It’s only in the last few years that I‘ve tried my hand at acting and learned it’s not easy to memorize lines.    Even when actors are not in a current production, they need to memorize monologues that can be performed in auditions.  Typically an actor has memorized several monologues — comedic, dramatic and Shakespearean among others.   The nurse’s monologue from “Romeo and Juliet” took me weeks to memorize.  (Thankfully I’m too old to play Juliet.  You should see all her lines!)

In my acting classes the teachers talk about the memory muscle and the need to “work it”.  They suggest we memorize a different poem, song, a couple of sentences from the newspaper, and so on, and promise if we did that every day then memorizing would get easier.  And they were right.   Even after doing that for a week, I was able to memorize faster.

And here’s how I combine exercising my body with exercising my brain.  I walk with my iPod (or cd or cassette player) and memorize a song by listening to it over and over.  Other days I will write out a short monologue, a poem, or a few sentences from a magazine and carry it for reference as I memorize it.  The bonus is it makes the time pass easily.

Try it and I promise your memory (and physical well-being) will improve.