Summer is almost over, which means that things are going to start picking back up in our industry! If you took the summer months to step away from your training, it might be a good idea to start kicking some of that rust off! Today’s area of focus is going to be cold reads.
But before we get started here, I would like to take this time to mention that we have a new class schedule for our students which includes more classes for less money. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
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…Alright, one shameless plug is enough. Let’s get started-
Proper cold read technique is important, especially in a market dominated by commercial gigs. There are plenty of commercial scripts online that you can print off and use. Or, if you are feeling ambitious, you can write your own commercial copy! Use a camera (or a device such as a computer or phone that has a camera) and tape yourself. Start by giving your slate and then dive right into that copy!
A few things to look for when you play your videos back:
Make sure you are holding the script in such a way that it does not cover your face. Conversely, make sure you are not holding the script so far from your face that it forces you to look completely away from the camera.
Natural Body Language and Speech Pattern
How did you come across in your video when you played it back? Was your body language relaxed and was your speech conversational? Or did you look and sound like a sales robot. If the latter is true, think of a person or place that brings you comfort. See the image of that person or place on the fourth wall and speak the lines from that place of calm.
Once you have nailed down the relaxation piece, you will want to take your emotional work to the next level. What emotion are you trying to evoke in the viewer? Say the emotion is love; who is a person from your life that you talk to lovingly? Or that you want to feel loved by? Deliver the lines as if they were standing across from you in place of the camera.
Voice and Diction
It doesn’t matter how lovingly you deliver those words if no one can hear or understand you. It is always advised that you do some breathing exercises and vocal warmups before audition or performance. I am compiling a list of my personal favorites which will be presented to you in blog form in the near future!
…Of course, this is just scratching the surface of cold read technique. I recommend that all of my students do this for at least 10-15 minutes each day with different commercials. Over time, you will be able to pick up any commercial copy (no matter how information dense it is) and read it with ease.
Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to share on social media if you found this to be helpful!
Chase Christy -Dearing Acting Studio