Updated: Apr 9
Table Reads can be a critical tool to help a writer's growth. However, there are typically 2 paths for putting together a Table Read you should know before getting started.
For starters most working actors only want to go to table reads for casting opportunities. Some working actors are fine doing table reads for the sake of the craft but we wouldn't count on that. Meaning any new writers will likely only be able to get new actors or their friends which isn't a bad thing. This is usually more casual.
Casual Table Reads
Casual Table Reads require libations and food for maximum impact. A writer will want their performers who have little to no professional experience to be in a good place. We highly recommend having at least 1 comedy script to keep things light, but regardless of genre, keep in mind length. The length of time is critical. If the script is going too long then people will lose interest. If you do too many scripts at a time, the performers will get worn out. Keep in mind, when it's casual, people are likely showing up for free. So as a writer, be honest with yourself. Either do a scene or two from a feature-length film, an entire episodic script, or whatever makes sense.
Casting Table Reads
If you're requesting working actors for potential casting, then it's a very different situation. You want to make sure you're being "Actor Friendly" and provide the script ahead of time with vivid descriptions of the character. Actors are weighing different kinds of opportunities and auditions so to attend a Table Read is an investment of time for the potential to land a paying gig. So if you're a writer in this situation, ideally there is a team attached to this Read ie the director, producer, and whoever else should help with casting.
There are different places to knock out a Table Read. We recommend our own Social House for Table Reads! We have everything you need for a successful table read; tables, chairs, parking, great acoustics.