Learning your lines with an APP in 2021Apr 23, 2020
Learning lines can be an issue for some actors, cant it?
Can line learning APPS really help?
I thought I'd do some detective work for y'all!
Confession time - I don't use learning lines apps to learn lines myself (old fashioned banging them into the brain - donkey work for me:-) but I thought I'd do a quick round up of some of the apps on the apps store and let you make up your own mind.
I found quite a few and figured anything that makes us better prepared, feel more confident and get more work gets a tick in my book.
Before You Begin - Listen To Will Smith
The only ones I could find are for iPhones/iPads so if you know of any that work on Android phones, please let me know wont ya?
Click on the images below to go to the website for learning lines via an APP. The learn lines apps i found include...
They say - "Scene Study is one of the easiest ways for an actor to learn lines for theatre and film. Created by actors for actors, Scene Study enables you to free yourself from the script and begin recalling lines from memory..."
Here's the link to their site - right here
You can find out more about them here
The only one of these I had heard about has some issues
Scene Partner - hits major issues!
Here is their website statement - read it here
Do they work? I don't know?
Do you use them? Let me know?
Another site with 8 Apps for actors to learn lines with :-)
FREE Self Taping Training - Click on the pic below
A New Way to Memorise
When we shot "The Firm", legendary director Alan Clarke told me (and Gary Oldman and the rest of us) “take the colour 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 colour leaves - the heavy inflections go, the over accenting the words disappears, and the naturalising begins…you start to sound like a human being not an"actor" - get the picture?
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's Own Super Tip
Whisper your lines gently, softly and precisely...
Love to hear your experiences on memorising lines ...
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.
DAVID Phelan . - Actor and Journalist
Smartphones and tablets are changing industries from healthcare to textbooks. Actor and journalist David Phelan reveals the impact on the TV and movie industry
A few months ago I was filming an episode of BBC legal drama Silk – the episode is on Wednesday night. In the studio actors, directors and crew were checking their smartphones for messages. Leaving aside that these phones were almost all iPhones, what was noticeable was that a bunch of actors were using iPads on location, too.
Key among the thesps’ little helpers is Rehearsal 2 (iPad, iPhone £13.99). After all, the first question every actor is asked, the very first question, is “How do you learn your lines?” Actually, the truth is there’s no magic bullet: the only answer is hard work studying the script. You can write them out, record your lines to play them back on your iPod or turn to an app.
Rehearsal 2 is one of several winning successes among actors. Once you’ve downloaded it, you import your script by emailing it to your assigned account at the app. There used to be a charge for this by script or by the month but it’s now been rejigged so there’s no in-app purchase any more.
Designed by the lengthily-named American actor David H Lawrence XVII, the app is widely liked by performers. Its best feature is the highlight function. Once you’ve imported a script you swipe your finger across your lines to highlight them in yellow. Then, when you’re trying to commit them to memory, one touch of the Blackout button turns the helpful yellow hue to impenetrable black, forcing you to remember.
Actors will tell you that the problem in learning is to read your script cues without accidentally seeing your next lines and this is a great solution. You can record scenes, speaking your lines quietly so in playback you can speak over them.
Throughout the app there are help documents or you turn to video equivalents, fronted by Lawrence, and throughout he shows his knowledge of actors’ foibles – that many don’t like highlighting lines, for instance.
There are other apps with similar intentions, like LineLearner (iPhone £2.49). Here, you don’t see your script on screen, you record the scenes from a printed copy, using separate buttons for your lines and other people’s. Then you can switch to playback with your lines audible or. Overall, though, this is a less successful app: it has a poor instruction manual, for a start.
And both this and Rehearsal run the risk that you’ll learn your lines in a set pattern and rhythm, which can be counter-productive as rehearsals progress and you change your take on the character. Which is what rehearsals are for.
The Stage has an app, too (iPhone £1.99). The industry’s trade paper was traditionally the place to look for jobs, and the app aims to find actors work. So it has a list of auditions and job searches. Unsurprisingly, auditions are thin on the ground, and are padded out with comedy and karaoke gigs.
Then there’s Scene Partner (iPad, iPhone, free but with in-app purchases), which includes electronic voices to speak other lines for you. I tested this with a Shakespeare play (two texts are included with the app, more are available to buy). Though there are actors who can murder Shakespeare, none comes close to the horrific experience of working with a computerised voice. Don’t do this.
Then there’s 2b Acting (iPhone, £4.99) is a useful resource of exercises on topics ranging from diction to sight reading. Some are included but others cost £1.99 each. There are modules on how to write your CV and diction exercises. There are video and audio elements to make the most of the app. Unlike many US-focused apps, this one has British voices at its heart. It’s written to appeal to aspiring actors and more experienced thesps in need of a brush-up.
Shakespeare Pro (iPad, iPhone £6.99) is the best of the many apps focusing on the bard. It has all the plays, several apocryphal or contemporary titles like Edward III and Double Falsehood and a helpful concordance. A section on scansion guides you through the basics of verse and an enjoyable quotes section (that you shake to refresh the screen) are also included.
Theatre Oxford Dictionary (iPad, iPhone £10.49) isn’t cheap, but it’s pretty encyclopaedic. There are biographies of everyone from Laurence Olivier to Harvey Fierstein, details on leading theatres and much more among the 2,500+ entries.
None of the apps above will make you a better actor, necessarily. But the iPad and iPhone are now crucial studio and theatre accessories. Lighting cameramen can use the ingenious Artemis Director’s Viewfinder (iPhone £20.99) to choose the right lens for their cameras, and Helios Sun Position Calculator (iPhone £20.99) so they know where the sun will be when – cloud permitting.
Writers have a bunch of apps that aim to help them be creative and format their scripts correctly. And if nothing else, actors can always use their iPhone to nag their agents to get them more jobs.
David Phelan appears in Silk on BBC1 at 9pm, Wednesday 19 June.
FAQ's about learning lines as an actor with an app 2020
1. How can I memorize lines quickly?
- Write your lines out. Try writing your lines out by hand — do not type them.
- 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"
- Run lines with a scene partner - another actor. Not the postman.
- Go for a walk in the open Air. As you walk say your lines (Proven Neuroscience that actually works). Take a nap. Meditate.
- Learn the cue lines. Use the learning lines app. Enjoy the opportunity.
2. How do you learn lines in a day?
- 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."
- 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.
- Any stress that comes up - acknowledge it. It's natural and normal. Accept it.
- Encourage yourself by saying "this is great, the lines are going in quickly, I'm getting there, yes..."
- Hit your target easily and effortlessly.
3. How do I learn a scene overnight?
- Read the scene several times, really get into it, understand it. Discover the intention. Use my perfect performance checklist free download on my site.
- Ask a friend to help. Another actor. Not the plumber. Use skype or Zoom if no one near by.
- 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.
- Move your body, this works as you allow oxygen into the brain, the lines will stuck. Proof? Here.
- Learn your cues.
- 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.
- 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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