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Glenn Alterman's Secrets to Successful Cold Readings (Career Development) (Career Development Series) [Paperback]

Glenn Alterman
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Book Description

September 30, 2007 1575255669 978-1575255668 1
10 Ways To Get The Most Out of This Book 1. This book is written for the actor who is familiar with cold-reading skills as well as the actor who is just learning how to develop those skills. To get the most out of this book, I suggest that you don't read the book from cover to cover. 2. I think you should first read "48 Basic Requirements for All Cold Readings" and "25 Technical Rules for All Cold Readings." These chapters lay the foundation for all the chapters that follow. 3. Next, look through the contents and see what stands out for you--those areas that interest you. For instance, if you're presently auditioning exclusively for commercials, you may want to go to that chapter next, followed by the chapter where I interviewed TV commercial casting directors. If you're primarily a theater, TV, and film actor, go to those chapters first, and don't forget to read the casting director interviews that follow. 4. After you've read through the chapters that interest you most, I suggest that you then read through the entire book, taking notes or highlighting those things that you find may apply to your career. 5. Pay particular attention to the analysis sections. I believe you'll find these sections especially helpful and informative. Learning how to analyze a script in a short period of time and make personalized choices is key to all auditions. 6. Once you've started practicing the cold-reading advice in this book at auditions, see how you're doing. If you'd like to improve, refer to the appropriate chapters and exercises. 7. If you have some auditions coming up for daytime television or film, you may want to reread the chapters with interviews of casting directors before going to those auditions. I've interviewed the top casting directors in those fields. 8. Once you've finished reading the book, put the information you've learned into practical use. Go out there, audition, and see if your cold-reading and auditioning skills have improved. This is not a theoretical book; it's a practical one. The goal is to help actors get jobs. 9. Don't feel you need to apply every rule in this book. Depending on where you are in your acting career, some guidelines may not be pertinent to the way you work. If something you've learned before reading this book regarding cold reads still works for you, continue using it. If it's not broke, you don't need to fix it. But always leave room for discovering new ways to work, things that you can add to what has worked in the past. 10. Whenever you feel the need, refer to the book and review the material until it becomes second nature. There's a lot of information in this book; it may take a while to apply everything you learn.

My purpose in writing this book was not only to instruct but to inspire. Once you develop confidence in any skill, fears can be alleviated. With any audition, there is always some tension, some apprehension: that's only normal, accept it. But I believe that by learning how to overcome that fear (with knowledge, insight, and practice), you'll find that you may start to enjoy auditioning.

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Glenn Alterman's Secrets to Successful Cold Readings (Career Development) (Career Development Series) + How to Get the Part...Without Falling Apart!: Featuring the Haber Phrase Technique for Actors
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Editorial Reviews


This analytical approach really gets to the heart of the matter, as do Alterman's interviews and tips from casting directors. -- Stage Directions, November 2007

You can give more to an audition than merely wearing a clean shirt and sucking in your gut. Alterman, a premier monologue and audition coach, helps new and experienced actors get the most from material they are expected to present on the spot, or perhaps two spots if they are lucky. He starts with the basic requirements for a good cold reading, technical rules and common mistakes, then gets specific about plays, monologues, screenplays and teleplays, television commercials and daytime TV shows. In each case he provides tips, examples and exercises so actors can apply his advice directly. Alterman's advice comes from long and successful experience, the readings are excellent, and the many insights from casting directors are sincere and helpful. Alterman also provides a well-chosen list of recommended reading. --Book News, August 2008

From the Author

When I began work on this book, I wasn't aware of how important cold-reading skills are to an actor's career (and craft). I soon discovered, however, that the actor who has limited cold-reading skills is really at a great disadvantage when auditioning. Almost all auditions, especially commercial auditions, include cold reads. In theater and film auditions, an actor can be called in to read for a role and, if not right for that role, will be often be asked to read for another role. In these situations, he's generally given very little time to read over the new material, thus the cold read. Returning to the audition room, he is expected to have an understanding of the new material and to have made specific acting choices. If he has good cold-reading skills and delivers a knockout second audition, he may actually land the job. As I learned what it takes to give a good cold reading, I realized that it actually goes hand and hand with being a good actor. Being able to trust your instincts, be in the moment, and go fully with personalized choices are important to auditioning, rehearsing, and performing. I recently saw Al Pacino on the TV show Inside the Actors Studio. He spoke about how invaluable his first impression of a script is when he works on new material. Much of how he develops his characters comes from that first impression. That first impression is an actor's gut reaction to new material. It's what you must learn to rely on at cold readings. This book deals with all areas of acting where cold-reading skills are required: plays, television, film, monologues, TV commercials, and voice-overs. I've interviewed the top casting directors in all fields and asked what I felt were the most pertinent questions regarding cold readings (and auditions in general). I think you'll find, as I did, that many of their replies and insights were not always what I expected. Aside from the interviews, I've also included dozens of insights from many New York- and Los Angeles-based casting directors and actors. My hope is that every actor who reads this book will walk away with a total understanding of how to successfully cold read new material for his audition and, hopefully, book jobs. But this is not just a book on cold readings. There's a great deal of information here on the best ways to prepare and give all auditions. My goal in writing this book was to write the consummate book on cold readings. I've approached this subject from every angle and offer not only advice but working examples and exercise material for you to work with. I've also included many seldom-done monologues that you can use at your next audition where monologues are required. I'd like to thank all the actors who have written to me over the years to express their appreciation of my previous books; it means a great deal to me. I hope you find this book to be useful for all your auditions.

Best of luck, Glenn Alterman

Product Details

  • Series: Career Development Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus; 1 edition (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575255669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575255668
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Glenn Alterman is a multi-award winning playwright, the author of 26 theater related books (including 10 books of original monologues), listed in both the Guiness Book of World Records and (Author of "Most Published Original Monologues")a screen writer, actor, and a highly respected monologue/audition acting coach ("Best Monologue Audition Coach"- Backstage and Theater Resource Magazine- He was born in Brooklyn, New York.
His books include: Street Talk, Original Monologues For Actors, An Actors Guide- Making It In New York (and the recently released, completely revised "Second Edition"). The Perfect Audition Monologue, Glenn Alterman's Secrets To Successful Cold Readings, Sixty Seconds To Shine--101 One Minute monologues, Creating Your Own Monologue (and the 2nd edition), Promoting Your Acting Career, Two Minutes and Under (Original Monologues for Actors, Volumes 1, 2, and 3), Street Talk (Original Character Monologues for Actors), Uptown (More Original Monologues For Actors), The Job Book: One Hundred Acting Jobs for Actors, The Job Book 2: One Hundred Day Jobs for Actors, What to Give Your Agent for Christmas, and Two Minute Monologues. Two Minutes and Under, Street Talk, and Uptown were the number one best-selling books of original monologues in 1998, 1999, and 2005 and, along with Creating Your Own Monologue, Promoting Your Acting Career, The Job Book, The Job Book 2, and Two Minutes and Under, were all "Featured Selections" in the Doubleday Book Club (Fireside Theater and Stage and Screen Division"). Most of his published works have gone on to multiple printings.
As a playwright, Mr. Alterman is the recipient of the first Julio T. Nunez Artist's Grant, The Arts and Letters Award in Drama, and several international arts grants. He's won over 50 national and international playwriting awards. His play The Pain in the Poetry was published in 2009 The Best Ten Minute Plays For 2 or More Actors. "After" was selected to be in "2011- The Best 10-Minute Plays", and "Second Tiers", in "2012- The Best 10-Minute Plays". 13 of his plays have appeared in "Best Play" anthologies.
Mr. Alterman's plays, Like Family and The Pecking Order, were optioned by Red Eye Films (with Alterman writing the screenplay). His play, Solace, was produced off-Broadway by the Circle East Theater Company (formerly Circle Rep Theater Company). Nobody's Flood won the Bloomington National Playwriting Competition, as well as being a finalist in the Key West Playwriting Competition. Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda won the Three Genres Playwriting Competition twice, two years in a row! The prize included publication of the play in the Prentice Hall textbook, used in college theater departments all over the country. To date, it has appeared in 3 separate edition of that text book.
Mr. Alterman wrote the book for Heartstrings: The National Tour (commissioned by DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation for Aids), a thirty-five city tour that starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Ron Silver, Susan Sarandon, Marlo Thomas, and Sandy Duncan. Other plays include Kiss Me When It's Over (commissioned by E. Weissman Productions), starring and directed by André De Shields; Tourists of the Mindfield (finalist in the L. Arnold Weissberger Playwriting Competition at New Dramatists); and Street Talk/Uptown (based on his monologue books), produced at the West Coast Ensemble.
Goin' Round on Rock Solid Ground and Unfamiliar Faces were finalists at the Actors Theater of Louisville's playwriting competition. Spilt Milk received its premiere at the Beverly Hills Rep/Theater 40 in Los Angeles and was selected to participate in the Samuel French One-Act Festival. The Danger of Strangers won Honorable Mention in the Deep South Writers Conference Competition, was a finalist in the George R. Kernodle Contest, was selected to be in the Pittsburgh New Works Festival and has had over 35 productions, including at Circle Rep Lab, the West Bank Downstairs Theater Bar (starring James Gandolfini), the Emerging Artists Theater Company's one-act marathon, the Vital Theater Company in New York, and, most recently, with the Workshop Theater Company. There have been many productions of his original monologues play, "God In Bed", both in the United States and in Europe.
Mr. Alterman's work has been performed at Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theater (EST), Circle in the Square Downtown, HERE, LaMaMa, The Workshop Theater Company, in the Turnip Festival, at the Duplex, Playwrights Horizons, at several theaters on Theater Row in New York, as well as at many theaters around the country.
Mr. Alterman has been a guest artist and given master classes and seminars on "Monologues" and "The Business of Acting" at such diverse places as the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia, the Edward Albee Theater Conference (Valdez, Alaska), Southampton College, Western Connecticut State College, Broadway Artists Alliance, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Dramatists Guild, the Learning Annex, the Screen Actors Guild, the Seminar Center, in the Boston Public School System, and at many acting schools and colleges all over the country. He is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights Unit and The Dramatists Guild.
In 1993, Mr. Alterman created the Glenn Alterman Studios, where actors receive monologue/audition coaching, as well as career preparation. He was named "Best Monologue/Audition Coach in the Tri-State Area" by Theater Resources Magazine and as "The Best Private Acting Coach In New York", by the readers of Back Stage. He presently lives in New York City, where he's working on several plays, works on TV commercials, and coaches actors. He recently completed his latest book,tentatively titled, "Writing The Ten Minute Play (A book For Playwrights and Actors Wanting To Write Plays)", for Applause Books, and is about to start work on his 10th original monologue book (and 25th book)
On the Web, he can be reached at

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetition, Repetition, Repetition... November 15, 2008
By Anne
If you are a young actor who has never had ANY acting training and you are being thrown to the casting wolves tomorrow, this book "might" help you. Unforunately, it is riddled with countless enumerated "tips," which themes are repeated over and over again, with occasional glaring contradictions. It is not as much a "cold reading" book as it is a "beginning acting" book, and Mr. Alterman uses his literary venue to push his own original theatre pieces on the reader in the guise of "practice scenes." The impression is given that in order to fill out a hopelessly meager compilation of auditioning tips, the author resorted to inventing new ways to keep saying the same old thing -- more words, more pages, but not so informative. In hindsight, I would not have wasted my money on such mis-labeled redundancy. I'm sure Mr. Alterman is a fine acting coach -- this book was not one of his better achievements.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars riddled with bad grammar and repetition October 29, 2012
The book drones on and on about the same things chapter after chapter but I found the most annoying part that took away from it was the constant grammar mistakes. It's pretty sad to think that a book makes it past the EDITOR with this many grammar errors. Apparently the editor or Glenn doesn't know the difference between their and there or your and you're. Ultimately this is a very poor investment.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect May 13, 2008
I haven't even finished the book yet and im amazed of how much i think this book is going to help me. I have a cold reading next tuesday and i feel assured that i will do well.
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