Learning your words
Air Date: 11/18/2021
Learning Your Words
As a young actor, I never really had a problem remembering my words. My brain
naturally made connections with the script that felt effortless and usually just made sense. It wasn’t until later that I realized I needed to put more effort into the process. Today, actors are challenged because with the new self-tape and Zoom auditions, it makes sense to memorize the scene rather than rely on cue cards, cheat sheets or strategically placed pdf’s on the monitor. I will share my experience and give you some solid tips on how to learn the words or
not! On this episode of Casting Actors Cast, advice to you, the actor from a working casting director.
Usual methods for learning a script:
1. Associate the blocking to connect to the dialog
2. Learn the words by learning the other characters’ que’s and responding to them
3. Just sit down and memorize (difficult without context but do-able)
New methods for learning a script
1. The way a character speaks can be useful (writer’s intention/ musicality)
2. The emotional state and arc of the character can make strong associations to the words
3. Understand why the character is responding can help recall the words
Helping yourself with self-submit and Zoom auditions
1. Remember that first round auditions are usually not to be memorized
a. Once learned, the acting choices suffer
b. Not enough time to prepare
c. If it is a direct request, figure out the best wat to accomplish the request
2. Long speeches, Shakespeare, long passages will need some hacks
a. Put the script on a tablet/2nd monitor and place it in your eyeline
b. Move the script into the corner of the laptop (Zoom) as if it is the eyeline.
c. Hold the script away from you but in direct eyeline
3. Just hold the script!
a. A callback assumes you will memorize though
b. Make no excuses just be intentional and not sneaky about it
Remember that learning lines is just part of your skill set. Do not place demands on yourself
about how skilled or unskilled you are. Each person has their own issues. Trying some of these
techniques will definitely help you. Just remember, It is most important to show how you will
play the part and NOT how fast your memory is. There is nothing worse than seeing an actor’s
face turn grey because they don’t remember what comes next. Have a backup plan and love
your audition choices!