The physical brain
prefers concrete over abstract activities
How to Easily Memorize
Today's tip was written in response to a LinkedIn.com discussion
in which an actress who had learned a script 2 months before rehearsals
seemed to think that her process would be helpful for stand-up comics.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
There is a fundamental difference between:
the fragments of a stand-up comedy act
learning that type of pre-written "solo performance" theatre
From the get-go, the creation process for stand-up comedy is done in public.
The memorizing process such theatre folks describe would drive a stand-up comic
Reason: there is no two-month lead time.
Rather, there is your first open mic where you do a 5-minute "set"
tested this set out much
before you jump into the deep end of the pool.
A) There is a workaround to make this process much less painful.
Using this approach,
the lines will memorize themselves.
B) However, for those who insist on trying out jokes for the first time in front
of an open mic audience,
here is an approach that will save you a lot wasted
This is what you want: an open mic at a non-comedy club.
Reason: open mics at full time comedy clubs are often unofficial
auditions for work. Avoid same until you are good enough
to successfully audition. Here is the criteria to meet.
1) Try jokes at your local open mics several times,
•without memorizing them by
•simply working off hidden cue cards.
2) Throw out what doesn't work.
3) Edit down what you have kept.
Try the new edited version again several more times
at different open mics
. . . to avoid folks who may have already heard these particular jokes before.
A different open mic at another non-comedy club.
Rehearsing, staging and memorization techniques
The first secret is:
There is no point in rehearsing the act.
. . . Not until you know where the laughs are.
Why memorize something you are still editing?
Re-memorizing is literally 10 times as hard
as memorizing in the first place.
Because discarded fragments of jokes
will involuntarily force themselves back into your
making it impossible to remember anything consistently.
. . . Ugly to watch a confused comic
trying to remember their fragmented act!
Once you have the jokes tested, edited and set to the point that you anticipate
making very few changes,
. . . it is still too soon to start memorizing
So simple a child could do it.
You've done all the hard work.
Now, it's time to play:
. . . Seriously!
Start improvising different gestures,
movements and stage crosses that fit your
Soon you will know which versions of your set "stage business" and
"blocked" crosses works best,
•and can set all your movements to synch
•with both your words and pauses.
Now, you are finally ready to actually rehearse
Rehearsing independent of your movements is
old school, and wastes time.
It is abstract.
Theatre is concrete.
•Go with concrete.
It is way easier to memorize movements than words.
So, concentrate on that first.
By the time you have the final movements down,
. . . the jokes will have memorize themselves!
For examples of what a solo performer can do to greatly improve his performance
on a small comedy club stage or
restricted speaker's platform,
watch my 42 minute video preview of my 8-12 hour:
Stage Movement Workshops: setting a bit”
Q: How do you smoothly remember a forgotten line during a performance
While not . . . giving away . . . that you forgot something?
A: For the answer, click here.
•Get in touch:
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Mill Valley, California
last updated: Sunday, December 29, 2013, 9:35 am PST and Wednesday, May
7, 2014, 11:17 am PST
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