Table Read

Monday, 5 September 2016

So this weekend I was an actor performing as part of the Table Read at The London Screenwriters Festival and I wanted to share with you what I have learnt from it.

This is the third year I have done it and every year I love it more and more. Firstly let me tell you about it. So the London Screenwriters Festival is a yearly event where screenwriters from across the world get together work on their scripts, pitch ideas to executives, attend talks from published scriptwriters and get to see their work performed. This last bit is where I come in as an actor.

A day or so before the festival, I was sent a schedule and all the scripts I needed plus a short brief about each one. It is then my job to sit in a room with other actors, a director and the writer in question and read through the script taking it from a table read up to a relaxed performance. Reading the scripts through initially we then start to add feedback and perform them changing staging and if necessary, lines. This is all aimed to help the writer improve their work and develop their script so it’s perfect to pitch to studios and executives later.

So why have I done it three years I hear you ask (or maybe that was the weird voice in my head). Well, firstly it is like a free class. I get to flex my acting muscles and attack roles that I would most likely not be suitable for in the real world. This weekend I played a fat 60-year-old Indian man in one of the scripts.

Secondly everyone is so lovely, it’s a huge creative environment where people are willing to learn from each other, collaborate, and strive to get better.

And thirdly well it is a massive networking event. It has made me get better and better at networking and speaking to other industry professionals. The directors I have met I am all still in touch with and highly praise them. And the writers have taught me that you might like a choice but handing it to someone else and getting a second opinion is invaluable, as this is the key to development.

What I take away each year from this festival is that everyone in the industry is working to connect and better him or herself. You can’t be that actor that sits at home and waits for their agent to submit them for a job, endlessly waiting for the phone to ring. While you are sat at home directors are out talking to writers to find new scripts to take on. Producers are talking to directors about new projects and hundreds of actors are networking and getting seen by the next generation of directors and writers.

I have had a number of jobs come of the festival alone and would highly recommend it to anyone. Be that actor that goes out and does what ever you can to get seen and meet people. You never know who that person will become.

Check The London Screenwriters Festival out here.


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