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Khigh Abner-Cold Reading Master

Brian: If you can’t cold read well, I guarantee that you’re not going to work much. Sorry. If you can’t cold read well, you’re not gonna work. Because…because it scares casting directors. You see, what Jill said earlier about producers is the same for casting directors. A casting director never, never, never makes the final decision on you getting the job. They bring you “in”. But if they’re worried about you at the audition, I guarantee you that they are not going to submit you to the producer because it’s their ass on the line.

And this is a very, very small business. Everybody thinks it’s a huge industry. Financially it’s a huge industry. People wise it’s very small. You don’t get too many strikes in this business before you “strike out”. Okay? That’s why Khigh’s so fortunate to have a couple of really big casting companies that love his work. Now, he hasn’t been hired yet ‘cause they haven’t found the right role for him yet, but they bring him back and they bring him back and they bring him back. And then what someone will say to you is, “Well, they’re not hiring you!”. Well they wouldn’t keep bringing you back if they didn’t like you, guys. They got to find the right role! You know?

I joke about it all the time: I think Tom Selleck and I (and we grew up together) I think that we hold the award for doing the most pilots that never sold! You know. Hundreds. Hundreds. You know.

But if you’re willing to do the work, you’re not gonna have the growth that you wanna have. Okay? And if you’re not cold reading every day…ya see…everybody…I hate to do this to ya…did everybody see the way Khigh cold reads? He almost never looks at the page. I don’t know how he does it. I’ve been cold reading aloud every day for thirty fucking years and I can’t do that!

Khigh: Thank you.

Brian: Okay? And, and that’s a skill! It’s not a gift. He wasn’t blessed with cold reading gift. The cold reading angel didn’t land on his shoulder and say, “Ding! You are blessed, my son! You have the cold reading s…”. No. He cold reads aloud an hour every day and has for over twenty years! That’s why he’s good at it!

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