Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to deal with "sides."

I have an audition coming up next week and one of the things I do to prepare is to create my own version of the sides. 

Unless we have only a line or two, we always want to have the sides in our hand while we audition. I know it seems like we will look better if we don't hold them, there are at least two reasons for holding them. First, we absolutely do not want to forget a line and have to break our audition to find the sides and get our place. This is far more unprofessional than holding the sides. 

The second reason is that as much as we want to look like we have the part ready to go, that can work against us - especially if we're reading for a play. Unless, you're stepping into a role at the last minute, you are going to have several weeks of rehearsals, and you don't want to look like you have everything down pact and that audition is your final performance. 

Of course, with a commercial it's no problem because they'll have the copy hanging somewhere near the camera. 

However, if we do have to glance at our sides, we want to be able to find our place, and grab a line very quickly. Below is a copy of what I do to make sure my lines (the character of Bill) pop out at me if I have to glance at the sides. 

First off I condense the sides. That means I get rid of the stuff I don't need. Like the other person's actions (unless they affect my character), then I edit out the cue lines of the other characters, getting rid of the other character's dialogue except for their last line of two before my next line. You should have all the motivation stuff done already, so you don't need to get that from the lines during the audition.

Then I put everything in 12 pt font (I like Verdana), except for my lines which I put in 14 pt bold font. As you can see from the copy above, my lines really pop out when I need to grab them fast. To me, this is more important than covering the page with notes about when to move my arm, or what emotion to have on some particular line.



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