I’m one of those actors who take forever to get lines down, and I’ve always had this huge anxiety (hope?) to be off book by the first day of rehearsal. It rarely happens because when you include the direction and the energy of your fellow actors, whatever you had planned or how you had planned to deliver it goes out the window and you end up having to start from scratch.
In my practice, I have also observed (enviously) colleagues who get off the book very quickly. But I think there is a observable difference between someone who has the words memorised and someone who has internalised the words. The latter is more interesting.
13.13.13 June 23, 2018: Sharda Harrison and Text:
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13.13.13. June 23, 2018: @sh_arda and text. I'm experimenting a bit with a different process in working with text – the script is projected in large font at a visible place – hands are free, bodies are free to engage. The hope is to free the mind and body from the anxiety of text in the early part of the rehearsal process, and to support the actor in his/her creation process. It's not a new methodology but one that has not quite been engaged in most text-based work here. I think we can still improve the use of it. #131313play #sgtheatre #scdirects #theatreworks
The use of projecting the script on the wall or visible is not new to voice work. It allows the actor to call upon the text, rather than be bound by the text. Text IS important, but the internalisation and the embodiment of the text is more useful for the actor, than simple precise regurgitation of words. So why not free the hands?
What I have found is that the anxiety is reduced, and movement is freed. I was also able to do exploratory improvisational work with the actors using text that before they were off book.
That being said, I think we needed to have projected the text onto the FRONT of the stage, which unfortunately in the space that we had at 72-13 was not quite possible. Another question I have is the memory work that is required by the actor – was it a crutch or an aid?
I think the application can be further improved and more integrated into the methodology, and I’d love to read up on more methodologies for the rehearsal room (send them my way!).