Huckleberries Online

Stage Actors Share Memory Secrets

If you ask boomers to list their top 10 aging anxieties, “declining memory” often ranks high on the list. This prompted us to think about a particular class of people whose memories are famously prodigious, not to mention vital to their jobs: stage actors. They must memorize vast quantities of dialogue and then reproduce it, word-perfect, under stress. Anyone who has tried to memorize even one Shakespearean sonnet can see how impressive it is to commit “Hamlet” to memory. So we went to two of the premier stage actors of our region, Patrick Treadway, 53, and Michael Weaver, 55, and asked them two simple questions: How do they do it? And what tips might be useful for the rest of us? Treadway leads workshops on memorization for actors, and his most valuable insight may also be the simplest: We all have better memories than we realize. We just need to get them organized/Jim Kershner, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Patrick Treadway, left, and Michael Weaver in a scene from Interplayers’ “Greater Tuna”)

Question: Do you have a good enough memory to be a stage actor?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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