Last night was really cool. At my semi-monthly writers’ group meeting (we’re known as The Recommended), we had a table read for the first act of my screenplay, and one other.
Professional actors were invited to participate, and some truly talented individuals came by to bring our characters to life.
I’ve been in other groups before, and have had my scripts read aloud by my fellow screenwriters, but having professional actors perform your script is an entirely different experience.
Some great things I discovered:
- There’s real professionalism at play here. Even though they didn’t have to, these actors reviewed the scripts ahead of time, and gave careful consideration to the characters.
- An actor’s take on a character may be something completely different than what you had in mind, yet powerful and equally valid. It gives you a new way of seeing your character and another possible direction to go in.
- Some actors will nail your character so precisely, that you’ll walk away having difficulty distinguishing the two in your head afterwards.
- Some line readings will be different than what you had envisioned — and by different, I mean better.
- Lines or jokes that fall flat, force you to ask yourself whether it was the delivery, or the writing (hint: it’s usually the writing).
- Actors give great feedback on the writing itself! They’ve all read a lot of scripts, and have an innate sense of what works and what doesn’t.
- Make sure the narrator (the one who reads the action lines, scene headings, etc.) that you utilize for your script is an eloquent reader. Otherwise the end result will be something decidedly less than it could have been.
- Actors are way better looking and charismatic than my usual crowd. I definitely need to expand my circle of friends.
The best part of this experience was that all of the actors really enjoyed my script! A wonderful validation for all the hard work.
If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area and would like to submit a 15 page sample to see if you qualify to join our group, please contact me for more information. We’d love to have you.
Be forewarned: Our panel will review your submission to make sure it demonstrates an advanced level of screenwriting. Many more screenwriters are turned away than make the cut.
There is no charge for submitting (but for the love of all things holy, please don’t waste our time if you’re brand new to screenwriting). No notes will be given.
If you’re in the greater L.A. area and would like to gain valuable table read experience, or cold read practice, in a fun, supportive atmosphere, let me know!
Want me to read your screenplay? Please take a look at my script services.