Tuesday 25 October 2016


One of the mistakes I made when I was a much younger actor, was to get the script for the movie I was a part of and then start to memorize my own lines. 

I would immediately learn my lines, pick the last two words from the lines of my co-actor as my CUE and then go on set believing I had everything on lock down, but when I watched the movies after release, there was never a satisfactory feeling as regards my performance. 

I always knew there was something wrong because I couldn't feel the authenticity the character deserved, and the fact that people loved my work and even gave me some awards confused me more. 

I didn't quite understand how a "not so great performance" would be accepted. Then I realized that most people were carried away with the the whole movie, the story, the music and mood, the movements, the actions and everything as a whole. But on the other hand, I watched the movie isolating my own performance as though my scenes or SCREEN TIME were a stand alone movie, and I could see all the flaws and bad acting because there were no distractions for me. 

The problem I discovered with my work was that I always anticipated the CUE and had already prepared the reaction I would give for my LINES since I had memorized every word. So if I didn't hear the CUE, it would throw me off a bit because I had prepared myself based on the WORDS instead of allowing myself to FEEL.
After a while I knew it was time to learn my craft and do it the proper way. 

So this is what I know now:
  • When you receive the script or the SIDE, read it through as many times as you can. At this point you should know the story inside and out. The characters and their relationships should also be known as intimately as you know your friends in real life.

  • After that, you will have to break down the scenes and do a comprehensive SCENE STUDY. In breaking down the scenes, the mood, pace, time, intention, purpose and objective should be marked and understood.

  • By the time these steps are taken, your subconscious will already know what you are supposed to be saying. This may not be word for word, but knowing and understanding what you are saying, why you are saying it and how you should say it, which is more important than knowing the LINES word for word. 

The LINES are the last things I memorize and I do it this way because it makes it easier when all other factors have been taken in. 

Becoming a CHARACTER is not about knowing the LINES of the character. It is about knowing the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW of the character. 
When you understand the details of every single scene, it makes it easier for you to have an easy flow even when your co-actor changes some words in his delivery.
It also takes away the frustration when the DIRECTOR makes quick changes just before he rolls CAMERA

As long as you understand your character and know the objective of each scene, knowing and saying the LINES will be much easier. 

Thank you for stopping by. 

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  1. As an aspiring actor and a movie producer I have learned a lot

  2. I only recently stopped only memorising my lines and the last line of my co-star before me. It left me lost when it was time to "react". Loved this article

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