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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Four Reasons to Stop Hating Cold Reads

There are lots of voice over actors out there who will tell you that cold reads are the worst thing ever. And sometimes, they’re right. Not having a chance to review a script in advance can lead to some awkward situations, or even a disastrous read. However, there are times when cold reads are actually sort of a blessing.  Here’s why:

1.    No pre-game jitters. Sure, you’re probably going to be a bit nervous when someone hands you a script you’ve never seen and says “Go,” but luckily, there’s not much time for you to psych yourself out. With a cold read, you get the copy and you start reading. There are no hours or days beforehand to scrutinize the script or fret over which words to emphasize - you just go with it.

2.    Sometimes you do your best work when you’re under pressure. Having no time to prepare can certainly make you feel under pressure, but many people excel in these situations. Voice actors are used to pressure - it’s just part of the job - and you may be surprised that these are the moments when you do your best work.

3.    You have the opportunity to let your personality shine through. When you’re doing a cold read, you have the chance to really show who you are and let your unique personality come through in the read. In fact, you sort of have to because that’s all you have to go by. You’re not as likely to do this when you have ample time to study a script, and this isn’t always a good thing. Your personality is part of  your brand, after all.

4.    It’s a great way to hone your skills. Cold reads are a wonderful opportunity for you to practice and improve your reading skills. There are going to be plenty of times when you’re handed a script with not much notice, and you’ll be glad for any previous experience with cold readings. 

Yes, this is all related to LIVE studio sessions which seem to be a rarity these days.
However, you can apply this thinking to those auditions you do on-line or for agents or other
audition opportunities that come up. Sometimes, over thinking can be detrimental to a good audition. Kind of like realizing that the first or second take out of several recorded was really the best. There's something to be said for spontaneity. 

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