MEMORIZING LINES FAST USING SOMATIC MEMORIZATION TECHNIQUE (SMT)


How to memorize Lines FAST using S.M.T.
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The Importance of Proper Execution of the SMT Process

It's not just about memorizing lines, it's also about learning the lines instinctively.
The SMT process trains your 
subconscious mind to absorb the dialogue and it's meaning as fast as possible.  About 90% of our mind is subconscious. You are not consciously aware of all the information your subconscious mind absorbs. Memorizing lines with traditional methods utilizes our conscious mind (intellect) to analyze and interpret the dialogue. Once we have done all of our "conscious" analysis, we then have to apply our choices through repetitive practice. 
This traditional process DOES work, but it takes a lot of time rehearsing to make our delivery appear organic.
 
You must be able to speak your dialogue as if you were saying the words for the very first time, even with little time to rehearse. Memorizing lines alone, especially at short notice, won't cut it. SMT trains you to absorb the dialogue subconsciously, making it more organically available.
 
Remember: SMT is about getting the lines down first, then "playing" with your choices.
 
Go straight through the SMT process without pausing too long or too often to think about the dialogue. You will have the words and the basic story elements burned into your subconscious by the time you finish. Whatever choices you make thereafter are easier because you're NOT locked into preconceived ideas. Your sense of spontaneity in performance will improve. Taking new directions and adjusting to unexpected situation will also improve.
 
SMT is as close to improvisation you can get with a script; that's what makes it work. 
 
SMT is a spontaneous learning model. You will learn to trust your memory and instincts as when you perform the final exercise; "Performance Off-Book". Eventually, you will learn to connect with your character's dialogue quickly as you go through each beat. Practice, practice, practice!
   SMT Frequently Asked Questions
What if I have a scene, but no scene partner to practice with?
 
When first starting out, you should do the SMT with your character's lines only. You can record your cue lines in a tape recorder BEFORE you begin SMT. For your off-book performance, there is no substitute for having a friend read with you, even if they're not an actor. Once you become proficient with the SMT process, you can memorize everyone's line (one or two pages at a time). With exercises B and C, just read the cue lines flat, but perform the exercises properly for your lines. Some of our students use this approach.
 
What if I have a long scene and lot of dialogue?
 
With TV and Film scripts, seldom are there any scenes that are more 5 or 6 pages long.  For longer scripts (especially stage plays), break it down to manageable segment, or "beats". Go through all the steps and perform the first segment off-book. Repeat the SMT process with the second segment, then perform off-book again with both the first and second segments. Do the same SMT process for the third segment, then perform all three off-book. If you have a long scene or multiple scenes, take breaks between each script segment and pace yourself.
 
If a I get new script handed to me at the casting office, should I do SMT?
 
Not advised. The SMT exercises could be very distracting to other actors in the casting office. If you are handed a new script when you arrive, they're not expecting you to have it memorized, they're expecting a cold read. Keep in mind, SMT trains you to comprehend your dialogue faster so even your cold reads will improve.
 
Can I use SMT for Monologues?
 
Absolutely! Our DVD covers script breakdowns for commercial copy and scenes, but we do not have any breakdown for monologues. However, the SMT exercises are still the best way to memorize monologues.
You can even use the SMT exercise for speeches.