FEST Academy Workshop: Acting the Cold Reading

FEST, like many other theater groups, uses cold readings* at its auditions and call backs to cast shows. Building upon the guideposts provided by Michael Shurtleff in his book “Audition”, you’ll have the opportunity to discover, explore and practice his timeless and essential tips for delivering a stronger performance during the cold reading process. Note that ALL of these guideposts are relevant for acting in general, not just at the cold reading. This course will take place on 10 Monday evenings during the months of March, April and May. (see dates below)

* A cold reading is an audition process where you’re given copies of a short scene and asked to prepare it with one or more other auditionees. The scene is often, but not always, taken from the play to be produced.

Every evening will consist of four parts:
a) Reflection, input and discussion (on the first day of class, this will be replaced with introductions of the participants and the course itself (30 minutes)
b) Explanation of the guidepost(s) covered that day (15-30 minutes)
c) Private exploration of the scene with scene partner(s) (15 minutes)
d) Public exploration of the scene: presentation and feedback (75-100 minutes)

Guideposts and Days
1) Relationships
2) What Are You Fighting For? Conflict
3) The Moment Before
4) Humor
5) Opposites
6) Discoveries
7) Communication and Competition
8) Importance
9) Find the Events (Day 9)
10) Place (Day 9)
11) Game Playing and Role Playing (Day 10)
12) Mysteries and Secrets (Day 10)

After that day’s guidepost has been explained, with examples, the participants will be given a scene with one or more partners. The scene partners will be asked to read the scene with an eye toward that day’s guidepost(s) and all the guideposts that have been taught before that time.
As homework, you’ll be asked to read the following guidepost in the book. This assignment is the subject of the reflection and discussion at the start of each subsequent class.

Jim Phetterplace, Jr.

Please sign up to take part in the course by e-mailing to [email protected]. The course will take place with a minimum of 6 participants and a maximum of 12 participants.

March: 9, 16, 23, 30
April: 6, 20, 27
May: 4, 11, 18

7 pm to 9:30 pm

Frankfurt, details TBA

Cost: 125 euro (12.5 € à 10 course dates)
You’ll also be required to order the book, which is available online (and as an e-book) and can be ordered through your favorite brick-and-mortar bookseller. It costs anywhere from 8€ to 20 €. Michael Shurtleff “Audition”, ISBN 978-0802772404.