Memorization Techniques For The Actor


For many years I thought: “I’m bad at memorizing, What’s wrong with me? Why bother?”

I “decided” I was not able to memorize text. I’d beat myself up, and place my energy into worrying instead of channeling this energy into find a technique to help me!

One day, I had the turning point and it led me to check out books on neuro science, TedTalks & Podcasts.

I learned this:

  • Confidence comes with preparation.
  • …and an actor prepares.
  • When preparation meets opportunity, well, that’s how you make your luck!
  • Identify weak points and give them love until they become strengths!
  • Regardless of age, you’re always a student. Remember that!

Your success will come from finding a technique that works best for you. Try these!

  1. Emotional Outlining: Take your text, grab a pencil.
  • Build a foundation!
  • What do you/ does your character want?
  • What did you do right before this scene?
  • Where are you? How does this affect the text?
  • This technique lends itself to understanding the psychology of the text before spitting words back out.
  • Understanding the emotional flow!


Uta Hagen is a legend! The master at developing a character. Her mind mapping technique is fantastic!

It’s about looking at a collection of words in a dimensional way.

We don’t naturally speak off words from a page. We are driven to speak from emotion, from our relationships around us, from our motivation and goals.

Let’s “Do the Work” to understand the text, then memorize!

Tech Savvy? Here are some apps I recommend:

  1. First is Mind Vault, this app aids in memorization by removing key points of text to practice.
  2. Secondly, Rehearsal® Pro. This app sits around twenty bucks. It allows the user to have a virtual study buddy. Run lines with the program, and more.

Using these apps to begin repetition in your study, I’ve known many actors who do well by this technique!

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!


Lumosity. Strengthen your brain with games. Doing this in your leisure will strengthen the synapses and pathways between neurons. Bodybuilding for the brain!


Some ideas to help!

  • Break the text into cue cards.
  • Try visual storyboarding!
  • Sketch each line down.


Auditory Learners!

  1. Technology strikes again! Use the voice recording app that came with your phone, record the dialogue. Play this often. Driving, showering, sleeping even. The longer the text is in your brain, it transitions from short term memory, to long term.
  2. Alpha Waves: Use your resources. Youtube has a collection of Alpha wave tracks for deep studying. Alternating the pattern of your waves can induce deep focus. Play this as you dive into the text.
  3. Writing: Writing the script over and over is another technique while you play a recording. You’ll begin to anticipate what’s next

Supplements: Click the link for helpful information on supplements for a happy, healthy brain!


Movement based Memorization:

  1. Movement: Some individuals respond to movement when memorizing. If you have a gym membership, study while you walk on the treadmill. Walk around your neighborhood. Even listen to audio of the text, while reading and pacing. *One of my go-to techniques.

Practice: The more you work the text, your brain will hold onto that information. It becomes significant in your memory.

Memorization: is the process of *committing something to memory. So commit, do the work! You’ve got this.

I hope these help! Have a tip for memorization? Comment below to help others in our community.


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