Stan's cold reading classes replicate the actual audition experience and are designed to teach and solidify those specific skills that will consistently result in successful readings. Students are paired according to their mutual level of ability and experience and work on pre-selected film and television audition scenes. Roles are assigned because they are appropriate for the actors, because they will stretch the actors in challenging directions, or both. Scenes are usually given out at the end of each class, allowing actors time to prepare for the reading in the following class. Actors may arrange to rehearse together outside of class but are also given sufficient time to rehearse with their partner at the beginning of class, prior to performing the scene.
Following the initial reading, actors work with Stan on specifics: defining beats, explicit character choices, playing precise objectives, believability, emotional grounding, spontaneity, improvisational skills. When scenes are filmed, actors usually watch the playback of their first and last readings for comparison. More often than not, actors will be asked to continue working on audition scenes outside of class and perform the scene again (as a callback) in the following class - thus students may be working on two or more scenes per class.
Students are also encouraged to work on scene study scenes, mostly derived from established plays, which are more extensive and provide a more in-depth opportunity to fully explore every aspect of preparation, acting technique, and the process of fully inhabiting a character. Stan will usually suggest specific scenes and characters but actors may also opt to work on material of their own choosing (including their own upcoming audition material).
Class sizes are limited to ensure that every actor works in every class.