We’ve all been there: you’re relaxing after a long day and suddenly bing! you receive an email from your agents with nine pages of material for an audition tomorrow. Yikes! Luckily for you, we’ve compiled six helpful tips to help you memorize your lines at the last minute.
1. Break down your script/ scene.
If you’ve taken a class at Acting Studio Chicago, you know that we love Michael Shurtleff’s 12 Guideposts. In other words, going through your audition pages- and the full script, if provided- and outlining what you’re Fighting For and the Moment Before is always step number one. Know who you’re speaking to (Relationship) and why you’re saying it. This way, you’ll know the intention behind each line and what actions to play in your scene, which of course, makes committing the words to memory even easier!
2. Move and speak.
Muscle memory is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you retain words as well. Highlighting your lines and objectives for each scene is a great start, but in order to get them in your body, you must practice actually saying the words aloud while moving about your space. As faculty member, Christy Arington, says, “when I test my memorization skills by speaking my lines out loud, it works best when I do so while moving around the room.” For instance, reciting your scenes while working out or cleaning is a wonderful way to lock in your lines.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Repetition is one of the most common and effective ways to memorize. Run through your lines while walking the dog, then run them again when you get ready for bed, and again in the morning when you wake up. If you have time, write them down and read them over that way as well. When you’re memorizing with little time to prepare, repeating them as much as possible is a surefire way to get them to stick in your brain.
4. Get a little help from your friends.
Anyone who’s friends with an actor knows this day is coming. Before performing in the audition room, run your lines with friends and family–actor friends are a plus! Whomever you choose, ask them nicely and make sure you’ve completed steps one through three to make the process run as swiftly as possible.
For a little extra help, record your run-through and listen to it back on your downtime, or utilize memorization apps made especially for actors!
5. Sleep on it.
The Learning Center states, “studies show that your brain processes and stores information while you sleep. In Essence, reviewing information just before you go to sleep—even if it’s only for a few minutes—helps embed the information in your memory.
6. Give yourself a break.
Acting is what we love to do, but it’s not who we are. We encourage you to remember that you’re a human being with emotions, living a life with ups and downs. If you can’t memorize your whole side, you can always hold it in the audition room or in your self tape. Ultimately, do whatever makes you happy, comfortable and focused. If a job is for you to book, there’s no doubt that you will book it!
If you prefer hands-on help, you can always take an Acting Studio Chicago class taught by experts in the biz. Classes are a great way to memorize your lines and practice auditioning in a safe space. For more tips like these, feel free to read our Prioritize and Memorize! 6 Tips To Help You Memorize Your Lines | Acting Studio Chicago by Christy Arington. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, our door is always open!