When you do something by heart, it bypasses some of the common sense processing we use to navigate our day.
Seth Godin, The problem with doing it by heart
Master Marketer Seth Godin posted this the other day and it really struck home with me. But it struck me from an acting perspecting, not just from a marketing or business perspective.
Learning lines is basic to acting. And, yes, you should know your lines by heart. You should be able to recite the backwards and forwards. If you’re really good you can recite them upside-down. But reciting lines isn’t acting; it’s just reciting lines.
A great actor takes the foundation of that text and breathes life into it. The words are spoken by a living breathing three-dimensional person being created in the moment by the actor.
Next time you’re onstage ask yourself this, “Am I living in this moment or am I performing this scene by heart?”