4. INTELLIGENT GAP MANAGEMENT - I have used this trick my whole life, and it wasn’t until quite recently that I learned it had a fancy title! When you’re walking around with something you’re learning going round in your head, you may find you get to a point you don’t remember. If this happens, NEVER stop and go back. If you do that, your mind thinks you’ve reached the END and you’ll find it hard to go past that point. INSTEAD, just say to yourself, “What IS that line?” and continue with whatever you CAN remember…even ‘la, la, la’, until the next line comes. Then your mind will fill the gap in FOR you, and in a little while, you’ll remember what it was. This works with EVERYTHING, songs, text, choreography…and guys, it works REALLY well in exams! I remembered “Vizagapatam” (a place in India) at the very last second in an O’ level geography exam using this very technique! And I didn’t even know it WAS a technique!
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY - relax! Always tell yourself things like, “learning is easy for me”, “I’m a quick learner: I learn by osmosis,” instead of allowing yourself to panic. Take it in small chunks, and make it as varied and interesting as you can.
When we worked on the SS Canberra and the Orianna, we had an average of 12 shows to learn in 3 weeks! It was a lot of work but we all did it. On our second cruise, I had a 2 year old son to care for, and I didn’t want to miss any more time with him than necessary. So I made the DECISION that I would learn EVERYTHING during rehearsals, with no studying when my son was awake. I learned every line and every song AND had time for my little boy!
So EXPECT to get things memorised quickly and easily. Try these ideas, they will help. And all the best!
Kate Lawson Gould
Has learning lines ever stopped you from auditioning? give these tips a try!
Elephants never forget?
Some people find memorising easy, for others, it’s a nightmare.
Whichever category you fall into, here are some tips that will REALLY help. 1. Get away from the script/text/music as soon as possible.
The quicker you are able to put the text down, the quicker your sub-conscious mind can take over and help you learn, even when you’re asleep.
(That’s how you wake up at 3 am with some song lyric going round in your head.)
2. Create a movie in your mind. In other words, ‘see’ the piece you’re learning in terms of a mini movie, a series of images that tell the story in general terms. In this way, you are not only clear that you really do understand the piece, but you are actually working WITH your mind, since we learn more in pictures than in words and sentences.
3. Get as close to PERFORMANCE level with the piece as soon as you can. The more you internalise a song/ speech or dance, get it into your CELLS, work it into not only your mind, but your voice, your muscles and your emotions, the more deeply and securely you have it.
Remember too, that ‘memorising’ is a left-brained activity, but ‘performing’ and living is a right-brained thing primarily. To be fully secure in memorising, you need to reach the stage where the left-brain and right-brain are working TOGETHER. If you wait until ‘performance’ to really inhabit the piece, you could well find that your left brain is too suddenly eclipsed by the creative aspect of the right brain, and you blank. So do this EARLIER rather than later.