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About Cold-Reading Workshops and Showcases


It is important to be clear about the purpose of cold reading workshops. They are a proven effective form of training and practice for auditions; and they are an unparalleled opportunity for networking with other actors as well as with professionals. Cold Reading Workshops are not auditions. In accordance with the California Labor Board Guidelines, the following is a statement that is signed by each workshop participant upon registration at each cold reading workshop at TAG Studio Worksops and is read aloud as well:

"This is not a job interview or audition.

I understand that the presence of a casting director is absolutely not a guarantee or promise of employment.

I further understand that the intent of this class is solely educational."

TAG Studio offers cold reading workshops usually led by casting professionals  or agents actively working in TV, Film and/or in multimedia productions. The various guests offer perspective to actors in an open forum. TAG Studios also offers on-going acting classes and 8-week on camera audition classes.

The workshops open with an introduction by the Industry Guest in a relaxed atmosphere with up to 24 actors in attendance. There is a Question and Answer period where those in attendance have the unique opportunity to appropriately ask what they want to know about the process within that office with that Industry Guest, or about other Industry-related things. Headshots and resumes may be reviewed plus topics such as:

  • Audition techniques

  • The business of acting

  • Office etiquette

  • Demystifying the audition process

  • How casting procedures differ between pilots, features, episodics, etc.

  • Advice on seeking representation

  • General industry trends in casting

  • The new trend of the taped auditions

  • The change in the industry due to online casting sites

The Industry Guests may give out scenes or "sides" to the actors in attendance from scripts consistent with what her/his office casts but not from projects that have not yet been cast.  After s/he has studied the pictures and resumes submitted by the actors in attendance "Sides" provided are given out and  Following a 10-15 minute preparation time, the scenes are performed, usually in pairs designated by the Industry Guests, or may be read one on one with the Industry Guests.  The Industry Guests will give constructive feedback and may redirect individual actors. The actors in attendance are the audience for each reading. A cold reading workshop usually lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours, but it is entirely up to the Industry Guest.

Cold-reading workshops provide these benefits:

  • Practice and perfecting cold reading skills with an industry professional who will give you feedback and direction to perfect your audition skills.

  • Insight into the process of  casting and with the different levels of approvals from network, studio, writer and director by someone involved in it daily. 

  • Learning what Industry Guests look for in auditions specific to individual offices, and in general

  • Networking with and being supported by other actors

Sarah Benoit_edited.jpg

Penny's cold reading workshops at The Actors Group have been a mainstay for me for many years.  She brings in stellar professionals, who give wonderful insights into their particular areas of the business, which is extremely valuable.  The quality of the actors in the group is high, which makes for stimulating, worthwhile classes.  The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive, thanks to Penny's leadership and generosity of spirit.  It is a pleasure to recommend her and The Actors Group Cold Reading Workshop. 

dawn grabowski.jpg

I love taking classes at TAG. I always learn something new. Every person that comes to TAG shares their insights about the business. It's a fun, and safe environment in which to explore the Cold Reading Scenes. Even on a day where I'm exhausted, I am always glad that I pushed through to go the TAG workshop. I am Never disappointed. I'm so happy to be a part of a Community of Actors

Britt Lind_edited.jpg

The atmosphere in The Actors Group workshops has the feeling of friends getting together to help and encourage each other regarding both their careers and life in general. You feel the warmth enfold you as soon as you walk in. There are coffee and snacks and conversation until the casting director is introduced, then a member of the group will read a disclaimer that makes it clear that we are there to learn and grow as actors by performing scenes. The casting director tells us something about herself or himself, there is a brief question and answer period and then we are handed out scenes appropriate for our type. We have about 15 minutes to work on them with another actor, then do the scenes for the casting director who might redirect if he or she would like to see another approach. Penny oversees it all with her usual casual, no nonsense approach, giving appreciation and consideration to everyone who attends the workshops.

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