How Can You Become an Audition Reader?

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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.

READ: Why Every Actor Should Be an Audition 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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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Marci Phillips
Marci is the Executive Director of Casting for the ABC Entertainment Group. She is the head of the New York office and is responsible for covering the entire East Coast talent pool for all ABC Studio shows and most of the pilots made for the ABC Television Network
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