve their skills cold reading for sit coms and soap operas do so by regularly analyzing classic scripts. Who knew studying Shakespeare could help you get a gig on All My Children?

Scenes provide a limited view of a character. They don't provide actors with much of their character's back story. If you want to know the name of your character's first grade teacher or his favorite food or his first sexual experience, you're usually going to have to make it up. But most of the time, if you want to learn what your character wants, what he is scared of, and what he thinks about the other characters in the scene, all you have to do is analyze the script in your hand.


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