Preparing a Scene to Performance Level

I frequently have trouble remembering lines because I become nervous and anxious whenever I have to prepare a scene at a performance level. This struggle leads to fear of making a fool of myself, so to combat this, I tell myself to forget line memorization and have fun exploring my character through improvisation and some fun preparation.

First, I read the script, so I understand what the scene is about and learn what my character’s goals and objectives are. Afterwards, I enjoy dressing up as my character since I believe that clothing can change how someone feels. Then, I only learn the first and last lines to know when to start and stop, and I’ll set up a camera to watch myself improvise for three to five minutes. After that, I watch the video, take notes on what I see, and make changes to make the scenario better.

Throughout this process, I continue to take notes from fresh discoveries while I rinse and redo the previous steps.

In the end, I’m confident the scene will be at performance level.

NOTE: This is my own process. Every actor has their own preparation method, and I like to share what worked for me that may help others.