Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's Hear It

Writing can be a lonely practice. Just you and your words - spinning around your brain, swirling onto the page, then back into your head. Stare at the same words for too long and you're liable to go crazy.

That's why live staged readings can be a valuable tool for writers. If you're stuck or just unsure about how something is working, hearing a script read out loud by actors can give you the fresh perspective you need to move it forward.

It doesn't have to be complicated - just get a bunch of actors together and read your script around your dinner table. You'll catch typos and missed words immediately as well as hear where the dialogue rings false or the action lags.

Actors can also give you great feedback on how characters are coming together and where they come across authentically. Or not. Invaluable feedback - all for the cost of some pizzas and salad.

Yesterday, I participated as an actor in two such live readings of screenplays in progress. The first was for my friend Kimberly-Rose Wolter, who gathered a few friends to read a revised version of her screenplay Knots, which she actually already produced into a feature. Yup, that's her in the lead role too:

She was brushing the script up to use as a writing sample and got terrific feedback from the group. I read the role of the uptight, pregnant middle sister who doesn't believe in swearing. Fun!

In the evening, I head over to Little Tokyo to read pages from five amazing screenplays - all written by members of UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting. I was lucky to be included among an Asian-American all-star lineup - Randall Park, Tamlyn Tomita, Clyde Kusatsu, Roger Fan, Beverly Sotelo, and Daniel Blinkoff. (Okay, that last guy was white, but he was still awesome.)

Also a wonderful evening of staged readings that was hopefully valuable for the students. I had a blast reading alongside actors I've admired for years. I can't wait to see these scripts hit The Black List next year!

Another good idea for luring actors to read your scripts out loud - cupcakes from Porto's:

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I just did a stage reading last night of the play "No Exit" with my acting teacher. It was a blast, and Alan Brody said "Terrific!".