Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Best Way to Memorize Your Lines and Scripts with Ease

Memorizing ones line's can be an actor's greatest challenge.   You may be fantastic at becoming a role, but there comes a time when the performer must still rise above and meet the expectations of both director and writer alike.  We all know this isn't a problem.  You *want* to succeed in this, but how?  Well, here are a few ideas to keep your memorization skills strong and in front running, easing the stress of remembering and providing more opportunities to be casted.   Ready?  Here we go.  


First we need to address the problem.   Many people say, 'Just memorize your lines by repetition!' Then, their listeners excitedly follow their well meaning advice, only to end up frustrated and without lines in their memory to deliver. WHY?

What most people don't realize is our minds not only memorize the words, but also the rhythm, cadence, and tone of voice as well.  This creates muscle memory and tells you that it must be this way each time.  But when you're acting in a scene, it needs to seem as though you're living it for the first time, each and every time. But if you're trapped behind your muscle memory, you're not free vocally. And you're also not acting.  Your giving a speech.


Try repeating your words and lines over and over again in a monotonous robotic voice, without any inflection. This allows your mind to simply ingrain the formation of the words in to your memory, creating a strong foundation for the emotion to be built on. 

So once you rehearse the scene, it'll be different every time! One day you'll be upset and yelling, and the next day you'll be able to deliver those lines with joy and exclamation.   It's a great practice.  I dare you to try it. 


Get Busy.  Go jogging, cook some dinner, clean the house - all while gently remembering your lines.  This gets your head engaged in physical activity which will both relax the memorizing side of your mind a little but also allow what it *is* practicing to be associated with physical activity. 

Break It Up.  It's totally ok to memorize a piece now and a piece tomorrow. Keep it simple. 

Take Your Time. .... but take it well.  If you have a month deadline to memorize a script.  START NOW.  Procrastination will only create more stress. Start now, and you'll have less anxiety and pressure to perform what you already know you can do. 

Breathe.  Many people, under the pressure of 'not remembering' forget to breathe in that moment when they are practically reaching for that next word. So breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  This will activate that back of your mind which both calms and is able to think more clearly.  The words will come.  Relax and breathe. 


Here's what you need to 'remember' about memorization: You've got to have your lines so ingrained into your body and subconscious that you can recite them in your sleep. If you're struggling to remember lines during a scene, your possibly over thinking and rehearsing your fear of failure rather than the script itself.  This will rob both yourself and fellow actors of the deserved positive experience.  
Relax and enjoy this career path that you have chosen.  In the meantime, stop by to enhance your skills and take things to the next level at The New York Acting School for Film and Television. We can't wait to see you succeed!

by:  Navae Fiona

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