Auditions – sides or full script?

All an actor needs to prepare for an audition is a copy of the sides. Those are the script pages which the actor is expected to be familiar with in order to do well at an audition.  There are good reasons to ask for a full script if it’s available.

  • Knowing where a character starts out and how the character develops over the course of a film can help an actor prepare for the audition and bring depth to the scenes they are asked to present.
  • A script of a whole TV episode helps the actor see their role in context with other characters.  This is beneficial for both pilots and for guest star roles in ongoing series
  • Parents can determine if the job is suitable for a child or teen actor.

Should you insist that your child be provided with full scripts?  If your agent offers a full script, take it. Your child might need it. But if you have limited time or if you think it will be too stressful for your child to read a whole script, use your own judgment.  If the agent doesn’t offer the script or says no, decide how important it is to you to push for it.  It’s possible the script is not available to anyone in advance. In that case, stick with the sides.

If the project involves a nondisclosure agreement, you may not want the responsibility of handling and disposing of a full script. Violating an NDA can be costly, so if you have one, keep any sides or script you get in advance confidential.

The time to insist on a full script is before contracts are signed.  You need to know what your child is getting into before you have made a legal commitment.

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