How much time do you spend searching for acting class material? Are you giving yourself enough time to fully read the script and find content that challenges you?
If you're still waiting until the last minute to find scripts, then be sure to read my post How to Always Have Scenes Ready for Acting Class. That post will teach you how to make reading scripts part of your regular routine.
In this post, I'll teach you how to quickly scan a script to see if it's actually worth your time to read the entire thing.
By the way, rehearsing or memorizing scripts should be part of your daily life as a working actor.
But first, you need to find scripts, and you need to quickly decide which ones are worth your time. I hate reading an entire script only to find that there isn't any usable scene work for me.
1. TYPE TITLES INTO IMDB
My acting coach always tells us not to watch another performance of a scene before we put it up in class. It's too easy to allow someone else's choices to infect our choices.
When you're trying to quickly find scripts to read, however, it's a good idea to start with titles you already know but maybe haven't seen in a while. Whenever you hear about good movies or plays that you haven't seen, add those to a running list of scripts to research later.
Let's breakdown that research process now:
2. PICK MATCHING CHARACTERS
Please be realistic about which characters you can play. If you're young, don't try to play someone's grandma. If you're in a scene with two females, don't pick a father/daughter scene and "try to make it work."
These characters will be written in certain way to denote the relationship between the two characters, so it will be obvious this script wasn't written for you. Plus, finding characters that fit your profile will help you work on material that you're most likely to get cast for, which will be highly beneficial to you in auditions.
Run through the top-billed cast on each of the IMDb pages to see which characters fit your general description. Eliminate scripts that don't have a good match.
We're only looking for top-billed roles because these characters have more lines, thus helping us to avoid scenes that are too short for class.
3. SEARCH SCRIPT WITH "FIND"
Here's where the magic happens, baby!
Steps to quickly scanning scripts:
I like searching for scenes with supporting characters whenever possible because they won't show up in the script as frequently as the leads, which will allow you to scan the script faster. The leads are typically on every page.
Use the Find feature under Edit to quickly search
for a specific word on a page, like a character's name.
Save yourself time in the future and take these next two steps:
Go ahead and practice the process right now with the first few titles that pop into your brain. Going through the motions now will help you research faster in the future.
Speaking of acting class, have you ever written your acting coach a really meaningful thank you card? I promise you that learning the art of writing a very personalized thank you card is going to change the trajectory of your career.
Think about what it feels like to be someone on the other side of the camera in this business constantly having actors saying, "Me, me, me!" Not you, Actor Boss! I want you to be an actor that's a breath of fresh air that people love to see coming because you've learned how to be interested versus interesting.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'm a screen actor and certified goals coach focused on helping other screen actors that are not yet a household name achieve their most urgent goal.