Every movie actor has to learn his text by heart at some point. They use various techniques to memorize it easily. Some actors try to memorize their text by singing or reciting it in the shower. Others like to put the text into a script and read it over and over again.
Memory is a large and interesting subject. It could take hours to cover it all, but in this article we will try to explain how do actors remember their lines.
Understand the text
The first thing to do is read the text, but most importantly, to understand it.
It is important to know what the characters in the play are talking about. It is also important to visualize everything happening. Movie actors make a kind of movie in their head to understand all the conversations happening. Why do that? That will help them give meaning to words, and catch these words onto a personal image.
When they want to learn something, it can be difficult to learn without anything to rely on. Learning helps actors visualize and really understand what they are learning.
Memorizing a text by heart: the flow of thought
When movie actors learn the dialogue from a text, they need to really understand what it is referring to and how their thought process will go. That means mapping out what happens next in the mind of one or more characters.
Briefly, when we say “the thought process” or “logical sequence” for a dialogue is when a character asks a question and the other character responds. The first character introduces a subject so the second character knows what to talk about.
eg: “Have you seen the keys to my car?” If you have to play the character who answers, you already know that your line will be about the keys to the car. You don’t even have to think about it. This is a logical continuation.
In case they have a monologue, which is what the character thinks about how they should go about their day, this process is visualized in a film that takes place in their mind.
Characters say these words for a reason. And knowing this reason is already helping them understand their text.
Sometimes actors have trouble learning their lines for scenes because they don’t really understand why the character is saying/doing what he is, or their “mental movie” isn’t constructed well. This technique helps them learn their lines, adapt to the character, understand him better and ultimately help them play him better.
The classic technique for learning a text by heart
how do actors remember their lines when there are a lot of sentences?
Also known as “Study by Heart,” the technique is to break a text into many pieces in order to learn it. For long responses, you can split them up like this:
- First you learn a sentence.
- You repeat it a few times.
- Then you learn a second sentence.
- You repeat it several times.
- Then you repeat the two sentences several times.
- Then you learn the third sentence.
- You repeat it a few times.
- Then you repeat the three sentences several times… and so on.
Move to better remember
Many movie actors keep learning their lines by moving their body all the time.Studies have shown that people learn better when their muscles are working than if they just stay still.
You’ll be able to notice that when you repeat a phrase with a particular gesture or movement, repeating that same movement helps you remember the line. Give it a try and you’ll see how easy and simple this information is to recall.
Learn lines by heart by recording or writing
Actors can also record all the text, that is, both their lines and their partners’ lines, and listen to them in a loop
Once you become familiar with them, when it is the actors turn to speak, they hit pause and then speak
One technique is to write the text out until you know it by heart. This may sound strange but some actors use this method. It may take more time than other techniques.
Experts recommend avoiding stressing out before studying lines. The best thing to do is start early. The more time the actors gives to his brain, the more sure they will be when it’s time to write. Writing down helps a lot.
It’s important to note that some methods will work for some actors and, and others won’t. It all comes down to trial and error. to Keeping those methods they have been successful with and leave those that haven’t worked so well.
Learn the lines in a neutral way
For this method, it is advised for actors to learn their lines without putting any intention or punctuation. The risks of losing their freedom and locking themselves in a “music” are high. If they are asked to do something differently for the scene, there might be a problem. So the best option is to reread the script without punctuation and without intentions in order to get an idea of what the text means.
This article shares the secrets of how do actors remember their lines. Every movie actor has to learn his text by heart at some point. They use various techniques to memorize it easily. Some actors try to memorize their text by singing or reciting it in the shower. Others try to make sense of their text using different types of mnemonics like using an object for each letter (a pencil for A, a ball for B, etc.). it has probably become much easier for them with time and practice.