August 12, 2012
Forum School Of Acting
I hope you are good.
My name is Adam, I am an actor, 18 years old from England. I read one of your articles online, which was a great read and helped me out. I am interested in your view on something and i hope you can help me with it.
When learning lines/dialogue from a script for a certain character, I look for the intentions/objectives/goals that the character wants from the scene. But i fall into a trap of thinking how i will say the line when i am acting ( although when i act i do not pre plan in my head, or think how i am going to say my next line ) I listen, think respond etc.
What would be your tips/advice on learning lines, To just simply learn them off by heart? And then when in the moment of the scene, to keep the intention of the character in your head and rely on your sub conscious to know how to say your next line.
Thanks for the email.
My best advice is that you learn the lines very mechanically, by rote, and without inflection until you have them down fully.
Further, I’d say memorize them without punctuation, though keeping the stops is okay. Only after that work is done thoroughly should you start figuring out what your character’s opinion of the situation is, what you want and how you feel about it.
As to being in the scene, you have to go with what you’re given, just as in life. The best analogy I can give you is to think of when you go to break up with someone. You know what you want, you know how you feel and you come up with all the things you want to say to make it go as smoothly as possible.
But, imagine that when the time comes, the other person just flips the fuck out. You’ll still feel the same way about the situation. You’ll still want the same results, but how you say what you need to is going to change a lot. That change is going to be based on what the other person is giving you at that moment. You simply have to deal with what you’re getting at the time, regardless of what you planned on.
Translate that concept to your acting and you’ll see what “being in the moment” is all about.