There is no ONE right way to memorize, but it's hard to find YOUR way...
If you ask an actor what's one of the worst parts of being an actor, memorizing lines is probably close to the top of that list! It can be stressful and frustrating. Casting might send you audition sides that are 13-pages and you have a HUGE monologue, and by the way, the self-tape is due TOMORROW. How can we prepare within the given amount of time???
There are many ways to memorize quickly, but here are my top five tips to level-up your brain without having to play hours and hours of Wordle or Crosswords...
Tip #1 - Practice with someone else
This method is the most widely accepted way to memorize lines quickly and with less mistakes. The best way to utilize this method is by having the person helping you hold the paper, and you NOT holding the paper! Sure, read the lines the first time, but then drop the script! I constantly see actors who memorize holding their scripts go BLANK as soon as they go to record their tapes… Trust me, don’t trick yourself into thinking your memorized and just drop the script!
Tip #2 - Record yourself saying the lines
If you don’t have someone to run lines with, that’s totally fine. Another great way to learn lines fast is by recording yourself speaking the words. Whether you're using a memo app on your smartphone or LineLearner (link below), make sure you record YOUR lines, and the OTHER CHARACTERS’ lines. You want to memorize your cues as well as the lines. Take your time with this, what’s tricky about this method is that you must remember the lines and correct yourself as you go.
Download LineLearner to your device here
Tip #3 - Write it down
If audible learning doesn’t compute with your brain (totally normal by the way), then you might want to try either typing or handwriting your lines! I haven’t tried this one personally, but I know actors who SWEAR by this technique! Writing things down has a way of cementing words and sentences into our minds, like writing appointments in a planner or agenda. Write your lines over and over, and the words will sneak their way into your memory.
Tip #4 - Take a nap
Yes, I’m telling you to sleep more, and there’s science to back me up. According to HopkinsMedicine.org, Scientists found that people who napped for 30 to 90 minutes had better word recall – which is a sign of good memory – than people who did not nap or who napped for longer than 90 minutes. Next time you’re running lines, try running them right before a nap or before bedtime. Your brain will work its magic while you sleep, and you will be shocked at how many lines you remember!
Tip #5 - You don’t need to learn the whole thing in one night!
Whether your memorizing lines for a self-tape or you have a weekly scene study class, we all feel the time crunch for our prep. It’s not fun nor helpful to memorize big chunks of dialogue in one night! Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren says it best:
"Start by memorizing one line. Once you have that down, add another. Keep going until you’ve tackled the entire script. You might be surprised at how much your memory can hold — and how quickly you get there"
Remember, not all of these will work for you.
It takes trial and error to figure out your method, but then again so does acting! You might never enjoy running lines and that's 100% normal, but you want to be able to memorize as efficiently as possible so you can kick butt in your next audition!
For more tips and tricks, check out www.TheDramaClass.com !