I recently found myself in the position of having to learn pages and pages of script for an acting job in a very short space of time and it reminded me of just how difficult it can be to retain so much information. I found myself becoming bored quickly and slipping into time wasting patterns of procrastination delaying the inevitable which only served to make the situation more difficult. It was then that I decided to knuckle down, think back to my training and practice what I preach. There are many techniques out there to make line learning easier and dare I say maybe even fun? At Stage Academy we ask our students to learn lines from time to time so it is important for us to support them in that task, we do so by understanding their learning style and capabilities to set them a realistic challenge with the right advice to make it achievable. For me, I find that using a combination of techniques helps lines to go in much faster and increases the fun factor. Everyone is different though so here are my five top tips for learning those all important lines. Why not try them out at home for you or your child’s next big performance?

One – Writing Lines

No, I don’t mean you are being sent to detention. Writing out your lines by hand can be incredibly useful for retention. I recommend splitting your script up into small chunks if it is a monologue or line by line in the case of a scene with multiple characters. Write the lines out by hand three to four times and then move onto the next chunk, you can also try reading them out loud as you write them onto the paper to solidify the learning.

Two – Recording and Listening

If you record yourself saying your lines you can listen back to them on the tube, bus, while brushing your teeth or making dinner. The most common reason I hear for not having learned lines is that there wasn’t enough time to do so. This tip helps you to make the most of the time that otherwise wouldn’t be so productive.

Three – A Little and Often

While it may be tempting to cram all your line learning in the night before, or even worse, the morning of your rehearsal or performance, please, don’t be tempted. Your brain needs the time to make and solidify the neural connections required to remember lines with confidence. Instead dedicate a small amount of time, say 10 to 15 minutes per day to learning your lines over the course of a week. You will find yourself to be much more confident when it comes to your delivery.

Four – Bed Time Story

If your child has lines to learn for a school play or Stage Academy show use bedtime to your advantage. Instead of a traditional bedtime story try reading their lines to them. Each evening, encourage them to deliver more of their own lines whist you read out the ones in-between. A day in the life of a child can be so busy with school, homework, clubs and social events so this tip is perfect for making the most of their time and making it feel less like hard work!

Five – Lets Get Physical

Everyone is different but I know I can’t sit still when learning lines. I find that getting up and physically acting out what I am saying whilst reading my lines out loud helps to make sense of the journey my character is going on. This thorough understanding of the script contributes to more efficient line learning and a confident performance.

Bonus Round – Know Your Style

It is scientifically proven that we all learn differently. You may be a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner, a mixture of a couple or all three. Take some time to understand which line learning techniques work most effectively for you and focus on those to be the most productive.

I hope those tips helped you out. Still struggling? Why not comment below and I’ll see what I can do to help or come along for a free trial at Stage Academy where my team and I can give you the support you need to achieve your goals – I can’t wait to see you there!