Teleprompter Terms: “CART”

By | 2017-10-02T15:05:59+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Concepts, Terminology, Tips|0 Comments

As we said in this, this, and this post recently, 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.

And there may words you don’t know, either! When you encounter those words, what do they mean and what should you do?

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

What “CART” Means on the Teleprompter

When you are standing in and reading a script from a teleprompter during a rehearsal, if you encounter the word “CART” — especially in parentheses, like “(CART)” — it means a short sound effect will play.

“CART” is short for “cartridge,” and like some abbreviations you might see on the teleprompter, “CART” refers more to television past than television present. Cartridges were cases containing plastic loops of thin audiotape for easy playback of regularly played sounds. They have been replaced in modern television. Carts were also known as Fidelipacs or NAB cartridges.

Practically speaking, what “CART” means is that a short sound effect will play while you are in a shot. So, when you see “(CART)” in the teleprompter, pause for the sound effect to play and commence speaking once the short effect is done playing.

When you encounter the abbreviation “CART,” don’t actually read it and say “cart”!

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.

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