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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Remembering The Lines

The greatest fear most actors have is forgetting their lines in the act. Moreover, the lines also have to be 'internalised'  to flow out smoothly.

I normally start by doing an unemotional flat read of the script, then visualising the the characters and actions with the lines. That way, it is easier to remember. It also helps to practise the lines amid mundane daily chores that are not safety critical, to get them into the sub-conscious.

Yet having done everything right, my lines didn't flow. I was tensed and tongue twisted. I was puzzled. It has always worked, why not this time? What was wrong?

Thankfuly, everyone on set was very kind to me. The co-actor offered me a chocolate and told me that I will be fine after taking that. And true enough, it worked. I became instantly alert and the take was done!

The chocolate gave me a temporary energy boost. Basically, I was too tired. After six other gigs this month, I was depleted of energy. Besides, I came to realise during the shoot, that I had not got out of the previous six characters completely. What more, they were depressive and contradictory characters to the present one. Whereas in this scene, the new character is to be jubilant after a grand police award ceremony as he goes to pick his daughter from her singing class.

Little by little and unknowingly, the remnant depressive traits of the previous characters settled, hardened and block the new character from forming. (I wonder how much of these also happen in real life! :) )

Luckily, I had a rest day the next day. I tried practising the lines in the morning but found it hard. So I dropped the script, went for a run, and after that all was fine. The next day on set, the words flowed, as the mind and body  relaxed.

The moral of the story is not to bite off more than one could chew. Seven gigs a month, as I have found is one too many. I was brave enough to turn one down, whilst another clashed with the schedule and could not happen. Otherwise, I would even be more worn out!

In all, it amounts to living in the moment. If we are too tired, we don't live in the moment. If we live in the moment, we capture the moment of eternity and remember everything.

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