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  • Writer's pictureLangley Cornwell

M is for Memorization

Actors have to commit a lot of things to memory; not just our lines but where we are and what we’re doing when we say the lines. What’s more, we have to develop the ability to memorize things quickly. There are times when I get an audition and I’m asked to put it on tape and send it back before the end of the day. Pre-Covid, there were times when I was told to be at an in-person audition the next day and to standby for my agent to send me the sides. If you’re not comfortable with that pace, it can be debilitating.

I know a handful of very good actors who let this play with their head. They believe they can’t learn things that fast. The way I see it, if you believe you can’t, you’re right. But if you believe you can, you’re right.

In my experience, two big things come into play here. First, you have to exercise the memorization muscle just like you do any other muscle. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And second, you have to believe, without a shred of doubt, that you can do it. I personally benefit from saying affirmations to help me with this. A favorite is:

I have a great memory and learn lines with ease.

If you want to sharpen your memorization skills, the internet is filled with line-learning techniques, tips, and tricks. This is a personalized thing so it’s best for you to determine what kind of learning style works best for you and go from there. Then practice, practice, practice–it honestly does get easier. And say your affirmations. Really. Say them. I’ll wait…

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