Monday, August 27, 2018

Stress Free Tips To Help Actors Memorize Lines Faster and Easier

Stress Free Tips To Help Actors Memorize Lines Faster and Easier
Nothing is worse than finding out you’re needed to read for a part but you’ve got hardly any time to learn your lines! You’re talented and ready to show what you’ve got and the last thing you want is to ruin it with a bad (or stressed out) memory. (I will say though, the sooner you can accept that it’s bound to happen at one point or another, the easier you’ll be able to shake it off when it does happen. Because it will happen, mark my words.) However, since this post is not about experiencing worse nightmare, rather avoiding it, let’s talk about the special tips I love most, to help you learn those lines faster and without the stress.
First of all, lines aren’t meant to be simply spoken, they’re meant to be communicated. And a performer knows they’ve communicated best when a connection has been made. What creates connection? Emotion. So the first tip I want to share with you is that when you’re reading through your lines, allow yourself to be overcome with emotion. You can even exaggerate; it’s encouraged. Exaggeration not only allows you to have a better memory of the scene and it’s details, but helps you confidently embody the character you’re performing as. Then, when it’s time to audition or get in front of the camera, you just pull back all the practiced emotion into contained presentation; held back yet strongly felt emotion that keeps your audience connected to you on the edge of their seats.

Turning emotion into practical memorization tips, do you know why emotion is so helpful in the process? Our minds not only memorize words, but also the rhythm, cadence, and tone of voice they’re expressed with.  So speaking words with emotional dynamic and feeling creates muscle memory and tells you that it must be this way each time.  
So infuse that concept into your practice. 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.  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.

Don’t over do it tho. If you’re feeling tired or annoyed, the best thing might just be to simply step away. 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.

It's absolutely ok to memorize a piece now and a piece tomorrow. Keep it simple. Take your time but be efficient with it.  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. 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!

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