Unless you're doing a brand new show, there most likely is a published copy of the script floating in this world. Before I tell you what to do when you get a hold of a copy, I'd like to share where you can find a copy.
1.) Your own collection. You may already have a copy. Look in the obvious and not so obvious places.
2.) The Theatre Company. Many theatre companies will have copies of the script already. They'll have a few extra on reserve people can check out. Check their websites or email them directly to ask. They may have them at the comany or on reserve at your local library.
3.) An Actor friend. Check with your Actor friends to see if they have a copy they'd loan to you. Be kind and take care of their script. Return it the way you got it. Offer them a gift card for their kindness.
5.) Get a copy of your own. Contact your favorite local bookseller and have them order a copy for you. That way you have it as long as you want.
Ok, so now that you have a copy, what must you do with it?
Read it. Read it many times. When you read it, be aware of these things and make note of them.
1.) Your character. How does the character(s) you're interested in fit in the story?
2.) The Other Characters. What are their thoughts and feelings towards yours? How does this impact the character(s) you're auditioning for?
3.) Relationships. What are the relationships amongst the characters in the script?
4.) Demographics and Personal Information. Knowing where the play/musical takes place, the age(s), gender(s), time, etc. really can help you understand how these characters may have acted. How the world was then and how it relates to today.
The more you know, the better your choices can be. The better your choices, the more you'll stand out and shine at your auditions and later callbacks.
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