View Full Version : Table Reads
09-08-2009, 09:34 PM
Hey, I've been invited to attend a table read for an upcoming comedy show. I was wondering what to expect. Have any of you attended table readings? If so, what happened during them? Were guests asked to give their opinion after its done? Were guests expected to laugh heartily at the jokes? Are snacks provided? :)
09-08-2009, 09:57 PM
Are snacks provided? :)
The truly vital question! :D
I haven't been to a table read, but I've been to a couple of staged readings. Opinions were not solicited. Laughs in the right places were entirely appropriate.
Hopefully someone who can actually answer the question will chime in now. I just had to get in a smart-aleck response about the snacks. :p
09-08-2009, 11:47 PM
As an actor, I've done several table reads for features and TV. Even when they suck, they're still pretty cool... unless they REALLY SUCK.
If you're reading a role, you'll get the script ahead of time and study it, read your part aloud, etc.
If you're attending, you're the studio audience. They want to see if you like the characters and dialogue, and get the jokes. Do yourself and the writers a favor and be honest in the Q&A afterwards.
And they should serve food and drinks at the end.
Hopefully, it'll be good.
09-09-2009, 04:00 PM
@MeeMee: Are you reading or an audience member? Either way, have fun!
I've never been to a table reading, but I've always wondered who decides a script is ready to go for one. Is it the studio, the marketing company, the casting folks...or do writers just get a bunch of buddies together to read and hand flyers out on the Venice Boardwalk to get an audience?
09-09-2009, 06:53 PM
Never, ever go unless a good craft service table is provided.
I have made this a firm rule--and it's worked out nicely.
At a table read, the talking-heads sit down and cold-read the parts.
Actually, they've probably read the material beforehand, but not memorized it.
Your dialogue will come alive--or fall completely flat.
They will sing your praises or strip off your insignias of rank and drum you out of the room.
It can be a good and bad thing.
You will see the holes in your material right off the bat.
Years ago I had some material read by Gregory Peck--just cold reading.
And this old dude could make Ikea instructions sound like "To Kill A Mockingbird."
If depends upon your actors.
If you got some real good professionals they can make stuff work and find a voice and things when there is little there--or more than you ever thought.
If you got some real good material--you won't believe what will happen.
If you got a bunch of donkeys, its a crap-shoot.
Just sit there and be prepared to take lots of notes.
Listen, listen, listen--and when a clunker comes along, you'll know it.
Then you can go back and fix it.
09-09-2009, 09:57 PM
So you all are saying there will be food?
:D Just kidding! Thanks, everyone for your insight! (I can just imagine Gregory Peck doing a reading. It must have brought chills up your spine to hear him speak your words! I'm so envious!)
I'll just be attending as an audience member for now - a guest of a guest. (Hopefully one day I'll have the privilege of sweating bullets as the actors read my lines out loud!) I'm really looking forward to the experience. I'll keep you posted if anything outrageous happens!
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