Memorize Me

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Remember that scene in Zoolander where Will Ferrel yells, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills?!?!” That’s me, at this moment.

Via Aisha

I think the number one question that I am asked when I tell someone I’m an acting major is “how in the world do you memorize all that…stuff??”  I’ve always laughed loftily and replied, “Hm, I don’t know, it just comes easily to me, I guess, you know…” So, I’m sure that was a very effective answer for them.  Good job Lauren.

But this week, I am realizing that there is being good at memorizing…and there is being GOOD at memorizing.  Right now, I have in separate stages of memorization:

-A full play (Emotional Creature) containing a monologue in an Israeli accent
-A two minute Chekhov monologue
-A one and a half minute Shakespeare piece
-Two possible one and a half minute contemporary pieces
-An Italian aria
-A German aria
-An Italian duet

Most of these pieces must be fully memorized and playable by next week.  I’m performing the Chekhov today.

Yikes.

Yes, I am good at memorizing.  But having all these pieces in my head, coupled with a bit of nervousness regarding performing them all, makes me feel like I have multi-cultural Dissociative Personality Disorder.  Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was bopping from one to the next, over and over, like jumping on a trampoline and ending up in someone else’s yard each time.

It’s exhausting. So I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to be worried about making these pieces perfect.  As my Vocal Prod teacher quoted today:

Perfection is the death of art.

Beautiful, and so true! Who wants to watch someone be perfect on stage for three hours? We’d all be asleep.  The beauty comes in the imperfections, because emotions are imperfect.  We smile through tears, make discoveries in the middle of sentences, and our minds work faster than our mouths do sometimes, or vice versa.  All of that is much more interesting to watch than someone who has timed out perfectly when they shall sit and stand like a princess.  I have a deep affection for all of these pieces, and I have a feeling that once I let the nerves and the perfectionism go, that love is going to shine through.  Here’s hoping!

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