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Need help Learning Lines? My Review of LineBuddies.com

June 18, 2013

I’m definitely not someone who feels the pressure to be completely off book for an audition. I’m of the Margie Haber school of thought that it is okay to hold and use the script. However, I do get very bored working on scenes by myself in my apartment and my husband, although he has numerous amazing qualities, hates running lines with me.

Rehearsing or running a scene is always helpful! I have a friend who for “big” auditions always rents a studio for an hour and has a friend rehearse the scene with her.  Ideally that would be perfect but isn’t an option for me financially, given that I’d need to pay a babysitter too. For more challenging audition material I’m also a fan of doing a coaching session, I love Roz Coleman, but again this is rarely an option financially.

A Bi-Coastal Casting Director recently told me that the biggest difference between NYC actors and LA actors is that in LA actors always memorize and in NYC they don’t.  She really felt that a script should be memorized.  I don’t entirely agree but can clearly see the difference in tapes where an actor is buried in the script compared to another whose eyes are off the page with the freedom to behave and inhabit the character.

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I was excited when given the opportunity to try out LineBuddies.com for Green Room Blog!  It struck me as a less expensive and very intriguing way to learn lines/run a scene.  I scheduled my 30min appointment for 9am and emailed my sides to them the day before – though you can do it up to 15min before your appt.  I choose a 2-page film side that I was going to use at an upcoming workshop.

You have the option of choosing between using phone or video chat – I chose Skype. My line buddy called me at 9am on the dot.  Due to technical difficulties, on my end, we could only hear each other and not see each other.  (I didn’t realize my Skype was software was not up to date, and once I realized I didn’t want to waste any of my 30min slot updating it)

To be honest I thought it might be a bit weird running lines with a total stranger but within a minute I felt like I was running them with an old friend.  I asked to read the whole scene through twice before attempting to get off book.  After that I chose to focus on the first page, at which point my line buddy asked how I wanted to be corrected – after every wrong word or if paraphrasing was acceptable.  I said that paraphrasing was okay at this early stage.

I don’t get off-book that easily and was surprised how quickly the lines came.  On the first page, the lines of dialogue were short and we quickly progressed to my line buddy correcting me on any incorrect word.  The second page began with a short monologue and my line buddy was very patient as I drilled it over and over again.  Then I focused on the remainder of the scene.  After that it was back to the beginning to run the whole scene several times.

By the end of our session, I wasn’t word for word perfect but I was pretty close – and a lot closer than I expected to be.  Line Buddies is very clear that they do not do coaching.  However, as I got more familiar with the scene, a couple of discoveries about the character occurred to me.  I also enjoyed that as I was hands-free I could stand, sit and wander about the room as long as my computer could register my voice.  Getting the words in my body always helps memorize and it allowed me to play a little bit with some character activity too, which was fun.

I really have nothing negative to say.  Line Buddies is a fantastic tool for actors, especially for last minute auditions.  I do wish I had updated my Skype earlier as that would have been the ideal way to maximize my time with my line buddy.  Though it feels a little bit like an urban myth right now, at some point I hope to be one of those actors that have so many auditions every day that I couldn’t possibly memorize every script. At that point, I’ll be calling Line Buddies a lot just to give myself a few minutes to focus on each scene.

More Info (and a DISCOUNT) on LineBuddies.com

Rebecca Tello and Nickol Matallana created LineBuddies.com in 2012.  They met while studying acting at NYU’s Stella Adler.

Line Buddies are professionally trained actors.  At this time sessions need to be booked 2 hours in advance though according to their website “If you are in a real jam, you can always try sending an email.  If we can we will try to squeeze you in.”

Prices are $15 for a 25min session or $30 or 50min session. Discount packages of 5, 10 or 20 sessions are also available.

If you’d like to check Line Buddies out they are offering GreenRoomBlog Readers a generous 20% discount on any session (and as many as you like) until July 15th 2013!  Email info@linebuddies.com to book your session.

For more info check out their website or their FAQs.

You can also connect with Line Buddies on Twitter and Facebook

Post sponsored by LineBuddies.com.

Post a question below if you have any questions about my experience.  And let me know if you give Line Buddies a try!

Talk soon,

The Mothering Actor Signature

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