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How do actors remember all of their lines?

I have an interest of being an actor. I want to lean more about the film industry.

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Paul’s Answer

A psychology professor told me once, that they rehearse their lines, a lot, over and over again.

Whether is be in athletics, or academics, or in acting, what you see on the playing field, classroom, or screen is the result of hours of repetition and practice.
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Dr’s Answer

When it comes to movie actors, they only need to memorize their lines for the specific scene they're shooting that day. On the other hand, theatre actors need to know their entire script by heart.

But remember, acting isn't just about reciting lines, it's about "reacting". This means that actors are always responding to their surroundings. If an actor really understands their character, they'll know exactly how to react when something happens to that character. Some directors are more flexible than others with the exact wording of the dialogue and allow for a lot of improvisation, as long as it suits the character and advances the story.

Lastly, learning lines is similar to learning the lyrics of a song. You start from some point and gradually learn more and more until you've got the whole thing down. You can also group parts together. In a song, you might group together the words that make up the chorus or the bridge. In a play, you group scenes. Focus on one chunk at a time, then link them all together. The more you practice, like with any skill, the better you'll become.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Dr for the advice. Busani
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Dr Nadeem’s Answer

Very Simple.
Human brain contains a memory place and through this all actors act and tell dialogues.
More actors do prior practice at home and in front of mirror.
So they performed well.
You can do.
It is very easy but an inner will is required to make an actor.
So took admission in an acting school and start your career in acting.
Goodluck👍 for your career 👍 endeavors .

Regards
Dr Nadeem Mian
CareerVillage Advisor.

Dr Nadeem recommends the following next steps:

Follow me at carrervillage.
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Jerome’s Answer

I did some research on this when starting my professional speaking career. Lots of it is repetition and practice. More shows will do a table read where actors come together to read through their lines. Occasionally lines won’t be remembered and they may get some help from someone on set. Certainly feels like it takes a large amount of dedication and focus.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Bonita !

As an actor, I can tell you that it is not memorizing lines, it is more of learning your lines as well as learning the story. I know it seems incredible, but you don't only learn your lines but you learn the lines of all the characters so you will know when to say what. It seems a daunting task to non-actors but that is why student actors are introduced to doing this at the get-go when they study acting.

The process is different for theatre plays, movies and television. For theatre, my technique is to read the play thoroughly a couple of times and start practicing (not memorizing) my own lines and the cue lines in my scene. I underline my lines in the script and the first five words of my cue lines - the line a character says before I speak. Your first rehearsal is usually a read through where the cast reads the script out loud around a table . You thereafter have rehearsals on book (script in hand) and can refer to the script if need be if you forget a line. The director informs you of when you need to be off book (no script in hand and rehearse knowing all your lines). An actor learns their lines by knowing the written words to say as well as the intent of their character.

Some actors record their lines on a file and listen to it over and over. No matter what the words are, you are also developing a character and saying the lines with the appropriate emphasis according to the action. I have seen some films that were both scripted and improvised and in the case of the late Robin Williams it works excellently. But in theatre, one is expected to stay on target with the playwright's words.

If you take some film acting classes, you will be introduced to having to do monologues and/or scenes and you will naturally fall into the process of learning lines. Everyone approaches it differently and different techniques work for different actors. I have had the experience of having to "cover" for an actor that forgot her lines and because I studied, not memorized, my lines, I was aware of what information she needed to get out so the audience would know what was happening and I covered for her. I also worked with a deaf actress in a play once in which physical cues and me knowing her lines was crucial to be successful in keeping the timing of the play flowing. You will encounter various experiences and shouldn't limit yourself to film, rather share your talent in all media to gain the optimum experience and work.

I hope this shed some light on the subject and I wish you all the best in your acting pursuit !
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Busani
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Busani ! I am happy to contribute. Michelle M.
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David’s Answer

Learning lines is comparable to studying for an exam. At times, actors memorize the script's concepts or responses. Once the script's lines are committed to memory, much like effortlessly recalling a phone number, a friend's address, or even a song, it becomes second nature for them. When this happens, they no longer think about the text, allowing them to infuse the scene with subtext (the unspoken essence of the scene) and embody the character, aligning with the story's intentions, reacting to other characters and listening to them. As always, these methods are subjective, with each director and actor having their own approach to tackling scenes in a film or play.
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