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The Best Methods for Memorizing Lines

The Best Methods for Memorizing Lines

While being an actor will provide you an opportunity to exercise your creative freedom, you still need to memorize your lines. This is the part that a lot of actors hate — because scripts can definitely become intimidating if you have to remember hundreds, if not thousands of lines. You won’t have anybody to help you here. Your only choice is to rely on your memory to get you through the whole script!

 

Memorization is probably the most frustrating aspect of being an actor. However, it plays a huge role in your success. Here are the best methods for memorizing lines.

The magic of the “Mnemonic Device”

No, it’s not paraphernalia used for summoning demons. It’s one of the easiest tricks to recall your lines. Say, for example, your line is, “I had to do what I can to survive.” You’ll write down the letter on a notepad as “I h t d w I c t s.”

 

Say your line while looking at the letters. Repeat it until you can say the whole line without having to look at the letters. It’s an awesome hack that tricks your brain into saying the full word even if you just know the letter. 

Record Your Lines

Use a voice memo app to record your lines. Read it with feelings and the proper intonation. Once you’re satisfied with how you sound, listen to your recordings while you’re running errands, doing chores, or even while you’re trying to sleep.

 

This could get annoying if you have housemates, but it’s another effective method to help you remember lines more quickly. 

Go old school — Use Bookmarks

Some actors treat their scripts like a reviewer before a huge exam. They use bookmarks or a small piece of paper to cover some parts of the line and quiz themselves. It’s such a simple method, but there’s a reason why it works for a myriad of reasons. 

 

Sure, it’s quite boring, but it’ll get you results!

Grab a pen and paper

Similar to the old-school method mentioned previously, writing down your lines will help you memorize them faster. Your muscle memory can help your actual memory. It takes a lot of time, but it can help you perfect your memorization skills. 

Look for a partner

There’s only so much you can do by yourself before you start to get bored. If you’ve tried other methods but none seems to work for you, then go get yourself a partner. Find one of your cast members and ask them to read lines with you. 

 

Don’t have cast members that you’re comfortable with? Then grab one of your friends, or a family member to practice your scene with.

 

It’s a great method of bonding with someone, and it keeps your mind sharp and prepares you for your scene.

Take a break

If you’re a fan of the hustle, taking a nap or going for a walk may sound preposterous to you. However, even if you’re not physically tired, your brain might be. That’s why it’s important that you spend some time away from the task at hand.

 

If you give your brain a much-needed break, you’ll get better chances of retaining information. Let’s say that you’ve been at it for a few hours already, but your mind is not absorbing anything. Then spend the next 30 minutes to an hour away from your script. Do something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking. 

 

If you really must read your lines, then make sure you take a power nap after you go through it. It’ll help your brain move all of that info from your short-term memory to your long-term one. If you find it hard to sleep, then the same effect can be achieved by exercising or taking a short walk. 

 

It’s important that you give your mind a break after memorizing your script. Your mind will go into panic mode and won’t cooperate with you if you keep forcing it to work over hours.

 

If you find memorizing lines to be difficult, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to memorize your lines just in time for the play. find a method that works best for you, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other techniques. Who knows? They may just help you become the star of your own play someday!

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