Table Reads have been popping up everywhere lately, from popular film and screenwriting festivals to the iconic TableReadMyScreenplay.com contest to monthly writing groups across the country. Even Quentin Tarantino held a live table read of “The Hateful Eight” months before he started shooting.
Table Reads can be intimidating to many screenwriters, and there are plenty of excuses you might use to talk yourself out of hosting one.
But a Table Read can be immensely helpful as you craft and edit your screenplay – so we’re busting five of the most common Table Read myths to help you break through those obstacles and host a great Table Read for your screenplay!
Myth #1: It’s not ready.
Still need to prune 10 pages from Act 2?
Stalled out trying to solve that problem with the dead guy in the final scene?
Schedule a table-read – there’s nothing like setting a date on the calendar to MAKE you ready, knowing that 15 of your closest friends are coming over to read your screenplay three weeks from Saturday!
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Myth #2: I already know my script inside and out, so there’s no point to a Table Read.
That’s EXACTLY the point!
If you’ve been slaving over your work for months, you’re too close to it. You’ll be amazed how much you learn from hearing your screenplay out loud for the first time.
Myth #3: I don’t think anyone would show up; and if they did, they probably wouldn’t like it.
The screenwriting life can be isolated and lonely, but that’s exactly the reason you should celebrate when you finally write “FADE OUT.” You spent months or even years lovingly crafting this fantastic story to share with the world. A Table Read will help you get that sharing started!
If you’re worried about your screenplay’s reception, it helps to fill the room with good food and friends that like each other. Then it becomes a fun party at which you also do a table-read, vs. A MAJOR TABLE READ OF MY BIG IMPORTANT SCREENPLAY.
Myth #4: It’s expensive to print out all those paper copies, not to mention highlighting everyone’s parts!
That’s where ScriptLadder comes in!
You don’t have to print anything because the scripts are on tablets and laptops, and all the parts are automatically highlighted for each actor on his or her own device.
Myth #5: I have a lot of characters; it would be too hard to cast the parts.
ScriptLadder to the rescue! Our SmartCast™ tool lets you cast characters automatically, by hand, or in any combination.
Got a script with 40 speaking parts but only 10 of your 15 actors show up? No problem! Cast the two main parts exclusively to two actors, and let ScriptLadder automatically split the rest among the other actors in seconds.
Ready to host a Table Read for your screenplay? Click here to download a FREE worksheet with our 10 best tips to host a wildly successful Table Read event!