Acting Scripts For Practice
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
How do you use acting scripts to practice acting? Anytime you perform a scene you are working on your skills. Even if you pick up script and read a character by yourself, you can learn and grow. You can experiment with different characters, moods and timing. These techniques help you explore a role and discover what works best.
However another way to use acting scripts to practice is to use them as a simulated cold read audition. This is were you must read for role without having prior knowledge of the character. It is common have a scene handed to you for the first time at an audition. You are given a few minutes, may be ten, to go over the scene. Then you are asked to perform on of the characters in that script.
The few minutes before performing should be spent analyzing the scene. What do each of the characters want? What is the conflict? What is the relationship of the characters? What were each of them doing before the scene begins? These are the types of questions that force to to make choices about your character. Strong choices about your chacarcter stand out. You want your cold read to be different from all the others. At the same time, you want to adhere to the dialogue and direction the writer is providing.
To practice cold reading, start with a script you either don't know or haven't looked at in some time. Limit yourself to ten minutes with an alarm clock or other device. Then begin reading and anaylzing the scene. Doing the analysis of the script gets easier with experience. Everytime you either do a cold read or simulate the same circumstances, you get better at acting.
After the ten minutes, give your cold read as if it were an audition.
If you want, then start the process over using another character from the script. This is especially interesting if you are practicing with a partner. Your partner may interpret the scebe differently or perform in the dialogue differently. By watching them perform the role. you may get ideas for character or a new direction to explore.
And you can always extend your time. After you complete the simulatedcold read, go back a do analysis without a time limit. What worked for you doing the cold read? Try to take ideas further. Or what didn't work? Change the timing, moood or other elements until you like the result.