Memorizing Lines

I've always used a tape recorder to learn my lines. (I guess the word "tape" is becoming obsolete. "Audio recorder?") I usually record my lines and the cues separately. I strive to know my lines fairly well by the first rehearsal. It helps if the director has set a date to be off book and a date for no further prompting. It also helps if the director adheres to the deadline. When I taught, I can recall a student telling me that I'd have to prompt every word. "So be it," I said, "we'll be here twice as long." "Why?" the student asked. "Do the math," I said. And that's just what happened. There was improvement after that.

I used to think that it was easier when I learned the lines in relation to the blocking. That might be true to a degree but after performing "Hamm" in "Endgame" I realized that I was using that as an excuse to put off the task. I was stuck in a chair on a rolling platform the entire play so there was no blocking to relate to.

It's just so much more interesting and rewarding to perform when the lines are really learned well. It's also much easier to pretend to be just having the thought and easier to really listen to the other actors.

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