Teleprompter Terms: “SOT”

By | 2017-10-02T14:59:50+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Concepts, Terminology, Tips|1 Comment

If you’ve ever stood in on a production that has you read from the teleprompter, you may find in the script you’re encountering some abbreviations you don’t understand.

Not knowing these abbreviations may mean you don’t know what you should or shouldn’t do at the time.

“SOT” is one of those abbreviations. What does “SOT” mean? Let’s find out!

What “SOT” Means on the Teleprompter

When you are standing in and reading a script from a teleprompter during a rehearsal, if you encounter the abbreviation “SOT” — especially in parentheses, like “(SOT)” — it means “sound on tape.”

However, that meaning will probably be lost to you! Practically speaking, what it means is that there will be a cutaway from you to other footage. During that time, you will not be on camera or speaking. Instead, the sound (and video) on tape will be playing.

So, when you encounter the abbreviation “SOT,” don’t actually read it as the word “sot.” Instead, you will stop reading at this point as there is now a cutaway. If you see a monitor, you may see the SOT playing in place of the image of you.

But how will you know when the SOT is done and you’re supposed to speak next? If you’re working with a stage manager, the stage manager may count down to let you know when to start reading from the teleprompter again.

Stay tuned to Stand-In Central for other teleprompter terminology!

Have you worked with a teleprompter when standing in? What advice do you have when working with a teleprompter? Share your tips in the comments below!

About the Author:

Ben Hauck (Editor, Stand-In Central) has stood in on a number of projects shot in the NYC area. In addition to day-playing, he has stood in on major projects for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Jason Bateman (The Longest Week, Disconnect, and The Switch), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie and American Odyssey). Ben is an actor and improviser, author of the 2012 book Long-Form Improv (Allworth Press), and host of The Acting Income Podcast.

One Comment

  1. Donnell Adler October 19, 2017 at 7:55 am

    First piece and best advice I was ever given was to blink a lot. It doesn’t seem like something you’d have to think about but I’ve seen many a person read from a teleprompter without blinking (nerves I’m guessing). It looks really odd on camera….

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