Chemistry read.

You’ve done the first audition and the call-back and now they’ve asked you to come in for a chemistry read.

Does the term divert you?

So many terms in the movie business need to be translated. You can be caught off-guard if you take them literally.

Has the term chemistry read caught you off-guard? What does a chemistry read mean? Can you prepare differently for a chemistry read than another audition? Is it adding to your pressure? Are you dispersing your energy trying to figure out how to make sure you have chemistry in the room? Is it confusing and mystifying?

You could say acting is making chemistry. A definition of chemistry is: The complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people.

Sounds like acting.

Your time in drama school, auditions and shooting movies has been spent doing just that.

Definitions are essential to being professional. Once you’ve clarified or translated the idea then you’re free to act.

One thing you know is that the Hollywood publicity machine loves to talk about chemistry between actors. As if it’s special and different from good acting. They mystify it.

Has casting picked up the term from publicists, gossip columnists and reviewers?

Sometimes you hit it off with your scene partner and sometimes you don’t. But, you’re always professional, trying to play truthfully and fulfill the writing.

If you look right, have the right energy, the right tone then the producers will hire you. They might say afterwards, ‘Oh, the two of them had such good chemistry.’ but, they cast the actors that suit their taste.

After the audition, you could justifiably say, ‘We were two good actors who knew how to connect and play the scene naturally.’

Chemistry read. Sounds like Hollywood-speak.