The Three Fastest Ways to Memorize Lines

The Three Fastest Ways to Memorize LinesMatt Newton is an acting coach and Backstage Expert. We love his advice, posted on Backstage, from June 25, 2014. He offers the following, very helpful advice, to actors on how to best memorize their lines. Thanks Matt!
The Rehearsal 2 app. This is hands down my favorite way for actors to learn lines. It’s the scene partner that never gets tired of running lines with you. If you can get past the fact that it’s $19.99, this is a game changer. You can highlight the lines in the app, record the other character’s lines, and use it as a teleprompter, which will scroll through the script as you are reading it. Then it just keeps playing on a loop. The secret for me is to whisper my lines and read the other character’s lines out loud when I’m recording, so I don’t get too caught up in the way I’m saying my lines, but I know how much time I have to say them. I will literally put my iPad on a chair and pretend I’m running lines with someone. It’s so much better than a tape recorder. Love it. (Time: Approx. 30 minutes for a 12-page scene.)
Write them out. This is quicker than you think, and you always remember the lines word for word when you are done. I have used this for memorizing longer scenes with lots of speeches. I find this works really well because you are connecting your mind to the action of writing the lines down and seeing the lines at the same time. They seem to go to a deeper part of your brain. I prefer writing them by hand instead of typing.
Write out just your lines in one big paragraph, then run through the scene out loud. Then do this five more times, breaking your lines into thoughts each time. The last time you write them out, see if you can do it without looking at the script, and just think of the other person’s lines. What’s great about it is that you aren’t memorizing what the other characters are saying, and can really listen in the scene and not anticipate the lines. (Time: Approx. one hour for a 12-page scene.)
Run the lines with someone many times. Preferably an actor, not your friend who was an extra on “Blue Bloods” one time, likes to coach you, and keeps reading the stage directions out loud. The first time you run through it, just listen to the words. Focus on pausing between each line, really absorbing what’s being said and going over the scene many times in many different ways, playing with intention, actions, and pacing. Try it sitting and standing, and allow yourself to make mistakes and explore every way not to do it, while also getting more and more comfortable with the lines. Focus on the “why” and the circumstances, which will help you learn the scene on a deeper level. If you forget your lines, you can find your way back because you really understand what’s going on. (Time: Approx. 30 minutes to an hour.)
Personally, I usually use a combination of these three techniques to prepare for every audition. I will write down the lines, then run them with the Rehearsal 2 app, then with another actor, during which time I will speed through them as fast as I can (the real test to see how well you know them). After that I will improvise the lines, and see if I can come up with some added moments and reactions between the lines that feel authentic to me, in a way that I would say them. Then I layer the writer’s words back on and blend it all together. This way, I am memorized, but also flexible and open to direction and change.
At the end of the day you want the lines to seem like second nature, genuine and authentic, as if they are coming from a real person with real thoughts and ideas. Auditions cause anxiety, and while you may have them memorized at home, when you walk into the room it’s easy to get distracted and forget. As actors, we need to prepare for this, and be very, very memorized (but not locked into a pattern), so that we are confident, relaxed, committed, listening, and open to direction.

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Skin Care Key Ingredients

Skin Care Key IngredientsIt can be really confusing to understand the ingredients in skin care products! In an effort to simplify reading skin care labels, here is a brief primer on common ingredients found in skin care products.

CHARCOAL: This ingredient will really draw the dirt out of your pores BUT remember to leave it on your skin for a full minute or choose a charcoal mask. Not for sensitive or dry skin!

SOFT CLAY: Similar to charcoal but is typically mixed with botanical oils that hydrate. Choose this type of product if you have sensitive or dry skin.

ALGAE: A skin protectant that stimulates blood flow in the skin. It doesn’t clean as well as charcoal or clay but it’s a great antioxidant with rich, detoxifying minerals.

ANTIOXIDANTS: Antioxidants help decrease damage from pollution and the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Pomegranate, mangosteen and berry extracts are the best antioxidants to look for in products.

SEA SALT: Believe it or not, salt’s moisturizing effects help with moisturizing dry skin by improving the skin’s moisture barrier! Salt scrubs and soaks are known for detoxing the skin but these claims are unsubstantiated.

OLIVE OIL: Famous for its moisturizing effects on face, body and hair!

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So you wanna move to Los Angeles to act?

So you wanna move to Los Angeles to act?Just so you know, you don’t have to move to Los Angeles or New York City to act! There are plenty of secondary acting markets in the United States where you can be a big fish in a little pond instead of a little fish in a BIG pond! Los Angeles is a very BIG POND!

However, if you insist on moving to the West, keep the following in mind when PREPARING to move. You noticed the word PREPARING? That’s right, PREPARATION is critical to how your experience will turn out. Here we go:

  1. Don’t even think about moving to LA with less than $15,000 minimum and a car; preferably a car that is paid for! You will have to find a place to live so you’ll have a deposit and first and last month’s rent to fork out as soon as you arrive. And by the way, living in LA isn’t cheap. If you have a friend or distant cousin living in LA, do everything possible to rent a room in their home until you get on your feet.
  2. You will be leaving family and friends so that means your support group will be far away. The best way to meet like-minded friends is to join an acting class. It’s called learning and networking. Please don’t think that you are all that great an actor and don’t need classes! All actors continually study to perfect their craft as much as possible.
  3. You’ll need new headshots because your home town photos won’t cut it. Another expense to consider.
  4. If you aren’t independently wealthy, most likely you’ll need to find a job. A job that will allow a lot of schedule flexibility because you will need to go to auditions, classes, etc. A 9-to-5 job won’t give you that flexibility which is one of the reasons you need to have a large enough nest egg in order to pursue your dream of acting in LA while most likely working part-time!
  5. About your car – you’ll be driving everywhere and stuck in traffic most of the time! Hopefully you won’t be sleeping in your car but keep in mind there is mass transit in Los Angeles.
  6. You will want to eat, have some kind of social life and you’ll need health insurance. If you are still on your parents health insurance policy that is one less expense you’ll need to cover.

It isn’t true that EVERYONE who lives in Los Angeles wants to act but it is true that a majority of LA residents are connected to the entertainment industry in some way. Now, if you think you will simply die if you can’t live and act in Los Angeles, then by all means go for it! You will have to believe in yourself first no matter how many obstacles or disappointments you are challenged with.

Remember Sylvester Stallone’s story: He had only $106 dollars in the bank, no car, was homeless and sold his dog because he couldn’t afford to feed it. He wrote the ROCKY script in 3 ½ days and was actually at an acting audition when he mentioned that he had written a script. The producers asked to see the script. After the producers became interested in the script, they offered Stallone an unprecedented $350,000 for the rights, but he refused to sell unless they agreed to allow him to star in the film. They agreed, but only on the condition that Stallone continue to work as a writer without a fee and that he work as an actor for scale to cast him. The rest is history! He was beyond passionate about his script and believed in himself 100% to be the movie’s lead actor. And by the way, Stallone bought his dog back from the man he sold it to!

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2015 Highest Paid Actors & Actresses

2015 Highest Paid Actors & ActressesHere is the annual list of the highest paid, top ten actors and actresses for 2015. Some of the acting talent has seen their paychecks increase and others decreased due to other non-film projects they were involved with during the year or film projects that have not been released during the year 2015.

Robert Downey Jr. $80 millionJennifer Lawrence$52 million
Jackie Chan$50 millionScarlett Johansson$33.5 million
Vin Diesel$47 millionMelissa McCarthy$23 million
Bradley Cooper$41.5 millionJennifer Aniston$16.5 million
Adam Sandler$41 millionJulia Roberts$16 million
Tom Cruise$40 millionAngelina Jolie$15 million
Mark Wahlberg$32 millionReese Witherspoon$15 million
Dwayne Johnson$31.5 millionAnne Hathaway$12 million
Johnny Depp$30 millionKristen Stewart$12 million
Leonardo DiCaprio$29 millionCameron Diaz$11 million

MOVIE TRIVIA! What is the most expensive film production of all time? As of June 2015, it is the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series – “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, directed by Rob Marshall and starring such Hollywood stars as Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz or Geoffrey Rush. The movie was produced by the Disney Studios and cost 378.5 million U.S. dollars. Worldwide, the film grossed $1,045,663,875 – just over a billion dollars!

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What is a Fashionista, Recessionista, and Fatshionista?

What is a Fashionista, Recessionista, and Fatshionista?A person devoted to fashion clothing, specifically unique or high fashion. A person not to be called a fashionista would be someone who obsessively follows trends. REAL fashionistas do not believe in trends.

In the sense of a consumer, a fashionista tends to follow fashion avidly, and he or she dresses well, keeping up with the latest fashions to ensure a reputation for being stylish and well turned-out. In addition to actively buying fashionable garments, a fashionista keeps an eye on cultural trends, attends fashion events, and reads fashion magazines. While they may be criticized as shallow, fashionistas aren’t necessarily one-dimensional people with a single-minded fixation on fashion. In fact, fashionistas sometimes lead movements to push for fair trade garments and the abolition of child labor in the garment industry, or engage in other socially and politically aware activities.

This term can also be used to reference people in the industry, such as buyers, designers, and so forth. Fashion buyers often have a huge impact on the fashion industry, because they determine which stores carry which collections, and which items go on to become popular. Becoming a fashion buyer requires a formidable knowledge of fashion, trends, and the industry.

A number of derivations of the classic fashionista can be found. A recessionista, for example, is someone who tries to dress fashionably on a limited budget, using creative means to remain stylish in the face of adversity. Some fat activists use the term “fatshionista” to describe overweight individuals who dress stylishly and promote plus-size fashions. Many fatshionistas try to act as ambassadors for the plus-sized community, showing people that being overweight doesn’t preclude stylish looks.

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Self Taping Your Auditions – Every Actor Should Know How!

Self Taping Your Auditions - Every Actor Should Know How! In today’s world, casting directors cast from locations all over the globe, not just in Hollywood. They work with many agents who will often provide a taping service to their talent. If you don’t have an agent, we strongly suggest you get one. It’s impossible for an actor to be totally plugged into audition opportunities and it is extremely difficult to self-market yourself. If you do not currently have an agent, you need to learn about self-taped auditions.

A simple, clear-taped audition of excellent quality is what casting directors need. Avoid “short films” with exterior locations, supporting actors or a musical soundtrack) as those additional elements distract from what a casting director needs to see – you interacting with an off-screen scene partner. Keep it simple. Three minutes is the recommended time for an audition tape unless the breakdown states differently.

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Our ‘Please Stop Doing This’ List!

Our 'Please Stop Doing This' List!We’ve compiled a short list of our current fashion pet-peeves as a friendly reminder to our readers to please stop doing or most likely, help your friends stop doing this!

  • Please don’t wear short shorts (or jeans/pants that are too tight) where we can see your butt cheeks hanging out as you walk (or standing for that matter)! There is nothing attractive about this look and quite frankly, we are seeing some body parts that we shouldn’t be seeing.
  • The see-through top where we can see your bra is just plain tacky. The ‘look’ came and went a long time ago (think Madonna in 1984). And, to make matters worse, the bras we are seeing should have been thrown out about the same time the look came and went!
  • Ripped jeans (despite reality TV and a few celebrities that will go unmentioned) simply shout to the world that you were willing to pay a lot of money for jeans that are essentially rags.
  • Muffin Tops are not part of the body that should be the ‘main attraction’. Many, many women have muffin tops but it doesn’t mean that you should wear a tee-shirt or blouse that clings to your upper torso so that the first thing you see coming is the bulge. There is a huge selection of undergarments that minimize this issue or find a proper fitting top that drapes over that area so that you have a smoother looking waist area.
  • Speaking of undergarments, buy bras that properly fit you. If you don’t know how to do this, get fitted for a bra. It’s a free service in most department stores but if the service isn’t available, you can measure yourself. Check out for how to find the right bra size for you.
  • Practice makes perfect and this applies to painting your fingernails. If you are unable to get a professional manicure, practice putting on nail polish so that the color isn’t on your cuticles or skin. And, when your polish begins to chip, do a touch-up or remove it all together. Sloppy nail polish applications and chipped nails are not attractive and essentially tells the public that you don’t care enough about your appearance to take care of your hands. The same applies to your toes too!
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Foot Hurt Locker

Foot Hurt LockerFor those who simply cannot give up wearing heels and voluntarily live with foot pain, there are some ‘fixes’ that might help your feet. Dr. Katherine Lai, orthopedics clinical instructor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City has some great tips on dealing with foot pain.

THE BALL OF THE FOOT: High heels shift most of the weight onto the ball of the foot, which is especially bad when you walk on a hard surface. FIX: Switch to heels that are two inches or lower and vary your heel height each day, Metatarsal pads, will also help absorb some of the impact of walking in heels.

THE BACK OF THE HEEL: If the rims of your shoes constantly press against that area, it becomes red and irritated. FIX: Tuck little heel lifts into the shoes so that the rim of the shoe isn’t hitting that exact spot.

THE HEEL AND/OR ARCH: Wearing flats that are too flat. Flats with flimsy soles and no heel don’t have enough shock absorption. Also, they don’t engage the arches which creates a lot of pressure at the heel. FIX: Wearing shoes with heels that are an inch to an inch and a half high redistributes pressure at the arch area.

THE PINKIE TOE: As shoes taper in, the outer edge of the foot and toe get squeezed and irritated. FIX: Shield the area with a moleskin pad or corn-protecting non-medicated foam stickers. Dr. Lai says that “the redness is a signal that you could develop a corn there, so it’s important to cushion that spot.

FACT: 37% OF WOMEN HAVE WALKED HOME BAREFOOT BECAUSE OF FOOT PAIN! We challenge you to not be a statistic and take care of your feet; they must last a lifetime and should be pain free!

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Instyle Beauty & Shopping Tidbits

Instyle Beauty & Shopping TidbitsCREDOBEAUTY.COM – Instead of going cross-eyed from scanning product labels for parabens or other potentially harmful ingredients, let Credo Beauty do the job for you. The site takes the guesswork out of shopping by offering a mix of the best organic brands on the market and products packed with natural ingredients!

GLOWRECIPE.COM – Korean beauty products are having a major moment because of their super effective ingredients and innovative packaging. After thorough testing, Glowrecipe brings the biggest trends from the Korean market to the United States.

NEVER LET A PROMO CODE EXPIRE! Download “Shopami”, the ingenious smartphone app that consolidates all the offers and discounts you receive via email and the app alerts you when you’re browsing a site or passing by a store location where they’re valid (free; available on Google Play and iTunes).

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Fun Fragrance Facts

Fun Fragrance FactsSince fragrance is expensive, here are some fun and helpful tips about buying fragrances that will insure that you buy a fragrance that you love!

  • Each of us has our own unique odor fingerprint which is the sum total of our heredity (genes), skin chemistry, skin type, hair color, diet, whether or not we take medications, are under stress and the environment in which we live.
  • Our sense of smell is not as sharp in the morning as it is later in the day. More upbeat scents can be appreciated at the beginning of the day to sharpen the senses. Later in the day or evening, choose fragrances that correspond with your mood, fashion or the occasion.
  • Fragrance layering ensures your fragrance lasts throughout the day. Choose the same scent in a shower gel or bubble bath, body lotion and then the perfume.
  • Everyone has a personal ‘scent circle’; no more than an arm’s length from the body. No one should be aware of your fragrance unless he or she steps inside your ‘circle’. Fragrances should be one of the most subtle, personal messages you send to those with whom you come in contact with.
  • Be sure that when temperatures increase to choose a lighter scent. Fragrance intensifies on hot and humid days. Save your more exotic fragrances for cooler weather.
  • Make it a rule to never try more than three scents at one time when you are shopping for a new fragrance. Your nose will lose its ability to tell the fragrance you tested.
  • Apply fragrance directly to the skin when you are testing new scents. You cannot get a true reaction of the fragrance from the bottle or a fragrance test strip. Apply a few drops to your wrist. Allow the heat of the body to develop the fragrance on your skin and then sniff.
  • Smell coffee beans while trying different fragrances. Most fragrance counters have coffee bean tins for the customer to use. It clears the ‘palette’ and allows your sense of smell to not be inhibited by the previous fragrance you tested.
  • If you are on a special diet it can affect the way you perceive and smell a fragrance.
  • Smoking can dull the sense of smell and make you less aware of various smells.
  • Medication can change one’s skin chemistry and influence how fragrance smells on the skin.
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