When we were working on The Beard of Avon, I asked the cast, designers, director and crew to write about the challenges they face bringing a role to the stage. I extend that same offer once again and I mean that. Don't think this is just my place to post but everyone involved in the process.
I don't want to turn this page into a place where people come to whine but I do want this page to reflect the challenges as well as the successes that are faced when mounting a production. Today I want to talk about my own particular challenge as an actor. I have trouble learning my lines.
In the theater there is a sort of running joke about little old ladies and kids coming up to you after a play and saying "How did you ever learn all of those lines?" Most people laugh about that, I have always been the one person not laughing(OK, I laugh a little, but that is only to cover my pain. Sorry this just started to sound like an after school special, but I have had this problem since I started acting in 9th grade).
For whatever reason I have the hardest time getting my lines memorized. I tell people it may in fact be a trade off because I don't to do the kind of vocal work other people do, but I have to work my ass of to get the lines in my head. It makes me feel uncomfortable having to carry the script in my hands as the rest of the cast is near letter perfect and it has sometimes led to conflict with my fellow performers and directors. I have turned down uderstudy jobs at theaters because I know that I will have to torture myself to learn lines for something I may never get to perform and I can't imagine doing that to myself or the idea of putting anyone in the position where I may not come through for them.
Does it limit me? Yes it does. Am I faultless in this? Not entirely. I have made this into such a daunting task that I dread a new script.
I used to paraphrase a lot and that has gotten better over the years. Now realizing the words are there for a purpose, but I am still the slow one and I worry that it will only get worse the older I get. This isn't a cry for pity but an attempt to explain what I am.
If anyone would like to share any of their process or the obstacles they have had to over come for Fair Ladies please write the blogger and I will post it here.