OK, I was able to screengrab this question… Let’s see what happens when I answer it and delete it from my page, if the other questions will pop up.
1) Ugh, memorizing lines! I can’t do it in a vacuum. I feed off the other characters’ responses, so it has a more fluid feel to it. A lotta back and forth, since it IS a conversation. I memorize what’s being said beforehand, which helps set up my character’s response. If it’s a monologue, I figure out how/why each sentence/idea flows to the next.
But I really hate memorizing lines, so I’d be curious about other people’s answers.
2) Great question! I think it’s OK to have jitters… that energy makes you psyched for a show. But there’s a line between excitement and stress, and I’m not a fan of the latter.
Time and experience really helps. I don’t get nervous anymore, just psyched, but that took about seven years of performing weekly to feel that way.
Maybe it’s also the realization of “What’s the worst that can happen? A shitty show?” Eventually I accepted that a shitty show is OK and it’s not the end of the world. Also, the worst thing that could happen is someone getting physically hurt or dying. If you look at it that way, almost every show is a success!
This might be a tall tale, but I’ve heard Zach Woods took a samurai-like look to shows, that he’d already bombed and the audience hated everything. This can be very freeing for some people, as it takes away the stress of potential failure.
Or maybe look at shows not as challenges or tests or win/lose with an audience, but as opportunities to do stuff with your teammates and your collective imagination. That really freed me up, when I was more psyched to see what Pam would do than what the real and perceived judges would think of my team.
Actually, think about this: WHY do you get stressed? Are you afraid of failing? Do you not trust yourself? Do you not trust your teammates? The answer to that question might help you stop feeling stressed before shows.
Also, in 100 years we’ll all be dead, so this is just a chance to bring joy and laughter and wonder into the world before the inevitable.