Picture this: it’s 11:00 pm the night before your show’s off-book date. You’ve been working on your lines for hours, but you just can’t seem to get them down. Frustrated, you ask yourself, “Why is this taking me so long? Why can’t I memorize my lines??”
Perhaps you’re memorizing all wrong!
The first step to faster, easier memorization is discovering your learning style. There are three main styles of learning: Visual (watching/reading), Auditory (listening), and Tactile (touching objects/textures). Click here for a short quiz to help you discover your personal learning style.
Once you know your learning style, check out these script-savvy ways to make memorization a breeze!
1. Visual: As a visual learner, you respond best to written words and pictures. Take a look at these strategies for memorizing your lines:
- Color-code your script with different highlighters (try using one color for your lines and another for your cues.)
- Make flashcards for the trickiest lines. Put a keyword or phrase on the front, and the whole line on the back.
- Draw a map of your blocking, including keywords from the lines you say at each place. When you perform, you can visualize your map to help trigger what you say next!
2. Auditory: For an auditory learner like you, spoken words and sounds are key. Check out these memorization strategies:
- Ask a friend or parent to read your lines, while you repeat after them. When you’ve memorized, ask them to read your cues while you recite your lines. You’ll hear the lines twice, which means double the memorization!
- Record yourself saying your lines and cues, and listen to the recording over and over.
- Set your lines to the tune of your favorite song. Sing the song when you’re doing chores, going to school, or taking a study break.
3. Tactile: If you’re a tactile learner, your strengths are hands-on crafts and acting things out. Try these memorization strategies:
- Type your lines. Involving your hands adds action to your memorization. It also gives movement and shape to the lines, which makes them easier to remember.
- Chew gum while memorizing. This, too, adds movement to your memorization. For extra nutrients, to power, your brain, chew on healthy snacks.
- Walkthrough you’re blocking while you say your lines. If you’re struggling with a line, come up with animated gestures to illustrate the words (e.g.: marching in place for the word “soldier,” or pointing to yourself for the word “me”.)
Lastly, here’s a tip for all learning styles: for fast results, practice your lines right before bed. Say them out loud and try to sniff an aromatic spice, like cinnamon, to really commit the words to memory. The lines will float into your subconscious, and you’ll actually memorize your lines as you sleep.
Try these techniques, and learn to memorize your lines like a pro!
What’s your favorite memorization method? Share it in the comments below.