For you as an actor, table reading is a great tool to get used to your acting partner and to test your chemistry. Table readings also most importantly give the producers a sense whether the scene/dialogue works or not.
What is this “table reading” and how does it work? Read on to find out 🙂
With little or no practice at all, the actors find themselves together (mostly at a table) and read aloud the scenes. Dependend on how familiar you are with the scene, you can put more or less expression into your lines. Before, the writers of the scenes have only heard the lines in their heads with their own voices. It makes a huge difference when heard aloud. If in an early stage of production, changes in the scenes and dialogues can be taken into consideration after the reading.
Another term used in the acting world whose meaning is similar but which is used differently, is cold reading:
These readings usually take place at auditions. The actor gets a text that they don’t know and are asked to speak the lines aloud with as much vocal and also facial expression as possible. Cold reads can be practiced in a really good way when preparing for auditions: Just pick scenes that you don’t know and start to read aloud after shortly outlining the scene to yourself.
These tools are really fun, if you are in a new group of actors, try it out — it gives you a great sense of acting chemistry between one another and improves your adaption to new scenes!
-your tiny woman in a giant world