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  • 6 Dialogue Traps to Avoid in Audition Sides

    When I watch auditions and an actor hits a line with trained intensity and force, I see the words on the page. I can visualize what the writer has written—because the actor is trying to emulate the writer’s words and not create a realistic character.
    And especially if there is an exclamation point at the end of the line!
    Actors enter the audition space to deliver an exacting, faithful rendition of the words and punctuation on the page. But you must use the sides as a vehicle to communicate a character, and not simply as words on a page.
    It is like an artist striving for photo realism in an oil painting. Where is the individuality? You have forsaken the individuality of your version of the character, in preference, for punctuation perfection.
    So as a guide, here are some of the big traps that you will find in sides.
    1. Lines with exclamation points. Actors think an exclamation point means volume. No. It can mean, in varying degrees, indignation, surprise, astonishment. If you choose volume, then you are painting by numbers.
    2. Lines that suggest EMPHASIS by having a WORD in CAPS. This communicates meaning. It is a guide to understand the character’s intent. Not that you should RAISE YOUR VOICE at this

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