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“Line!” – Memorization Tips

December 18, 2012
I recently had to memorize a lot of technical dialogue for an audition. I received the sides the night before my audition, and I immediately dove into them. I tend to find conversational dialogue easier to retain than technical dialogue. I have had to memorize a large amount of technical dialogue for jobs in the past. For example, I had to memorize 17 pages of very technical dialogue for a growth hormone training video. However, I still find it hard to retain the lines I have memorized. I think it is different for everyone. Every actor has their strengths and weaknesses. We just have to find ways to overcome those weaknesses. These are the steps I used to not only memorize the lines, but also have a great audition:
  • Don’t panic! Even though the lines looked overwhelming at first, I didn’t panic. I made myself a cup of tea, sat down, and began breaking down the large paragraphs into smaller, more manageable pieces. I also highlighted my lines, and marked any directions that were given.
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition. I repeated each line over and over, until I felt comfortable with them. Then I moved on, tacking on a new line when ready, and then running through the old lines with the new line added on – creating a sort of pyramid effect.
  • Do your research. I took a break and used the time to research the project, look up any words I was unsure of, and read the script. This gave me a better knowledge of my character and how she would react to the people and situations in the scenes I was given.
  • Use a reader. I had my roommate read over the sides with me that night, but I also took an extra step and called a reader to meet with me the next morning, just to give me another perspective and some added preparation before the audition. I put the sides to rest that night so I could get a good night’s rest, and aimed to get a fresh start in the morning.
  • The audition… After doing everything in my power to make the audition go well, I went into the audition room feeling confident. It was out of my hands. In conclusion, the audition went very well.
  • Leave the audition in the room. This is sometimes a difficult step for me, but in the end, you have to just leave the audition in the room. As long as you did your best, there is nothing else you could have done. Whether you are cast or not doesn’t always have to do with your performance. They may already have someone in mind, they may be searching for a different look, maybe you are too tall/short – who knows! Whatever it is, it’s out of your control. Don’t stress over it!
Do you find it easier to memorize technical or conversational dialogue? Do you have any steps that you follow to memorize difficult dialogue? I would love to hear them!
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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 18, 2012 12:42 pm

    Love this! I agree with you that it is different for everyone, since everyone remembers things in a different way, but these are some great tips to help any actor!

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