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Table Reads equals Brunch Parties!


I've been working on some long term writing projects and doing table reads on them, mostly as a way of teaching me how to write well. It's a sci-fi show with a lot of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and female angst. One of the cast members laughingly referred to it as "Grey's anatomy in space" which I'll take, gladly.

Typically, for those of you not in the biz (which I am barely sleazing my way into the fringe of, but still), a table read is where you get the writers (me, in this case) and some actors around to read your script. You get writer feedback and also get to here people's take on the voices, see if the dialog is natural sounding, see what people replace when they speak (I tend to write out words that people use contractions with, for example).

Most table reads go like this: rent a space (a rehearsal space, typically); wait for your actors to show up anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour late; order pizza, wait for the last actor, eat the pizza, start a hour or so late, get logy from the pizza, finish.

I've been doing them at my place, which at first I was afraid might come off as creepy – but then I realized that sometimes I probably come off as creepy, so that's OK then. However: the good part is that the money I save on the rental space I instead spend as food, and I've been enjoying setting up this little brunch party. Call me my mother's son, but I enjoy having guests over and cooking and prepping for them, even if my apartment is the size of the first submarine. I sometimes have nine people crammed into a space that's big enough for a sofa, two chairs, a beanbag, and nothing else. Knee to knee.

The one tomorrow includes: bagels, spreads (cream cheese, jellies, peanut butter, butter) and lox; Mimosa's, Espresso and Espresso drinks, hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese sticks, salami bites, popcorn, peanut-butter filled pretzels, chocolate almonds, water, and Hibiscus ice tea.

One thing I learned last week: Eat the peanut butter first. I had a mouth full of PB&J bagel and had to start explaining character assignments and everybody laughed while I had to chew, chew, chew, like a dog licking peanut butter off his nose.