You live in LA, you’re scouring Google and Yelp for references on Los Angeles’ top acting classes, and you want to know which will be the best for you. There are countless options, but the right fit comes down to your professional goals and personal tastes. While there may be several studios that offer classes that seem appealing, the structure and curriculum differences can often be confusing.
We want to clarify one of the biggest misnomers when it comes to acting classes – the difference between cold reading and scene study.
First, let’s define both to establish a fundamental understanding of each.
Cold reading by definition is: reading aloud from a script or other text with little or no rehearsal, practice or study in advance.
Scene study by definition is: a technique used to teach acting. One or more actors perform a dramatic scene and are then offered feedback from teachers, classmates, or each other.
Many students are misled when it comes to enrolling in classes, because the two are often used interchangeably, which is inaccurate. The fact is, cold reading and scene study are drastically different, and prepare students for work in different ways.
In professional auditions, whether they are for theater, film or television, casting directors will provide actors with their lines at least a day prior to auditions. This is where scene study is most valuable. Having the training to analyze, interpret and explore characters and scenes, actors can confidently prepare for their auditions, by utilizing the technique developed within their classes.
Cold reading however, is more off-the-cuff, which isn’t grounded in a replicable process. It is more of an anti-acting approach. While cold reading does give actors the preparation to handle more impromptu auditions, in professional settings most casting directors want repeatable work, which is often expected in a callback.
The idea of owning your character and owning your scene comes from having a step-by-step process that you apply to your roles. This is developed through consistent training and preparedness, which are the fundamentals of scene study.
So as you scour the Internet for classes, and you book your audits, be clear on what your professional goals are, and how different program will help you achieve them.
Because knowing the cold truth, will make the difference in your career success.
Contributed by Berg Studios