Learning lines...

  • User Deleted

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    I have never had a problem with learning lines but I am currently in a production of Much Ado and I'm having real trouble getting them to sink in. I spend hours learning them then an hour later I can't for the life of me remember them. Any advice.... How do you learn yours????

    Adz x

    • 12th Mar 2006
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  • User Deleted

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    for me I break the lines down into small chunks

    and in those chunks i look for the meaning and emotion that the way i remember them

    good luck

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 1
  • User Deleted

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    I find if I am struggling, then I write them down from memory and only look back to the text if I desperately can't remember the next bit. Other more experienced actors who are friends have told me learn sections in a non-chronological order, even sing them and do them in different accents regardless of the characters.

    The random section learning only really helps me when I have massive monologues, but may be worth a try.

    Would be interesting to hear other people's approaches…

    H x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 2
  • Lewis Harwood

    Actor

    Hi,

    I usually find that if I get them into my head just before I go to sleep then they are more likely to be there in the morning - your mind then has a chance to consolidate them without its focus being taken up by other things. I studied psychology a bit as well, and this is backed up by various studies.

    From a completely different point of view, I also think that having the fear of thinking you'll be stood on stage without knowing them helps.

    Keep plugging away and it'll be fine.

    Lewis

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    Physicalising them works as well..your body will retain the physical memory and therefore the words. Best done somewhere private of course!!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 4
  • User Deleted

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    Hi,

    What i usually do is record the lines of monologues on tape recorder and listen to them as much as i can.

    Also if you have a duologue,you could record the lines of your partner and leave a gap when it's your time to speak.

    Practise while you are doing somethingelse physically,like washing up dishes,ironing...

    Good luck with it all! xx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 5
  • Augustine Flint-Hartle

    Actor

    Hi,

    I pick key words in every sentance and hightlight them. I also write them on a seperate piece of paper and see if I remember the sentance that goes with them.

    ie "When I'd dusted round and done my jobs I had a walk on to the end and bought a little packet of pork sausages and some Basildon Bond. Big black hair in the sausage. So I wrote off to the makers enclosing the hair."

    Key words:

    Dusted, walk, pork, Basildon.

    Hair.

    Wrote.

    I might have more keys words if that sentance is long or if I am having difficulty. I also create images linking sentances and paragraphs (usually completely bizarre ones that will be vivid enought to remember). It's quite a fun way to break dialogue down as well :)

    Don't worry it will sink in, memory works in stange ways :)

    Augustine x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 6
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    yep I have to agree with the tape recording and the physicality... I am usually excellent at remmebering but these two always seem to do the trick if I'm struggling. If you record it you can listen to the lines where ever you go...... you'll probably get so sick of the sound of your own voice that you will be forced to remember them! :P

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 7
  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    Breaking down lines into sections really does help as it enables you to catagorize actions and emotions throughout the piece, which in turn associates the lines.

    Good luck.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 8
  • Peter McCrohon

    Actor

    Hello. First of all, what role are you learning. The sheer volume of lines might be unsettling you. I agree with a previous post about learning just before you go to sleep. Perhaps the classical language is a worry? It shouldn't be-Shakespeare is easier to learn than anything else (restoration is the bugger!). I think what you need to do now is to work out whether you are a visual or audial person. I am the latter, so force my partner to go over the lines with me, and by hearing them, they sink in. Do you hear the lines or see them? If you 'see' them on your page, just go line by line. Don't jumpa line until you know it. The final tip would be, once you have the blocking of the piece, when learning your lines, always move with them-this way you get a physical memory and when your body moves, the line comes. Hope this helps.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Derek Horsham

    Actor

    If all else fails: Pray,then feign illness!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 10
  • Simon Nader

    Actor

    Hi mate,

    Def agree with the people who do the "last thing at night" method and it's weird how confident you feel in the morning when you remember chunks that you couldn't before you slept.

    But one thing I find REALLY helps it sink in is to just think of funny metaphors or a vision that describes something in each line and then I can relate the "visions" to each other. May sound weird, but it has always worked for me, even with the big roles. I guess it depends on the way your mind works, but it can help you find the gist of the words even if they are in heightened language and then it's easier to fill in the blanks.

    Might not work for all, but works for me so good luck!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    Wow! What a wealth of advice, thankyou everyone for all the tips. Today was our last rehearsal with scripts and I feel a lot more confident as I was able to go through a lot of scenes without referring to the book.

    Thanks for the great advice, always good to hear how people do things in different ways!

    Adz x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 12
  • Nicholas Obileye

    Actor

    this may be the weirdest method suggested so far, but I always seem to learn my lines better by learning all the other lines in the scene as well as mine. I personally find it gives me a good idea of the ebb and flow of the scene, and so even if I come unstuck, I can always find my way back. On the other hand if the person you are playing the scene with is the one to lose it (which can happen to the best of us), you can save the day, and be the hero. This has always served me well, apart from one or two times. Other than that, I'd recommend repetition in general. The more you repeat those lines to yourself the better. I've had lots of funny looks on the tube as I repeat my lines to myself...having said that I am guilty of singing to myself on the tube, so maybe I'm just a bit odd! Anyway, wish you the best with the line learning dilemma, it's a problem I'd enjoy being faced with. Good luck!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 13
  • Daisy Brydon

    Actor

    i also agree with recording, and just before i go to sleep and then again in the morning as soon as i wake up to refresh. But also once you have blocking, it becomes easier to associate what your saying to your movements.

    Stragely i also find it helps and this may be an odd personal thing, but learning them in the bath, because it is a relaxing place, and no-one can disturbe you.

    Also i link the first letter of a word to another word with the same letter. for example ´

    ´O LORD, HE will HANG upon him LIKE a disease: he

    is sooner caught THAN the pestilence, and the TAKER

    runs presently mad. God help the noble CLAUDIO! if

    HE have CAUGHT the Benedick, it will COST HIM a

    thousand pound ere a' be CURED.´

    the words that are in caps i link with the word that has the same letter ´Lord´ with ´Like´, ´Claudio´ with ´Caught´ etc.

    I hope this helps.

    Daisy

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    Your quote is from much ado which is the play im doing... magic! There must be special forces at play!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 15
  • Shaun Johnson

    Actor

    Well I dont have a problem learning lines because I have not had a gig in 2 years, good luck anyway some great ideas on here

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Lily Lou Karrouze

    Actor

    Has anyone ever tried that old theory of tape recording your lines and playing the tape whilst you're asleep?

    Doesn't sound as if it would work but just wondered if anyone had actually tried it?!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 17
  • Matt Rix

    Actor

    hey! the best way i find to get them stuck in is to first of all not worry about learning or forgetting. Read through them and understand the overall motivation behind the line/s. and then when practising if you get stuck look back again refresh your memory then carry on.

    The important thing is to not worry about it or over work yourself. I mean, do commit to a good amount of study, but if you find yourself wandering or getting annoyed etc, then take your well earned break.

    Always remeber practice makes perfect! if you do something enough you will inevitably remeber how to do it!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 18
  • Alexander Helm

    Actor

    I have recently had a few auditions for a couple of theatre productions and realised there wasn't much time to learn lines. Often less than a week to learn a main part in a Shakespearean production. I have usually had the luxury of being cast for things well in advance of the production and plenty of quality rehearsal time. The shortest rehearsal time I have had was a fortnight for a medium sized part. I was wondering what the shortest amount of time other people had to learn their lines.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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