Public Speaking: Quick Tips to Fix Forgetfulness - Part 3
Not knowing your lines can really ruin a performance, your career, and even your entire life, so it is vitally important that you learn your lines. But in a play, you don't only have to learn your lines. You have to remember your cues, stage entrances and exits, movement, expression, vocal tone, pace and a thousand other little things. Many of these things also apply to memorizing poetry or prose.
Never fear, help is here, with some easy and effective ways to memorize large amounts of information. These suggestions may not work for everybody as you need to find out what helps you best, but most people find that at least one of these suggestions helps them memorize their work.
1. Writing out your Work: You need to read over your work and be quite familiar with it before trying this. Put away your script and then try to write out your lines on a piece of paper. You can then check for any errors, omissions or other mistakes, and focus on fixing them up. The best part about this is that you don't need a partner to help you.
2. Recording your Work: A method that many people find very helpful. Read your lines or poem on to a tape recorder or voice memo machine. You might be surprised to find that your fancy new cell phone has this feature and you never knew about it. You can then listen to the recording over and over to memorize your lines. Some people may also find it helpful to listen to the recording on a loop while sleeping. Many believe that what we hear in our sleep is stored in our subconscious mind. It doesn't work for me. I just get irritated as I can't get to sleep because of all the non stop blathering and toss the recorder out the bedroom window.
3. Find a Practice Partner: If you can find a willing and patient person to practice your lines with it can really help and make the entire memorizing process a little less tedious. With your partner you can either recite your lines to them and they tell you when you have made mistakes, or they can read the parts of the other characters while you read your own part if it is a play. However, be very careful to select a partner who is very easy going, flexible, committed, and has a very looooooooooooong fuse. Getting into a huge hissy fit with your partner is not only going to distract you from the task at hand which is learning your lines, but may also end up getting you a black eye. And those are very hard to cover up even with the thickest stage make up!
4. Learning in Bits: If you break your work down in to smaller pieces then it may make it easier to remember. If you learn a small section or scene a day you can make sure you know that small section well. Then you can piece all of the separate parts together.
One of the major points you have to keep in mind is that it really can be done. People everywhere memorize astounding amounts of information and are able to recite it back every single day. If they can do it so can you! Believe in yourself and your ability!