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  • Writer's pictureRay Watters

PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING

Updated: Jun 18

So, you prepared for the audition and your hard work helped get you the booking. Congratulations! Now the work begins. Maybe you have a small part with few lines making memorization an easy task. Or, you may have a major part with several scenes and a lot of lines. How do you prepare?


Know your lines.


Yes. The key for me is to be prepared. Memorizing lines is a bit difficult for me. I don’t know if it’s age-related, but whatever the reason, I have to work harder than many. When I book a role and get a script, I read it in its entirety. I then take the pages with my scenes and highlight my lines in yellow. I read my lines…out loud…over and over again. I then take one page at a time and learn the lines on that page. I may not memorize the whole page at once if there are many lines. I may divide the script according to scenes, or any other manner that can be separated, such as different characters speaking, etc. I memorize in chunks and then put it all together.


One thing I learned through experience was to spread out the memorization. Take frequent breaks and make each break longer. Also, if you have a problem with a certain area of the script, work on that by itself.


When I feel I have the lines to memory, I record the other character's lines on the Voice Memos app on my iPhone. I leave blank spaces where my lines would be. I then play the recording and speak my lines in the blank spaces. I speak my lines without punctuation. No emotion. I do the same for an audition when I am given the sides to a script and it’s not a cold read.


When I think I have my lines down, I continue playing the recording…over and over…until I know them forward and backward.


Yes…with all the foregoing, I have still dropped a line on occasion. It happens. I’ve watched it happen to famous actors as well.


Knowing your lines thoroughly is a great benefit since it allows you to be creative and work off the other’s dialogue rather than be concerned about remembering yours. Of course it will also impress the Casting Director for the same reason because you have demonstrated that you are well-prepared.


One note on auditions (preparing for an audition is the subject of another blog)...when you leave that audition room, leave the audition behind. It does no good to lament about why you didn't do something different. I like to practice what other professionals actors do...that is, simply do not get anxious over the outcome of the audition since it is out of my control. I have seen so many actors excited about the outcome of an audition, only to be disappointed. Professional actors understand rejection is part of the business.


Not getting stressed about an audition also allows me to have fun.


So...have fun!

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