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How do actors memorize their lines?

November 29, 2014

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Learning your lines and knowing when to deliver them is one of the most challenging tasks of an actor. Getting onstage and performing in front of all those people is not all of actors’ worries. Forgetting lines is also a nightmare from which it could be hard to recover.

If you’re having any difficulty committing lines to memory, here are a few helpful tips for you:

Writing them down

Do you remember in school when your teachers would ask you to take notes? It’s not because they want you to waste your time jotting down information that can be found in your textbook. Writing makes it easier for you to remember these information. The same can be said about your lines.

Write down your ideas before you sit down to a keyboard.

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Read and re-read the script

How much can you remember after you’ve read something once? Barely anything, right? At most, you’ll be able to recite a single short sentence. If you read your lines enough times, they will eventually get burned into your memory. How long it will take depends on how well you can memorize and the pace differs from person to person.

Scrap paper method

For this method, you need to find a scrap piece of paper (or anything you can cover your script with). Once you know your lines, cover them with the paper, look up (avoid looking down on the script), and check if you’ve memorized them.

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The secret is to find a method that works for you. Don’t let a long script scare you. If other actors can do it, then so can you!

My name is Louis P. Habash and I am a musical theater actor. Like my Facebook page for more tips and tricks to ace your next audition.


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