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Welcome to Spring 2024!

(By Kenzie Price)

Once again, we find ourselves at the beginning of a semester. It seems like we just finished our last shows! Time flies when you’re having fun!

One of the main things that inevitably takes time and effort in theatre is memorizing lines. While there is no magical way to memorize lines, here are some incredibly helpful methods and tricks to memorize lines quickly and efficiently!

Method #1 - Reading through your script

Whether you enjoy reading through the entirety of your script or not, getting to know your script is truly one of the most helpful methods. When you know your script, you get to know the show really well. It helps you understand your own lines in context with other people’s lines. Reading through the script several times helps solidify the flow of the scenes.

Of course, it’s not necessary that you read the script cover to cover every time you practice. You can focus more on the scenes you are in, but you’ll want to know the flow of the rest of the show as well. Your script is your friend. 🙂

Method #2 - Writing out your lines and cue lines

Writing things down on paper will help you to remember them. It is also effective if you write the lines down in different colors. Looking at something in color actually increases your attentional level, therefore making it easier to remember. Or shall I say… noteworthy. 😉

Method #3 - Use notecards/flashcards

You can do this with good old-fashioned flashcards by writing your line on one side and your cue line on the other side. You can also do this digitally with a program such as Quizlet.   

Something I find helpful that doesn’t necessarily require “study” time is writing my lines and cue lines on the same side of the notecard and hanging them up in a place where I will see them often. I like to hang them in my room so I can read them when I’m walking by or getting ready each day.

Method #4 - Audio recordings

I recently discovered that I am an auditory learner… and making audio recordings to memorize things has worked wonders for me. I used this method quite a bit for my last show and also memorized a fairly long monologue for a recent audition in only a few days by creating an audio recording of it and listening to it!

You can do this a few different ways, but one way that I find to be super effective is to record yourself reading through all of the lines in the scene, leaving space in the recording for your lines. This way you can play the recording back to yourself and say your lines. The best part? You learn the flow of the entire scene in addition to your own lines without even having to spend extra time on it!

Method #5 - Practice before you go to sleep

There’s something about practicing lines before bed that just helps to solidify them in your brain. It seems that your brain more or less sorts out the information for you while you’re asleep, and I find that I can memorize lines much quicker this way.

It’s amazing- if there’s one line I always get stuck on or a section of a monologue I’m struggling with, I’ll read it and say it out loud to myself a few times before I go to sleep, and most of the time I’ll wake up and be able to say it out loud. It’s wonderful!

Method #6 - Have someone else help you practice!

Whether it’s a friend, a sibling or parent, it is helpful to  have someone else go through lines with you, and “quiz” you. It’s first of all just way more fun this way and secondly you can find out how well you’ve really learned a line or scene because you don’t have the script in your hand. Practicing with a friend helps you to better see what needs improvement and makes it easier as well!

And #7 - Because it's the perfect number...

Studies show that repeating something out loud seven times in a row helps it to transition to your long-term memory. While it’s not the only way to memorize things, it is definitely a quick and easy way to make a dent in memorization.

In Closing...

These are just a few helpful methods for memorizing lines, or really anything else.  Everyone has a different style of learning, so not every method will work for everyone. Find what works for you!

Happy practicing!!
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