- Research the Project - Is it an adaption of a book, comic book, play? Is it a remake of a different film? What kind of projects has the writer, director, producers worked on?
- Read the Entirety of Your Sides - This is crucial before performing the lines or even viewing anything from your character’s perspective. Read the full script if it’s available to you. It’s important to understand the story before creating any character choices.
- Look at the Page Number - This will be located in the upper right hand corner of your sides. If there’s a page number it will help indicate where your character is in the story. If it’s page 30 of a feature script, you can know you’re about a third of the way into the film so your character is at a different place then if it was page 100 at the end of the script. There isn’t always a page number but it’s a good clue to look for every time.
- Contextualize Unknown Places or Words - Are there any words or places you need to look up to learn more about? How about pronunciation? Luckily you are able to look up most of these things online. Is there a city you are unfamiliar with? A different language in the character’s world? (ex: Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings/etc.) Take notes of what you’re able to research. When you show up to the audition the casting will most likely have the phonetics on the wall to help you pronounce the words that may have been difficult to find online.
Now you can begin your scene breakdown. At this time you should have a good idea on how to approach the script and can start the character and emotional work of the scene now.