Audition Preparation and Script Analysis
Breaking down a script for a project or an audition can be a daunting task for beginners. It requires refining your acting technique in order to create realistic characters and to serve the story you are telling.
To get started, it’s a good idea to answer a few simple questions, listed below, that will help you discover the truth behind the words and create full, rich moments.
Truly knowing what your characters are talking about and why your characters need to do what they are doing will bring urgency, life, and reality to the scene. Each moment and choice must be specific. Give this process 100% of your energy and you will uncover clear and unique choices.
Once you have broken down your script and are ready to rehearse with other actors, be sure to stay present and open, moment by moment, and actively listen to the other actors. Truthfully connecting to other actors in the scene is the key to organic authentic human behavior.
Audition Preparation & Script Analysis I: Begin by answering these questions:
- Who – Who is the character? What are their beliefs, philosophy, and career? You are going to use your voice, body, and truth to discover and create each character you play.
- What – What is going on in the scene? What are the circumstances? What does your character want? What is your character doing?
- Where – Where is the scene taking place? Be very specific about the place that the scene occurs. What are your surroundings?
- When – When is the scene happening?
- Why – Why is your character performing the actions in the scene?
Audition Preparation & Script Analysis II: Add more specificity by integrating the following:
- Overall Objective/Needs/Desires– The overall objective has to do with what the character wants and needs in life. Their deepest desires.
- Scene Objective- The scene objective has to do with what the character wants in the scene.
- Actions/Intentions/Goals- The action steps the character takes to get what they want.
- Unit- A unit is a large segment of the script that may contain smaller “beats.” Units change when a major action happens in the story.
- Beat– A beat is a smaller action or thought that changes when new thoughts or actions arise.
- Emotional Life- The emotions the character feels throughout each scene.
- Moment Before– The events that just happened before the scene starts.
- Activities– Activities involve handling props or doing things like getting dressed, tying your shoes, eating, playing a game.
- Commit to Activities– You must really do any activity your character is engaged in.
- Present Moment Awareness– Always stay connected to the present moment. Truly listen “moment to moment.”
- Use all of your senses– Acting demands that you use your total body and senses to stay present. That means, see, feel, hear, smell, taste.
- Stay true and spontaneous– Acting requires the actor to be open to every emotion and feeling that spontaneously comes up in a scene. Be available to your acting partners.
- Obstacles– Internal and external blocks that get in the way of the character’s ability to accomplish their needs or desires.
- Back Story– The back story is the character’s personal history built by the key facts and phases in the script.
For tips on actor self-taping best practices see our recent Blog Post