Here I Come
Whereas Shanghai (China)
2003 will always be remembered as the place I became a playwright,
Montelimar (France) 2003 will always be remembered as the place I
became an actor ... well, sort of. Because for the 3 weeks I was hosted
there, all I did was learn my play off-by-heart! And what a massive
job that ended up being.
I had to learn about 80
minutes of monologue (10,000 words!) which would be about the equivalent
of learning a 100 page paperback book word-for-word. In fact, come
to think of it, it IS a book!
You see, my goal is to
perform my play in every country I go to, and so far I've given readings
of my play in Athens (Greece), Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm and
Goteborg (both in Sweden). But from here on, all my performances will
be without notes!
The play was written in
8 parts of about 10 minutes each, so I learnt 3 parts in my first
week, 3 parts in my second week and the last 2 parts in my third week.
Can you imagine that? That's
not bad for a guy who's usually forgotten what he said just a minute
I remember all the speeches
I gave at my Toastmasters Club back in Melbourne. My initial attempts
to memorise my 7 minute speeches usually resulted in very nervous
presentations. So I eventually conceded that it wasn't that important
to shove so much information into my brain because after delivering
it to my club I'd have no more use for it. This resulted in just about
all of my latter speeches being read to my audience, as I considered
the writing of my speech to be much more important than the memorising,
and it wasn't in the least stressful.
The big change in my attitude
came during my European LETS Tour last year. I travelled to 8 countries,
over 3 months, speaking to LETS groups for 1 and a half to 2 and a
half hours, and all without notes! Talk about being a confidence builder!
So from then on I considered myself as a competent (professional?)
Then I suppose the brain
kicked in and said, "James, if you can talk for a couple of hours
about a topic you know well, and love, then you should be able to
memorise an 80 minute play you know well and love." So once I
realised it wasn't such a daunting task, I took up the challenge and
voila ... now I'm an actor!
But it was a lot of fun.
Each time I'd learn a new part, I'd repeat the entire play up until
that part, so I made sure I didn't forget any of it. And as I repeated
it, I'd give some thought to the delivery ... the acting. And forgive
me for sounding a little cocky, but I'm bloody good! Hense my reference
to Hollywood above.
The only downside
to this is, so I don't run the risk of forgetting it ... I'VE GOT
TO REHEARSE IT EVERY DAY!
article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey
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