Hey artistic warriors! Hope you’re all having a great weekend!
I had an opportunity to act in a table read for an exciting and powerful feature film. I was asked to be in it by the writer of the film. He and I met at the Richard Lawson Studios two years ago and we kept in touch by sharing our artistic endeavors with each other. Plus, he had seen my work as an actor and liked it. He mentioned at the table read that he hand-selected each of us because he knew what we would bring to the characters.
And although I can’t talk about the storyline of the feature film, what I will talk about is the process I employed for the table read. First of all, the scripts would only be available at the table read, so none of us had the opportunity to read it and work on our characters beforehand. We were only emailed our character names and their breakdowns. So essentially, this was a cold reading! Which I thrive on!
Based on my character’s breakdown, I came dressed as the character. I decided to wear something “hip nerdy” and I wore non-prescription glasses. When I took my assigned seat at the table, I literally had five minutes to find my scenes and read through them. On the first read through of my scenes, I just read them in order to gather the facts that the writer was giving to me. What’s going on? What’s happening?
When I finished the first read through, I went back and created a quick history for my character. Then, I created a moment before and then I began reading through my scenes again. I allowed myself to be open and present so that my instincts and impulses could come through. As subtext and thoughts popped into my head, I wrote them down on the margins of the pages. I didn’t question myself, I didn’t flinch, I didn’t critique. I honored my impulses. When I finished the second read through of my scenes, I closed the script and let it go. I didn’t do any more read throughs.
A minute later, the table read began. I connected with my other scene partner and found moments where I was impinged by him and where I impinged him. I allowed myself to have a moment of real reflective delay when he delivered some bad news to me and I allowed myself to have an experience.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and the writer loved and appreciated what we all brought to the table read. We had a quick Q&A afterwards and he shared with us his upcoming plans for the film.
Until next time! Have a great artistic week!