Learning the things...
As singers/ actors we are constantly having to memorise things, often at very short notice. This becomes a bit of a muscle that needs to be worked but I thought I would share some of my methods that can be used for a number of different needs e.g. having to learn a public speech, sitting an exam etc.
1. WRITE IT OUT: Whenever I have a new piece I’ll write out the lyrics as lines over and over again until I can write it non-stop. This can be done on planes etc and I find it to be the fastest method.
2. TALK IT OUT: You should be able to recite your lyrics. Start one line at a time and work on adding them until you can recite them as a poem/speech.
3. MAKE IT LOGICAL: Analyse the song and find patterns in the lyrics/speech and make roadmark points in your head of where these are. Also find associations to your real life. A recent song I learnt was about a break up and talked a lot about household items so I would imagine myself being in my own house going through all of these spaces while learning and performing it.
4. HEADSPACE: Get your self into the headspace of the song/monologue. Connect real emotions to every phrase. If you can be feeling those emotions then you can be truly present when you are performing it.
5. KNOW YOUR STUFF: If you are learning something in a foreign language make sure you know what it means. Pick up a dictionary. Do your translations. Be able to recite it in English as well as the performed language.
6. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: The best times to practice are first thing in the morning once you wake up and just before you go to bed at night for memory retention.
A lot of things can happen during a performance and the last thing you want to be worrying about is your lyrics/lines. Doing your best possible preparation allows you to ride the wave of the performance and be fully equipped to be present in that moment.