A cold read is an oral presentation without preparation given in front of an audience with no time for preparation (think TED talks).

Cold reading is essentially memorizing a script or some other text without the aid of another person.



What Is a Cold Read?

A cold read is an improvised performance done without any preparation. It’s a perfect way to work on your improvisational skills and be able to perform in front of audiences, especially if you are looking for more stage time.

Cold reading can also help actors get over their fear of performing on stage.

The practice was introduced by Viola Spolin as part of her Theatre Games program, which she developed in 1940s Chicago.



A cold read is a technique used by actors to quickly familiarize themselves with a script. It can also be useful for people who are learning about the topic of a new blog post before reading it in depth.

What Is The Purpose Of A Cold Read?

The purpose of a cold read is to prepare actors for auditioning by giving them a mini-performance that they can do in front of casting directors or producers.

Cold reading is an art form, and it’s important to learn how to do it properly for your own benefit as well as the benefit of those you’re auditioning for.

As an actor, you want them to know what their options are and be able to give feedback on who would be best suited for the role.

Cold readings also help actors get used to performing without any preparation; this way they’ll feel more confident when they have time before the performance.

In addition, cold reads are helpful because there are fewer consequences if something goes wrong.

what is a cold read

How To Be Amazing At Cold Reading And Nail Your Audition

Whether you’re a dancer auditioning for the role of Juliet or an actor looking for your big break, cold readings can be daunting. It’s hard to find the right words and sound natural when you don’t know what’s coming next.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Follow these nine steps and nail your next audition easily!

1. Know Who Is Reading With You

This may seem like common sense but sometimes actors get thrown off by being paired with someone they don’t know.

If this happens, just do your best to figure out their personality type so you can adjust accordingly before going into the scene.

What Is a Cold Read


2. Visualize Yourself In A Movie

When preparing for a reading, visualize yourself as if you were

Cold readings are a crucial skill for actors to master. They’re often required at auditions, and they can also provide a great opportunity to practice your skills on the fly.

But first let’s talk about what cold reads actually are: they’re monologues or scenes that you’ve never seen before, that someone else is reading out loud for you.

The point of doing them is just so that the director can see if you’re good enough for their film – you don’t have to be perfect or memorize anything beforehand!

Just show up with an open mind and the ability to listen actively while somebody reads from a script in front of you.

3. Own The Space

Nerves happen for everyone, but if you’re in front of people who want to see you succeed this is your time to shine.

Make sure that when the director asks “are we ready?” You say yes confidently because as soon as they start reading it’s too late. They’ll be looking for someone confident and natural enough to make mistakes in order to figure out what works best for them.

When To Use A Cold Read

The most important thing to know when you’re about to do a cold read is how it differs from a warm-up or rehearsal.

You’ll want to use the cold read as an evaluation of your performance and not just as a practice session, so make sure that you have enough time for it.

A good rule of thumb is that if you think you can do more than one cold read in the amount of time allotted, then go ahead and perform more than one.

Cold reads are typically used before performing on stage in order to get a sense of how well prepared actors are for their performance.

They can also be used after rehearsing with other actors who might have insight into what could be done differently during the next rehearsal.


It is useful if the people in an audience are unfamiliar with one another as well. You should avoid using this type of reading in situations where there is already deep familiarity among those involved or if you want to convey something that might be controversial.

Cold Read vs. A Warm Read

The temperature of your read is a personal preference, or a way to change the mood. Either way it really impacts how you feel about what you are reading and can make for an enjoyable experience.

It’s important to know the difference between a cold read and a warm read. A cold read is when you don’t have any prior knowledge of your audience and start writing without researching them.

A warm read is when you do research on your audience beforehand so that they feel like they are being addressed as an individual, not just another reader.

How Do You Do Well On Cold Reads?

Do you ever feel like you’re never prepared enough for a cold read? I know that feeling.

It’s not fun to be thrown into a situation with little or no preparation and have to figure it out on the fly. Here are some tips for doing well on cold reads:


-Give yourself time to prepare before the reading by taking some notes beforehand, even if they are just ideas of what might happen in the reading. This will help keep your mind more focused during the reading itself.

-Take breaks when needed and eat healthy snacks throughout your day, especially when studying or rehearsing for an upcoming performance. Your body needs fuel!

-Practice performing at home so that you can get used to how it feels and sounds in before.

In a world where we are constantly connected to the internet and have access to information at our fingertips, it is hard to imagine what it would be like not being able to read.

However, many people do not know that there are millions of people around the world who cannot read or write due to illiteracy.

The Golden Rule of cold reading is to always be honest and sincere. When we’re being fake or disingenuous, it’s easy for other people to pick up on the fact that we’re not being genuine.

The best thing to do when you want others to believe what you say is to make sure that what you are saying is true about yourself.