Monday, November 9, 2015

How do actors and actresses memorize their lines?

Hi there!

I hope you're doing well today! So the question for this article is, how do actors and actresses memorize their lines?

There's many ways that actors and actresses can memorize their lines, including writing them down, covering the script with their hands and memorizing words line by line, recording them and playing them back while speaking them, even running lines with other actors or people. Personally I just learn the scene line by line, and then cover with my hand going through the scene, and then afterwards record the other persons lines and then fill in the blanks with my lines upon playback.

When you get the sides for an audition or the script from the production office for a booking it's a time of joy and happiness, a sense of what could be possible if you book the job if auditioning, or really do well in it if you're already booked. After reading the whole script to get the placement of your character in the story, the next step is to memorize your lines for your particular scenes. Apart from the work you have to do with the script, memorizing lines is a basis for the rest of the work you do with your character.

It is up to the individual how you memorize your lines, however two things you need to be are accurate and clear. The words the writer gave you should be delivered with accurately. You want the meaning of the words to be clear to you. You have to completely understand the lines and how they relate to the other characters and the story. Once you have read the script you can begin breaking down your scenes or scene (if you only have one scene) and then start to memorize the lines.

The most common ways that actors learn and memorize their lines are as follows.

Writing them out by hand. Simply write the lines out in one large paragraph, and then run through the scene out loud. Do this for several times breaking your lines into thoughts. The last time you write out your lines, see if you can do it without looking at the script. Just think of the other characters lines, as you don't have to memorize these. This way you can really listen during the scene and not anticipate the lines. Learning the scene line by line memorizing as you go.

Covering the script with your hands and going down the page uncovering as you go, while memorizing line by line. Recording the other persons lines and whispering yours, then playing it back while filling in the blanks with your lines. Finding another actor or person and just running the lines over and over before and after you have memorized them is a great help as well. Another way is recording your lines and playing them back, speaking them as you listen. Record the entire scene, your lines as well as all the other lines in the scene, and listen to them over and over.

By the way their are also Rehearsal apps actors can download from the internet to learn lines, apparently it's like having a scene partner that never gets tired of running lines with you. You can highlight the lines in the app, record the other character’s lines, and use it as a teleprompter, which will scroll through the script as you are reading it. Then it just keeps playing on a loop. Again with these apps it is good to whisper your lines and read the other character’s lines out loud when you're recording, so you don’t get too caught up in the way you're saying your lines, but know how much time you have to say them. You can literally put your device on a chair and pretend you're running lines with someone. Apparently It’s so much better than a tape recorder. (I can't wait to try these apps myself).

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I hope this information helps!

Until next time…

Thank you for visiting,

Matt J. Doyle

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