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aussiemagic
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Anyone got some good methods for memorizing scripts?

Recording my scripts and playing the back to myself seems to work well but I want to make this process as efficient as possible. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Lyndel
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Here's what works for me...

I memorize the first paragraph by reciting it over and over.

After I have it down cold, I recite the first paragraph again and add the second paragraph. Then I add the third and so on. If at ANY point I mess up, forget the words, or stumble over any of the script, I punish myself by restarting at the top. This forces repetition and for me repetition seems to be a good teacher!

Learning it in chunks like this also helps me visualize the paragraphs in my mind and triggers my memory as to what comes next as I remember seeing it written on the paper script.


Lyndel


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aussiemagic
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Thanks Lyndel. I agree that working with your scripts in chunks is a good way to go.
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Shnarker
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Aussie,

Although the number of my magic performances pale in comparison to most everyone else on this board, I have given a number of speeches, without using notes. I use this process when memorizing a script. This has worked for me extremely well.

First, the writing. Write from the heart first. That step alone helps in the memorization process. Then rewrite and edit from the head. Many times, what reads well does not sound well when the words are spoken. That's okay. I go as far as writing stage movements in brackets, italicizes (sp?) and bolding.

Second, rehearse the script without perfroming the effect, verbatim. The reason is, there will be more edits, etc. The hardcopy of my script resembles a chalkboard describing a football play. You will naturally learn this in chunks, at least I do.

When I feel I have a satisfactory script, only then do I incorporate the "effect" when I rehearse. By this time, you will have most if not all of it down.

After sufficient rehearsal, I will go through the entire effect without stopping, even if I goof up. You'll know you got it down when you can lose your place for a second, and get right back on track with the script. You still want to clean it up, but that will be light years ahead of someone who sounds "verbatim".

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Regards,

Shnarker
Skip Way
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While trying to learn the script to "Stan, Kate & Edith" I was advised by an old pro to learn one new stanza each day adding the new stanza to the ones already in memory ala Lyndel's method. I'd learn the new stanza first thing in the morning then repeat the complete set throughout the day. By next morning, I was ready for the new lines.

On the down side (and I don't know if this is just me) but, if I'm interrupted part way through this verbatim routine (Not an uncommon occurrence) I tend to lose my rhythm and my place. This rarely happens with my memorized stand-up comedy routines - but with verbatim, word-for-word pieces like "Stan, Kate & Edith" its a problem.
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Big Daddy Cool
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Unfortunately there is no one method that works for everyone. You have to find your own path. But one thing that I do suggest you do is learn the "story" first. If you know where you need to go, then the script acts as the map, and the performer is the vehicle... (wow, that is really profound)

This weekend I performed in a Valentine's show. For some odd reason the director wanted me and another guy to do Who's on First? I'm kind of known for it in the Nashville theater community... Anyway, it's a hard script to learn - for many reasons. But I told my co-actor Pete that as long as we both know where we need to end up, we can work through it to get there. Yes, we made a few mistakes, or detours, but we knew where we were going and could find our way back on track. That's what a script does.
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MrMajestic
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Lyndel's method is virtually foolproof. I know many actors beside myself who use the chunks and returning to the top after a mistake method. And make certain that you're saying it out loud, even if it's under your breath (if you're in line at a store or something), because reciting it in your mind won't do it.
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aussiemagic
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Thanks for all the tips!
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Tim Hannig
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I use the same method as Lyndel.

It works!
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Lyndel
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Quote:
On 2008-02-18 09:33, Skip Way wrote:
...but with verbatim, word-for-word pieces like "Stan, Kate & Edith" its a problem.


Skip,

That's funny you bring that particular routine up! I know Kate Stan & Edith like the back of my hand, but once, I got interupted by someone laughing so hard that they fell backwards in their chair - I completely and totally "blanked" on the rest of the routine! LOL!

After stammering for a little while and the audience was still laughing at the chair incident, I just put it way and said, "Let's just move on shall we!? I was soooo MAD at myself for blanking and I recited the whole routine over and over on the two hour drive home! LOL!


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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2008-02-18 22:14, Lyndel wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-02-18 09:33, Skip Way wrote:
...but with verbatim, word-for-word pieces like "Stan, Kate & Edith" its a problem.


Skip,

That's funny you bring that particular routine up! I know Kate Stan & Edith like the back of my hand, but once, I got interupted by someone laughing so hard that they fell backwards in their chair - I completely and totally "blanked" on the rest of the routine! LOL!

After stammering for a little while and the audience was still laughing at the chair incident, I just put it way and said, "Let's just move on shall we!? I was soooo MAD at myself for blanking and I recited the whole routine over and over on the two hour drive home! LOL!


Lyndel


Lyndel describes a very good method for memorizing a script, but for a routine like Stan, Kate & Edith, once you have the basic memorization down, try connecting segments of the routine to certain actions (or steps) in that routine. Done properly, this allows you to pick up "where you left off", if interrupted.

TW
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Tim Hannig
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Memorizing "Rindercella" was a challenging one for me at first.

But now I can't say the story the "right" way!
Author of PERFORM, the 2020 Magic Cafe Book of the Year

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JackScratch
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Only one method. Repetition. At some point you need to memorize your blocking as well.
HappyJay
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I also use the same method as Lyndel, but rather than starting at the beginning, I start memorization at the final paragraph. I have found that the extra familiarity at the end of the work gives me something to move toward if I get away from the script; I have to improvise a bridge to the ending rather than the ending itself.
Donal Chayce
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I read the script aloud and record it on a cassette tape or, my recently, on a CD. Then I keep it in my car and speak along as it's playing. (This is similar to how I learn the lyrics to a song.) If/when I make a mistake, I rewind the tape/CD a bit and repeat.

Fortunately, with the advent of Bluetooth technology, folks think I'm talking on a hands-free cell phone. At least that's what I'm choosing to believe...

It's amazing how much practice I can get in just driving to and from work. In just a few days I usually have it down. WRITING the script is what often takes me a very long time to do.
marty.sasaki
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Two things:

"It is impossible to make anything foolproof since fools are so clever."

The other is something that I've heard from several folks during lectures. Practice the routine together with the script. That way the script will help you remember the routine and the routine will help you remember the script.
Marty Sasaki
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Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Cyar
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As an actor, I've used several methods. I'll tape record a line three times before moving to the next and doing the same. At some point in the recording I'll go back to the beginning of the text and record up to where I am as a review.

Also, I've memorized by first starting with the key terms, those that carry the most weight in order to gain the logic or thought process of the monologue, and then fill in the rest from there.

Hope this helps.
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Lawrence O
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Gerald Edmundson wrote a book about this called The Ostrich Factor - A Practice Guide For Magicians. You may try looking into it. Even if it doesn't solve 100% of your problems, it should solve at least a good 80%.
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Gerald
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Lawrence O,
Thank you for recommending The Ostrich Factor! Here is a url link for information about the book.

http://www.theostrichfactor.com

Thanks again!
Gerald
George Ledo
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You can memorize words or you can memorize a story which has words in it. Back in high school, the only way I was able to memorize stuff like "To Be or Not To Be" and "The Raven" (among lots of other stuff) was to visualize what was going on, and then use that as a mental crib sheet to help me remember the words.

Later, when I had to take acting classes (kicking and screaming Smile ) as part of my theater education, I found it worked there too. By understanding the overall scene and what the other guy was saying, and how my character was supposed to respond, the words became more natural, like of course that's what my character would say.

Aside from that, the gist of the method described by Lyndel has been in use for years, and it does work.
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