What is an Audition Reader?
Who, in an audition, plays the other characters in the scene?
(By Tonya Tannenbaum)
(Photo: Vanilla Bear Films | Unsplash)
An audition reader is the person in an audition who reads the lines of the other character, for an audition piece that contains more than one speaking role.
The reader can be anyone, from the casting director, to the casting assistant, to another working actor or, in the case of self-tape auditions, the reader can be a family member or friend of the actor who is auditioning.
Breaking it down
When a casting director sends out sides for an actor to learn and perform for an upcoming audition, the lines can often be performed by one actor – the actor who was chosen for the audition. In this case, there is a large block of text – a monologue – that can be performed by only one actor.
But what happens when the audition sides are a dialogue, which requires more than one actor? That’s where a reader comes in. While the actor who is auditioning performs their lines during the audition, the reader reads the lines of the other character or characters in the scene.
The reader gives the actor who is auditioning someone to play off of and react to; someone to create a real scene with. The reader helps give the scene timing, energy and pace, which would not be possible if the actor read the scene alone.
A reader can literally be anyone. There are no real requirements, beyond the ability to read. For in-person auditions, the reader is often another actor who is helping the casting director.
The reader can sometimes be the casting director, themselves, or an assistant.
The reader can sometimes be the casting director, themselves. An assistant to the casting director can also play the role of the reader.
Self-tape auditions have become extraordinarily popular in recent times. Actors doing self-tapes have to find their own readers for auditions that require two or more actors.
In this case, actors can enlist their friends and/or family members to be readers. There are also websites and apps where actors can recruit other actors whom they do not know to be readers during an audition.
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