FOLLOW ME: CONTACT: Joe Palese at The Actor Space The Studio City Theatre 12265 Ventura Blvd, Suite #210 Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 754-4442
"Joe's talent as an actor is matched only by his passion for teaching others the craft. And he is generous as well as infectious with both. You can't help but be inspired--and inspiration is the gateway to success." Vahan Moosekian,
Executive Producer/Director
Legends, The Finder, Lie To Me
Having spent over 40 years in the entertainment industry and over 20 years teaching actors, Joe has formulated his technique, A FAST TRACK TO ACTING, a simple and concise approach to the art of acting. Created and built by him, THE ACTOR SPACE is a place for individuals to nurture their growth as actors through weekly classes, workshops and seminars in order to get them to the next level in their acting career. Joe was trained by some of the masters in the art of acting. Lee Strasberg, Milton Katselas and Martin Landau influenced and shaped his approach to the work, having spent a total of 12 years under their tutelage. As an actor, Joe has appeared in numerous plays, films and TV series. For two seasons he appeared as Officer James Trapido on the award-winning series Hill Street Blues, and on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives as the nefarious recurring character Werner. Comedically, he's also worked with James Belushi in the Universal Studio film K-911. Joe has also worked with Teri Hatcher, James Earl Jones, Michael Landon, Tom Beringer and Dennis Franz. Although Joe has a strong commitment to his actors at The Actor Space, he makes time to attend the International Model and Talent Association convention, which meets annually in New York City. While there, he judges competitions and conducts acting seminars for hundreds of actors from around the United States and from abroad. In a discussion with the founder of IMTA, Helen Rogers, Joe was asked to conduct a seminar specifically geared toward the cold reading/audition process. The seminar was so well received he has since traveled to numerous acting schools across the country teaching his technique.
 HOW TO MAKE A COLD READ A HOT SCENE By Joe Palese The Audition Process, more commonly known as the Cold Read is one of the most frightening experiences an actor can have. No matter how many times you do it, it can still unnerve even the most experienced actor. The beginner is left feeling even worse: cottonmouth, tight throat, clammy hands and rigor mortis of the lips are some common symptoms. It is a well-documented fact that fear #1 for all people, whether they are actors or not, is having to get up in front of a group and make a speech. So it's not surprising that an actor experiences a great deal of stress during the audition process. Now for more bad news: the Cold Read is here to stay until the industry can come up with a better way of matching a role to an actor. It's not going anywhere. So, what to do? You could get into another career OR you could learn to perform well in your readings. Let's look at some of the reasons that actors don't perform well under these conditions. In an actual professional-level audition, we are dealing with all unknown factors. We don't know the people who are watching our audition; we don't know whether we are on target with our work; we don't know for certain what they are thinking when they watch us. In short, we are on their turf, doing things on their terms. The actor has little control over these variables, but he does have control over his performance. First off, get your scene as soon as possible. The most common mistake that actors make at this point is that they immediately start memorizing their lines. Very little thought is put into the content of the material. "Why am I saying these lines?" More importantly, what is being said to me that makes me respond in this way? I always tell actors to be more concerned first with the other characters lines. The key to what you say is in those lines. So before an actor starts memorizing lines, the scene should be read three or four times without placing any value on the lines. Don't read it myopically through your character's eyes. Read it as an audience to get the big picture. There is plenty of time to memorize after you understand the material. When you feel that you understand what the scene is about, ask yourself, "What do I want from the other character in the scene?" If you can answer that it will give you an objective for your character to play. It will give your character purpose. It will focus you in the scene. Next ask your self, "What is my character feeling emotionally at the beginning of the scene?" Is your character angry because he has been betrayed, or walking-on-air because he has recently fallen in love? When you have chosen a good emotional preparation for your scene, remember a time in your life when you felt similarly, and then personalize it. This gives you an emotional place to start your scene. So now we have an objective and an emotion for your character to start the scene. Still, other questions need to be answered:
A: Where does the scene take place?
B: What is the relationship between the characters?
C: What is the time (i.e. year, time of day, period in history)? Only after you've answered these questions as best you can, are you ready to begin working on your scene. The next step is to get a friend to read with you. Be careful. You are still not ready to memorize the lines. With your friend reading the other character, listen to what is being said to you and allow yourself to simply respond with your own lines. Rehearse this way until you feel comfortable with your scene partners and really listen to what is being said to you. Only after all this is done, should you start to memorize your lines. But even with your lines memorized, never go into a reading without your scene in hand. You are not there to show them how well you can remember lines. If that is what they wanted they could hire a parrot. You are there to play the scene. Sides (pages) are given to you to use in the scene. Casting Directors want you to use them. It makes them feel more secure and certainly will do the same for you. A Casting Director once told me that when an actor auditions without the sides in his hand, there is always a fear in the back of her mind that the actor will forget his lines. Having to start over, taking up more time than was allotted. Also, for your convenience, highlight your lines with a bright hightlight marker. It will help to pick your lines off the script more easily. Remember all of this to give you more control, to eliminate the unknown. The more comfortable you are with your scene, the less nervous you will be. Here are some other helpful hints that will apply to any audition or competition.
A: Don't waste time in the waiting room by socializing with other actors. Stay focused.
B: Don't drink too much coffee or smoke too many cigarettes. Both will make you anxious.
C: Get a good night sleep before the audition.
D: If you feel really nervous do something physical. Make some noise. Do jumping jacks; breathe in some deep breaths. Nervous actors are always forgetting to breathe. There is always much controversy about what to wear to an audition. My theory is simple: Give Them A Hint. If you are reading for a lawyer, then a nice suit or sport coat and tie are appropriate. If you are reading for a young runaway don't come looking as though you just stepped out of the latest fashion magazine. Then again, don't look like you've been sleeping in the park. A pair of jeans and a t-shirt will work nicely. Remember, give them a hint. Also, this will help you act the character as well as helping others to truly see you as this person you are portraying. All of the above is done prior to actually stepping into the office or on stage. Once the audition begins, remember to use humor when possible. If a chair is offered to you, move it a few inches on way or the other. They've seen many actors in that chair. By moving it you own it and are subtly taking charge of the room. Remember, always keep your script in hand. Connect with the Casting Director, making eye contact as much as possible. Don't bury your head in your script. Control the face of the scene. It's your audition. If you feel a need to move do so, but be careful not to aimlessly pace around the room. When the reading is done, thank the Casting Director, give a firm handshake and exit confidently. Never apologize after finished, no matter how badly you think you did. Often the actor is more critical of himself than others are. If you follow the formula I have laid out for you, you will empower yourself, giving you some control over your performance. Preparation breeds confidence. Good luck!