Learning your lines takes time, and the bigger your role, the more time you need to be willing to dedicate to it. When you’re first starting out, you’ll be practicing short monologues, --, and potentially sample parts of the script during your audition. Here are 8 tips to help you learn your lines. You don’t have to try them all of course, but start with the ones that suit your learning style:
1. Write out your lines.
As you write your lines on paper, you involve yet another part of your brain in the memorization process. It forces your mind to connect to the action of writing the lines down and seeing the lines.
2. Get a friend to help you.
Hand your friend the script so she can read your cues while you respond with your lines. Your friend can give you valuable feedback and correct you if you happen to misquote something.
3. Sleep on it!
Review your lines just before you turn out the lights and go to sleep at night. The last thing on your mind before you sleep will be your lines. Studies show that this is a great way to improve recall. No one’s exactly sure why it works, but it does! For extra benefit, review the lines again as soon as you wake up.
4. Do something else while you recite.
Review your lines while doing an unrelated activity: walk the dog, throw a Frisbee, wash the dishes, anything. When you move your body, it helps with memorization
5. Highlight your lines.
Highlight the lines directly before your lines in a different color. These lines are your “cue” lines that let you know that it’s your turn to speak, so you should memorize those along with your own lines.
6. Match your lines to your blocking.
Your movement on stage, or “blocking,” determines where your character stands, when they sit, and how they physically interact with other characters. If a line or set of lines is really frustrating you, try acting out what your character is supposed to be doing during those lines as you say them.
7. Memorize small portions at a time.
Break up the script into small, manageable sections and tackle them one at a time. It’s the principle of divide and conquer, and it’s helpful in memorization.
8. Use your camera phone.
Video yourself saying your lines. Playback the video often and try to recite your lines along with yourself. Again, this uses different learning styles — you’re seeing the lines being delivered, you’re hearing them, and you’re using your facial muscles to learn them.
Try out each of these methods to find what learning style is best for you, and then do that, which will help you with your school work as well!
The better you know your lines, the more confident you will be onstage, and the better your interaction with the other actors. When you have your lines down pat, you can concentrate on acting and not constantly worry about what you’re supposed to say next.
Keep reading my blog for more tips for young actors, writers, and even songwriters! You can even follow me on the Katrina Kusa Facebook page for more tips that I’ve learned on my journey as a young actress