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Student Blog: Monologues in the Shower: Memorization Techniques, Tips & Tricks!


When your bio-major roommate gets sick of being your MacDuff, here are some out-of-the-box memorization techniques that just might work for you.

So you're ready to be a BFA drama student! You're prepared for rigorous 12-hour rehearsals, raw blisters from breaking in LaDucas, and captivating dressing room gossip. That is, until you're putting up your first Shakespearian scene on top of the three self-tapes you still need to film and you were supposed to be off-book by Wednesday.

Every actor has been there at some point.

I've got you covered. When your bio-major roommate gets sick of being your MacDuff, here are some out-of-the-box memorization techniques that just might work for you.

Use Quizlet - the perfect scene partner

When I receive a script, the absolute first thing I do is put my cues and lines into Quizlet. Quizlet is a free, online flashcard app meant to be used for academic purposes, but actors can use it to their advantage! Put your cue line on the "term" side of the card, and your own line on the "definition" side. And here's the real secret: make sure that "Play Audio" is checked off. That way, Quizlet will read your lines to you - free scene partner!

Soak up your lines in the shower

Next time you're shampooing, skip the concert - your neighbors have heard "The Wizard and I" too many times for one semester. Instead, try printing out that tricky monologue and taping it to the side of your shower (or shower door). Yes, the paper will get wet, but maybe by the time you're done showering, you'll no longer need it!

Learn on the go

Have you ever tried memorizing lines on public transportation? Well, now's your chance! Next time you're on the subway, bus, or even plane, pull out your lines to pass the time. Plus, if your script is already in Quizlet, everything you need is right in your pocket. Make your commute productive!

Frame your day

It might sound crazy, but sleeping on your lines really does work. Run through your text three times right before going to bed and three times immediately after waking up (don't even get out of bed!). Give it a week, and you'll be dreaming in iambic pentameter.

Fast & Furious

Maybe you've done this with a scene partner, but it's worth a shot on your own. "Speeding through" - or saying your lines as fast as you possibly can without looking - gets the blood pumping and the brain working. Try it while walking around in circles, going on a run, or timing yourself to see how fast you can do it. Make memorizing fun!

BONUS TIP: if you're consistently having trouble getting stuff to stick, download some games to help improve your memory. Train your brain with puzzles, crosswords, and even Sudoku!

Hopefully, some of these tips helped. Memorization takes time, so instead of cramming, incorporate the work into your daily routine. If you can recite Arthur Miller's words next to a four-year-old screaming on the subway, surely you're developing the confidence to bring his words to life on stage.

Article Image Credit: Young Harris College

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From This Author Student Blogger: Sophie Rossman