We’ve heard it many times before: Life is all about rhythm. And rhythm is all about cadence- the timing of words, the way they are spoken, the way they are spaced apart from each other, and the various intonations and inflections of the speaker to arrive at a magical linguistic lyric that makes your dialogue soar and sing.
When delivering lines, great cadence can inspire casting directors to wake from their slumber in a casting room and take notice. It can captivate the listener in a sonic trance that makes them hang on every word. It can give you an edge with competing actors that don’t have an ear for rhythm and the general “beats” of speech patterns each and every time you enter a casting facility.
Shakespeare understood the importance of cadence. He invented entire words and phrases (“in one fell swoop) and common everyday names (Jessica) just to achieve the right sound and the right rythym that could emanate from a performer’s mouth.
Often when casting directors post casting calls on websites and pick the sides that they want actors to read, they’ll often choose a speech that a general delivers before battle, or a half-time speech that a football coach delivers to his underdog team.
Why? Because these types of speeches have a strong sense of cadence, and the casting director wants to know if you’ll come ready to deliver the proper cadence for these lines in the casting room.
So the next time you download sides and practice for an upcoming audition- don't just think about the tone and the emotions present in a phrase or paragraph, think about the rythym as well.