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Posted by admin, January 22, 2014 5:50 pm

The moment before is a very important part of a good audition. Film and television scenes often cut into the middle of a conversation.  The scene before is older man laying in a hospital bed and the next scene his daughter crying. We don’t see that character die but we can deduce what happened based on the editing.  But it’s up to the actor, in this case the daughter, to create the moment before.

Audition sides cut into the action and the actor must answer the Question #1,  bullet point #3 – What is the moment before?

99% of the time the answer to what happened the moment before can be found in the script. But in a cold reading panic, actors go to MSU – Make Stuff Up University. Train yourself to read the script, find the clues, before you MSU, so that you can make a specific choice.

Correct script analysis is important because the moment before can change the entire intention of the scene. Did she just kiss him or slap him?  Dialogue that follows either of the latter moments can be very similar, but the intention will be different.  The Casting Director will know what the moment before is.  If you make it up and miss what is written in the script, it will show the CD a lack of training and experience.

The moment before is very important in a commercial audition. Commercials are so short and they need what my directing teacher called a “Pre-Life.” A moment before creates that feeling of “life” before the scene.

Michael Caine suggests relaxing into the scene.  Many actors take a full breath  – in and out – before they start the scene and then they say their first line.  Instead, relax into the scene, breathe in then say your first line or take your first action.

Try it. See what happens, then comment below and let other actors know how your moment before helped your audition.

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If you’re an actor or know someone who is, feel free to share this article with those you believe could benefit from it. Thank you.

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