Acting 101 – assignment 3

Hi everyone!

The assignment for this week is to memorize at least one of the roles in the attached script, and also do some script analysis. (If your time is tight, it’s better to memorize one role accurately than to memorize both roles in an approximate way.) 

In addition to memorizing it, I’d recommend reading it aloud a couple of times to find both of the characters’ voices. Make some tentative choices, but don’t get locked into them. It’s fine to guess, but try to make guesses that make sense in terms of the script.

Things to ask when analyzing any script include:

  • Who are the characters? 
  • Where are they? (This one’s easy, because the script tells us, they’re in a restaurant).
  • Why are they there? (If the answer is “to meet for dinner” — why? Why did she show up at the restaurant? Why did he?) (Make your best guess; there could be more than one answer.)
  • What’s their probable backstory?

Memorization reminders:

  1. Read the scene aloud (all the parts) to get a feeling for what you’ll be memorizing. Pay special attention to your lines and your cues.
  2. As you do, you’ll start finding the characters’ possible voices, and start getting a sense of what the scene is about. (But don’t worry about giving a performance yet; your focus on this point at this time should be on memorizing.)
  3. Break the scene into small sections. (No need to try memorizing the whole thing at once.) Then focus on memorizing each part.
  4. One letter – one word: For each section, read it aloud a couple of times, then write down the first letter of each word from memory. Then check to make sure they’re right. (If they’re not, start with a smaller section). Write the letters down several times. Look at the letters and “read” the words from them.
  5. Then try saying the words without looking at the letters. If you can’t, just go back and redo the earlier steps.
  6. After you’ve gotten the basic words down in each section, add physical action. They do not have to be the physical actions performed by your character. Then say the words without looking at the letters. 
  7. Walk around the room — wash the dishes — rearrange the furniture — all while saying the lines. This will create connections between your brain hemispheres.
  8. Look at the words again, finding associations between one word and the next.
  9. For example, in the line, “I hate you! You’re a monster,” there are several associations: (1) Each line has three words. (2) Line one ends with the word “you”. Line two starts with the same root word, “You’re”. Saying “you-you’re, you-you’re, you-you’re” several times out loud can help lock it in your memory. There’s also an emotional association, i.e., both lines are put-downs of the other character.
  10. Next, write down all the words (not just the letters). Check to make sure they’re right, then write them down again. Then write the letters again… then the words.
  11. We’ll go through additional memorization techniques in upcoming classes.