Terminology Tuesday – Chemistry Read

A chemistry read (or chemistry test) is an opportunity for the producers, director, and studio/network to see what kind of chemistry you have (if any) with other actors being considered for a role opposite yours. Not all projects have chemistry reads—it’s largely dependent on the director or showrunner’s preference. It’s a way for the creative team to see if the actors have compatibility, comfort and feel like they “fit” together. ⁠

So how can you whip yourself up some in-room chemistry?⁠

Well, you can’t. It’s going to be a natural connection or… not. But here are some things you can do to help harness a better connection with your scene partner:⁠

⚡️ Allow yourself to be open. Open to direction, open to whatever choices your scene partner throws at you. Don’t resist, allow them to surprise you and react authentically. ⁠
⚡️ Focus on the partnership. Think of this as a joint audition, not 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 audition. Trying to place focus on yourself will take away from any amount of potential and authentic chemistry. ⁠
⚡️ 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 be off book for this one. The goal is to lose yourself in your scene partner, not your sides. ⁠

You did the read. There were more sparks than the 4th of July. But no call…⁠

𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕕?⁠

Ultimately, it will be hard to pinpoint the exact reason(s) why but there could be a multitude of factors:⁠

The actor reading opposite you had a stronger preference to someone else. ⁠

Even though you had chemistry, someone else’s essence won the director over.⁠

Someone else physically embodied the character a little more. ⁠

Sometimes it’s so hard for us to choose, that we’ll go back and re-watch the tapes and go off a moment, an interesting beat, or an innovative way of handling a piece of dialogue. ⁠

𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁. 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁. ⁠


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