Saturday, December 12, 2015

Learn Your Lines!

We're coming into the home stretch for Time Stands Still. We will open two weeks from Friday! Even more than that, because of the holidays etc, we don't have that many rehearsals left (only 5 more before Tech week). That's fine. We have an experienced cast, and I'm very confident things will go fine. But it DOES mean we have to do a lot of work on our own. Especially learning lines.

Now granted, learning lines is always primarily done outside of rehearsal. That's the way it is. It's the hard work of acting. But that's especially true if you have limited rehearsal time. Often, if you have a longer rehearsal period, you get time to run and re-run the show, repetition that helps lighten the lonely burden of line learning. But when you're short time, rehearsal needs to be about what we do as a group, as a cast. Learning your lines - that you do on your own (or with your very patient friends/family/pets etc).

One of the things that people most frequently comment on is "how do you learn all those lines?" Actors, as a rule, find this comment a little frustrating (maybe that's the wrong word), because learning the lines is the most quotidian part of the process. Trust me, you could learn those lines (really!). People ask me what the secret is to it. I wish there was one. The secret is just hard work. Running it again and again in different ways (writing it out, reading it aloud, using flash cards, having a friend quiz you etc...). I usually record a read through and then burn the files to CD and listen to it in the car. Every method has it's advantages and disadvantages, but trust me, if you spent as much time as I did learning lines, you'd know my lines too.

Actors often feel (myself included) that this comment is frustrating because we consider "knowing what to say and when to say it" sort of the mandatory minimum of acting. It's the D minus acting performance. The hard part is understanding why you are saying it, what you want, wanting to say it, and really being there. Feeling the lines. Living the character.

That said, we probably shouldn't be so dismissive. It really IS a lot of work. And yes, almost anyone could remember all those words with enough effort, but hey, YOU put out that effort. That's worth recognizing. So give yourself some credit!

I have to say, I've been through this entire script twice today, and I'm more excited than ever to put it on stage. I really don't get tired of this piece. I love the writing. It's funny and gripping and altogether human. Going through it again and again, ok it is an effort, but it also reminds me that we'll be doing this on stage for you. And THAT really makes me happy.

Course, we need you. I can't share it with you if you don't buy a ticket. Click on over to our Kickstarter and get one today...

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