TheIntern356 wrote: ↑
December 28th, 2020, 9:05 am
I've been reading lots of books/short stories lately and I figured it was time for some diversification.
I'd like to start off with claiming stagehand directions for Act 1 (and probably the others later)
Just to clarify, since this is my first time with dramatic works, this basically includes reading everything in italics/centered and Titles/intro/exits? [Correct, see below]
I also see two variants of  phrases. I should read  phrases off on the right side, like [Exit Bassino] and avoid things like in the middle of actor lines such as [Aside], [Mimicking her Tone.], (Shews the Bond.) [Wrong - You read everything whether left, right, or in the middle, see below]
And lastly, how long of spacing would you want between the phrases of the stagehand directions? [4-5 seconds is good - it can't really be too long!]
Please note - when you claim a part in a dramatic work, it is (almost always) for that role in all of the acts. So our listeners don't get confused by changes in voices.
If you are still interested, and I certainly hope you are, here are some instructions about reading stage directions:
For the stage directions, you need to read everything that is not read by the actors. So each time you see "closes door" or "drinks wine" or "exit left", you would need to read. Often it's written in italics or between brackets, but not always, so finding all the directions can be tricky business.
There is a special rule that concerns reading the characters' names. It's quite easy to remember:
1) if the stage direction appears at the beginning of the speech, you include the character's name.
John (sitting down on the couch)
: "I feel a headache coming on."
you would read everything I underlined now, including the name.
2) if the stage direction is in the middle or at the end of the speech, you still read it. But you do not repeat the name, because it's already clear who is speaking.
"I feel a headache coming on." (sits down on the couch)
"I think I need a rest." (dozes off)
both times, no name included, only the underlined parts would be read.
Please leave at least 4-5 seconds between each chunk. So each time the narration is interrupted by a character speech, you leave ample space. It makes copy/pasting easier for our editor (me).
Also - record a voice credit for yourself: "Stage directions, read by XXXX"
(By the way, best to start with other than act 1 first and get some feedback. Act 1 is complicated by cast list which you read even though I will likely overwrite what you say with the reader voice credits if they do it correctly.)