| Thursday January 21 2010 2:42 am | Comments (8)

Rehearsing Your Scene

After recording and naming your scene, you can immediately start rehearsing the scene.

To begin, tap the Play button (on the right hand side of the bottom menu bar), and Rehearsal goes into action. The recording you just made will start to play, and, like a TelePrompter, your script will scroll by as well, allowing you to read the lines as well as hear them. Say your lines as you would in the scene. If you don’t know your lines at the beginning of the process, that’s OK – you’re going to hear yourself say them. You don’t have to rush it. Just listen, over and over, watching the script go by, just like in real life, and when you’re ready, start speaking your lines.

Once you’re somewhat familiar with your lines, you can speak them, talking over what you recorded and in rhythm with the other character’s words. The full memorization of the lines will soon follow.

Rehearsal will play all the way through your scene, then automatically start playing the scene over again. The key to learning your lines is repetition – the more you hear them, the sooner you’ll be able to say them, and the more you say them, the sooner you’ll memorize them cold. Remember, once you memorize them, you can start to play with the way you say your lines to get nuances in what the character is all about – once the lines are down, you can start to explore the character, add movement, business and so on. Eventually, you’ll put your device down, and just listen as you put the scene on it’s feet and add your environment to what you’re saying.

Eventually, you’ll be moving about your rehearsal space, saying your lines with surety, finding new meaning in the words and actions, and making the kinds of strong choices of how to deliver your lines that casting directors and writers love.

Once you’ve got one scene recorded to your liking, move on and record the next scene and the next if you have them. You’re building a library of scenes to rehearse with. Then, rehearse with them in order, out of order, in plot order, whatever you want. And, of course, you’ll start to think of things other than the words in the script that you’ll want to remember.

And what do we usually do next? Maybe, we write notes in the margins as we explore the character and make Comments on the scene. And Rehearsal has turbocharged that process.

Next: Blackouts


  1. Comment by Jan — January 4, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    Is there a way or could I suggest a way to pause the playback…

  2. Comment by David H. Lawrence XVII — January 5, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    We’re working on it for version 3!


  3. Comment by Molly S. — December 21, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    I work with a theatre which typically requires actors to memorize lines before the first rehearsal. I love the option to record scenes, but it would be perfect if you had the option to play the scene with male & female voices like some lesser apps can.

  4. Comment by David H. Lawrence XVII — December 22, 2012 @ 5:04 am

    I appreciate your comment, Molly – and we get that request a lot, mostly because actors think that would be cool, and because it’s offered by what you refer to as those lesser apps.

    There’s a reason we don’t do that – and that’s the idea that we think our users should have complete control over how their scene partners’ lines are said. All of the computer generated voices we’ve heard, and the systems and apps that use them, sound sterile and inappropriate. There are a hundred different situations that even simple phrases are written for, let alone complex lines between characters, and how those phrases are said are just as numerous. And those different ways of saying those lines can greatly affect your performance, and you need to control the way those lines are delivered. I would suggest that although you and others think that feature would be nice to have, it would hardly be useful to your rehearsal process, and in fact, makes things really, really clunky and bad for your final performance choices.

    I know that other apps use this approach, and although the technology exists to use it, the technology does not exist to control the delivery of the words in the way that you can very easily on your own, simply by giving your scene partners lines the drama/humor/pathos/subtext they deserve.

    This isn’t just a capricious choice on my part – I’ve tried using all of the other apps in the space, and none of those types of apps are satisfactory for true rehearsal excellence. Imagine getting really wrapped up in an intimate, or exciting, or tense scene, only to have the pace and timing of that scene be thrown off by the slow and monotonous delivery of what should be intimate, exciting or tense phrasing. That’s not helpful, and is mostly likely destructive.

    Having said that, we’ll stay on top of how computer generated voices are controlled, and return to this function if it becomes helpful to an actor’s career, but for now, we’re actually not going to make what we consider to be the same mistake that our competitors make in giving actors that option. I believe in protecting and defending the success of my fellow actors’ careers, and discouraging the use of computer generated voices as your scene partners falls into that category.

    Hope this helps.


  5. Comment by Daniel — February 24, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    Hey David,

    I’ve worked steadily as an actor and coach over the past twenty years. Over the last 12 years I’ve also had the great opportunity of working as an audition reader for a number of network tv shows and Feature Films. While I agree with a number of the points you make in your reasoning for not having some form of computer generated playback, I completely disagree that this would not be beneficial. I have run my auditions over the years with family members, roommates and now my wife, all of whom are not actors. Running my scenes with these groups has often exposed me to flat monotone non acted deliveries. As said none of them were actors. However, having another voice say the lines, making me listen and adjust to a pace other than my own are all beneficial results of having someone else say the lines. Also, every actor has a different creative process and employs different methodologies in rehearsals, providing the tools within this app and then allowing the individual actor to make the choice as to which ones to use would only make this a more effective app. I am enjoying this app since downloading but the omission of the option of having an alternate voice playback would be my one knock on it.

    Thank you

  6. Comment by David H. Lawrence XVII — February 24, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Dan. It’s not just that computer generated voices are sterile and inappropriate, but that their playback of individual phrases are completely uniform. Consider the line, “I don’t know.” and the thousand different instances and ways that simple line might be said by even, as you say, your non-actor wife. It all depends on the script. Unfortunately, there is no difference when said by a computer. And that isn’t useful. No matter how little your wife is skilled at acting, she IS skilled at being human. And even if she’s purposefully flat, monotone, even deadpan, she’s a million times more human than even the most evolved computer voice.

    Or consider pace. When in an argument, to be presented with a neutral voice as opposed to an exercised one (or even a calm one, if that’s the choice), slows down what one might want to be a very quick back and forth. Same for very slowly drawn out scenes, where the participants take their sweet time about their delivery.

    We have plans for version 3 that will take Rehearsal even further away from computer generated voices as scene partners. And I’m really excited about it.

    Again, I appreciate your comments, and respectfully, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m glad you’re enjoying the rest of what Rehearsal can do for you.


  7. Comment by Nate — November 7, 2016 @ 10:07 am

    I might have missed something, but when I bought this app, I thought there was a way to play only your scene partner’s lines from the playback so that you could use them for cues (theoretically, you could actually have your scene partner record those lines), while having the option of removing your own lines once you feel ready to test yourself. Is that not the case?

  8. Comment by David H. Lawrence XVII — February 4, 2017 @ 3:37 pm

    No, that is not the case. Record a second version of the scene, mouthing your lines for timing.

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