What are some strategies for memorizing monologues?


Quick Answer

Actors can memorize monologues by selecting works that speak to them, breaking the text up into smaller pieces and writing the words out. They also need to get active and practice with different dialects.

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Full Answer

Actors should select monologues from scripts and plays with which they are familiar. They should also choose age appropriate characters with similar opinions and thoughts. After the selection of text, actors should read it for understanding and divide it into beats and edit it if needed.

If the monologue is over two minutes long, they have to cut it to 60 to 90 seconds. Short monologues make memorization faster and allow more preparation time for in-depth performances. Actors should write out the entire text by hand. Writing text activates additional parts of the brain and boosts retention.

Performers should take a walk with the script. Once they have fully memorized the first beat, they can add the next beats. This process forces actors to remember the transitions and helps them improve their performances. They should change various elements of their performance including postures, speed, pauses and volume and observe how the difference changes the emotional outcome.

Actors should try to recite the monologue as quickly as they can. They should also get sufficient sleep. The brain builds connections during sleep so the only way to store information in long-term memory is through sleep. Actors should avoid procrastinations, allowing adequate time for their brains to process and store the new information.

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