The seemingly impossible task of memorizing lines, may take a toll on your mind. The anxiety kills you, and makes even the simplest lines slip out of your mind, but you should realize that, several days of rehearsals and practice make a great speech or play. Even the thespians and orators with a decade of experience, may sometimes find memorizing lines difficult, they might even forget their lines on the stage, but their confidence and charisma never makes the audience realize such blunders.
We all know how hard it is to learn our lines, the lack of time given to memorize the lines, makes things more difficult for us. Here are some tips that you can use to make things easy for you.
Believe in Yourself
Many people just lose their spirit if they find a long monologue in their script. They just develop a prejudice that the lines cannot be memorized by them, this hinders all their attempts to learn the lines. So, it is very important to have faith in your potential. Believe that you can achieve everything you want, if you try. The belief in your abilities will keep you motivated, even when you feel that it is impossible to learn your lines.
Before you start your attempts to memorize, you should try and understand your character in the play. Understand what the character demands from you, and comprehend the emotions that you need to portray. This will help you understand your lines better, which will help you memorize the lines quickly.
Loud and Clear
When you rehearse your lines, make sure that you say the words aloud. When you do this, you are aiding your memory. Your pronunciations should be clear, and you are bound to realize the flaws in your pronunciation only when you say it loud. This technique will help your mind register the lines speedily.
I agree that everyone does not have a photographic memory, but visualizing the scene when you are rehearsing at home, will surely make memorizing faster. In addition to this, you can use inanimate objects to represent other characters. You can also use pictures as a prompt when you practice, then eventually you will remember all your lines by just imagining the pictures in the appropriate sequence.
Here is one of the oldest tricks to assist the pace of memorizing the lines; use a mirror! When you practice your lines, just look into the mirror (be loud and clear), this gives you a feeling that you have company, and will reduce the probability of getting bored quickly. Thus, you can maximize the time for practicing in a day, thereby reducing the days required to memorize the lines. Seeing yourself emote, can be quite amusing too!
Who's Line is it?
When you practice a scene, you should always incorporate the dialogues (read it from the script) of other characters in the scene. By this, you maintain the flow of the scene, and when you are in the flow, you will tend to recite your lines automatically! Well, knowing the lines of other characters can also serve as a prompt on the stage.
Write it Down
This is something that has helped me a lot. While doing your lines, simultaneously write (do not type) them. This technique reinforces the lines in your brain. I know it can be tedious to write all your lines, so you can just jot down the lines, which you feel are impossible to remember.
Record and Recite
Record an entire stage rehearsal and listen to it when you find time, recite your parts when they appear in the recording. Some mute the instances of their lines in the recording, as they do not want to recite their lines along with their voice. By recording, you can practice your lines even while doing other activities like walking, driving, etc.
If you do not memorize it right, then what is the point in memorizing! The main drawback in rehearsing your lines alone is, you seldom realize when you go wrong! So call over a friend, ask him/her to help you with your lines, and point out the areas where you can improve.
You can also memorize your lines, by reciting it like a song, but this might be risky, as you might end up singing on the stage! Using mnemonics is also a good idea, but I have seen people who end up just remembering the mnemonic, while forgetting the actual lines. Initially you might feel that you may not be able to learn your lines, just try out the tips mentioned above and you will find that it wasn't so difficult after all.