Q: I would love to be a reader at auditions. I’ve heard it really opens up your mind and can help your auditions in the future. I always thought readers were staff members behind the scenes helping with the production; is there a way to become a reader and not be working on the project? If so, how do I get into it? —@merylstreaking, Backstage Community Forums
You are 100 percent correct: Being a reader can be an invaluable lesson in what to do and what not to do in an audition. Seeing the same scenes played over and over by many different actors can illuminate the reasons why some auditions stand out and others get put in the category of “That’s fine—next!”
The only way to get on a casting director’s reader list is to ask to be on it. If you have representation, ask them to contact the casting offices that they have good relationships with to see if they can enlist you as a reader. If you’re unrepresented, just put out the word with people in the business. Make everyone you know and meet, from your fellow actor friends to the casting director who brings you in, aware that you’re interested in becoming a reader.
Being a reader is fun, very educational, and relatively stress-free, since you aren’t the one in front of the camera! But remember to take the job seriously. You have a responsibility to be prepared and present for your fellow actors, just as you want the reader to be there for you when you’re the one auditioning.
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This story originally appeared in the July 11 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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