How to Memorize Lines quickly in 2019

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Want to Memorize Lines? : The Easy Way

Need to learn how to memorize your lines?

I can teach you that. Easily. And quickly…Some actors prefer to use an app these days so you might like this article as well :-)

I can learn pretty much anything now but it wasn't always that way - believe me - you see...

I used to be really “bad” at remembering my lines, stuttering, fluffing, you name it.… A teacher I had at The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art in London used to say “Learning lines is the donkey work."

I always found it hard and then...I started applying these easy to use memorization techniques. Let me show you how you can do it too - quickly and easily - and still have fun. It's a lot easier than you think and we'll find ways to keep that donkey down! :-)

Repetition to memorize lines

Most actors memorize lines by repeating the words over and over again to themselves inside their minds.

What they don't realize is that they're not only learning and remembering the words - they are also learning and remembering the rhythm, the vocal inflections, and maybe the tone of voice as well. This all spells disaster! Why?

It’s overloading your brain…and we really don't want to do that now do we?

It’s “bad” muscle memory - and it’s lethal to good acting. If you're trapped in “bad” muscle memory, you cannot be free - vocally or otherwise. You're not acting truthfully. You’re not “in the moment”.


A New Way to Memorize lines

When we shot The Firm, legendary director Alan Clarke told me (and Gary Oldman and the rest of us) “take the color out of what you’re saying” you’re being too interesting - make it sound and feel like it’s normal - no inflection. Repeat as if it means nothing…nothing at all…"

I wasn't sure about this, not at all - it felt weird at first but then an odd thing happens...

…the color leaves - the heavy inflections go, the over accenting the words disappears, and the normalizing begins…you start to sound like a human being not an"actor" - get the picture? This is how to practice memorizing lines

When you do it like this, you get rid of any “bad” muscle memory linked with the lines. So when you come to play the scene, you’ll be free and your performance can be different every single time!

They are no longer lines…they are natural organic thoughts.

Nick Tip

Whisper your lines gently, softly and precisely...

Love to hear your experiences on memorizing lines for actors...

Leave a comment on my blog


This Video Helps Memorizing Lines and Made Me Laugh

 


Memorizing lines technique - with or without an app

1. Write your lines out.

Write your lines out by hand — no typing.

This works great for scenes with speeches. This forces your brain to connect to the action of writing the lines down and seeing the lines and feeling the meaning behind the lines. Focus on writing your lines out and your lines alone. As you write, muse, think, connect...allow your unconscious mind into the act. Ask your inner mind to support you.

2. Run lines with a partner.

This is one of the best known and fun methods for memorizing lines. The key is to run your scene lines with another actor. Allow the other actor to coach you and read any stage directions to you. Listen to the words and absorb the script.

If you can’t find someone to help you run lines, try using the app Rehearsal Pro (above). It allows you to highlight lines in the app, record other characters’ lines, and use it as a teleprompter.

3. Test yourself.

Cover up everything but the one line you are trying to learn. Read the same line over and over again. When you feel comfortable, try reciting the line without looking at it. If you can, move on to the next line and start again.

4. Go for a walk in the open air - take a nap. Meditate?

Stress really gets in the way. When you walk, you are exercising muscles and that helps with memorization. Great tip for learning lines. I use this.

5. Learn your cue lines.

Learn your cue lines — the lines that lead into yours. When you know a cue you make a connection - an action - pops into your mind.

 


FAQ's about learning lines as an actor with an app

1. How can I memorize lines quickly?

  1. Write your lines out. Try writing your lines out by hand — do not type them. 
  2. As you go to sleep ask your unconscious mind gently to assist you to (say this "help me learn the lines effortlessly, quickly and easily"
  3. Run lines with a scene partner - another actor. Not the postman.
  4. Go for a walk in the open Air. As you walk say your lines (Proven Neuroscience that actually works). Take a nap. Meditate.
  5. Learn the cue lines. Use the learning lines app. Enjoy the opportunity.

2. How do you learn lines in a day?

  1. Visualise a positive outcome. See yourself having successfully achieved your goal of learning your lines in a day. Step into that goal. Make it yours. Say to yourself. "I can do this, it is now DONE."
  2. Break the script down into bite sized pieces. Get a piece of paper. Write a chunk. Learn a chunk. Move on to the next chunk. Repeat.
  3. Any stress that comes up - acknowledge it. It's natural and normal. Accept it.
  4. Encourage yourself by saying "this is great, the lines are going in quickly, I'm getting there, yes..."
  5. Hit your target easily and effortlessly.

3.  How do I learn a scene overnight?

  1. Read the scene several times, really get into it, understand it. Discover the intention. Use my perfect performance checklist free download on my site.
  2. Ask a friend to help. Another actor. Not the plumber. Use skype or Zoom if no one near by.
  3. Practise, practise, practise. This is the only way to make the lines stick. There is no such thing as a “photographic” memory. Everybody has to do this, even Al Pacino.
  4. Move your body, this works as you allow oxygen into the brain, the lines will stuck. Proof? Here.
  5. Learn your cues.
  6. Little and often. Go over them first thing in the morning, a few times during the day and last thing at night. And as you go to sleep ask your unconscious mind to assist you and effortlessly to allow the words to enter your mind like ink through blotting paper.
  7. As you imagine the scene you are preparing the next day, imagine it going really well, imagine it being performed confidently and  effortlessly.  Make it DONE.

 

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