We've all been there. 6 days to get the music, lines and blocking all down. We stay up long hours after school, after work, after rehearsal. And now, because we're tired, no matter what we do, the lines don't friggin' stick!
But maybe, just maybe it's not that we CAN'T memorize everything, we're just going about it all wrong.
We all learn in different ways. Some people have a photographic memory: the innate ability to read it once, and remember it forever...we won't talk about how we feel about those individuals...HOWEVER, let's DO talk about some practical ways to remember those gosh darned lines.
These are my top 3:
- SEE IT - This may be old-school, but writing all of your lines out on paper is a tried and true way to get those words into the brain. You can even type them out on the computer.
- HEAR IT - There are numerous APPS out there to help with memorization. Most require you to upload a PDF version of the script. Take a look at things like Rehearsal Pro ($19.99), Line Learner ($3.99) or the one I use because it's FREE and it gets the job done Script Rehearser...you can't beat FREE!
- WORK IT - Relate the lines to specific movements and blocking, or even use a different focal points for each thought. My favorite way to memorize is to get on the old treadmill and kill two birds with one stone (that's a terrible phrase, by the way). For me, the repetitive movement does something to jostle my brain, and the words and lyrics seem to stick. Are you an overachieving type A personoality? Try using the Script Rehearser WHILE you're on the treadmill...just get used to people staring at you while you silently mouth your lines...I have.
There are so many things you can do to help yourself while memorizing. Run lines with a friend, use your inner monologue to create your character's thought process. Or, write them out on 3x5 cards and carry them with you, just make sure to number the cards!
In the end, the absolute BEST way is to keep a positive mental outlook. I know, I know...this sounds "crunchy-granola", but if you use those positive affirmations to tell yourself "it's easy to memorize" or "I learn things quickly", you might just surprise yourself! Feel free to share YOUR method of memorization!