How to Ace a Cold Reading

Never a fun part of any audition, nailing a cold reading, which is a script you haven't prepared, could help land you a plum role.


Up next in How to Be an Actor (30 videos)

Attention, aspiring actors and actresses! Break into show business with the tips in these Howcast video.

You Will Need

  • Confidence
  • A pencil
  • Conviction
  • Perseverance


  1. Step 1

    Be relaxed and confident

    Relax and be confident. When handed your script, take a deep breath and start preparing.

  2. Step 2

    Break down the scene

    Break down the scene by figuring out where it takes place, what your character was doing the moment before, your relationship to the other characters, and what your character is feeling.

  3. Step 3

    Establish intention

    Establish what your character wants in the scene. Use action verbs and pencil-in notes in the script.

  4. Step 4

    Make strong choices

    Make a strong choice about your character's action, even if you're not sure it's the right one. Act with conviction.

  5. Channel your audition anxiety and use that nervous energy in your performance.

  6. Step 5

    Don’t rush

    Take your time and don't rush through your lines. Follow any suggestions from the director.

  7. Hold your script at chest level.

  8. Step 6


    If you have a scene partner, listen to and interact with them. Make eye contact at the beginning and end of thoughts.

  9. Step 7

    Persistence is key

    Persevere. The more auditions you have, the better your odds of landing that one choice role.

  10. The famous Hollywood sign originally read ''Hollywoodland'' to advertise a new housing development.