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  • Taking the Chill Out of the Cold Read

    There are cold reads as they exist in acting class and there are cold reads as they exist in first-project productions (student films and novice production companies). Then there are cold reads as they exist in the professional arena of the industry. 
    The first two are rushed with often unrealistic expectations marked by a shoddy understanding of the business. The latter refers to a legitimate/professional cold read: When a casting director, producer, director, or writer hands you a piece of text (audition sides or on-set revisions) and says, “We would love to see what you can do with this material. Please take 10–20 minutes—in your own space—to prepare the piece. It’s a given that you won’t be memorized. The only difference between a fully prepared audition and a winning cold read is that your lines are not memorized. 
    Somehow, certain acting teachers and low-budget productions have gotten the idea that they can hand actors some sides, say “take five minutes” (which can end up to be more like two) and expect to see a decent performance. This is akin to an emergency room doctor walking up to an unconscious patient and the nurse turning to him/her, and saying, “Go

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