This post is for those of you that like me, have a burning desire to become a working actor and because of this you are now plagued with the constant responsibility to master digesting words from paper into your mind… fast.
Anyone in the business will tell you that line learning is one of the most crucial parts of the acting process. I learnt this for the first time in college when one of my mentors said, “Learn your lines from yesterday” This resonated with me because what he meant by that was, be so in tune with the words, that you no longer think about them. Embed them into your subconscious, so you can let that go and focus on your objectives in a speech or scene. Since then that has been a staple in my own personal acting bible and over the years I have heard many more people reiterate the same thing. So, if everyone is saying it, it must be important. Do not slack when it comes to learning lines!
Here are a few of my best tips for learning those pesky lines:
- During scenes with people, understand the conversation and learn your lines as a response to what is happening: Let the conversation trigger your thoughts.
- When learning speeches, break it down; learn line by line or thought by thought.
- If you’re alone, in a space where talking to yourself is acceptable, walk around and speak your lines out loud at the same time. Do this to train your mind to multitask, so even if you’re doing or thinking something else those lines are learnt.
- If you’re in a public place but need to cram lines I suggest writing the speech repeatedly, line by line until its all gone in. But be warned, if you do decide to use this technique I recommend that at some point you practice saying the written speech out loud to guarantee that you can speak it and not just write it.
- Record yourself saying the speech and listen to it over and over again.
- Listen to the audio book of the whole play and read along with it.
- Start speed running it until you can say the lines as fast as you can without thinking, then you have no worries because you know it’s in your subconscious.
- Finally, once you’ve learnt it, make sure you keep practicing or you’ll forget it.
I hope you found my tips useful and if you have any other tips then please feel free to put a comment down below… Sharing is caring!