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A two story eyeball to help you remember

A two story eyeball.

My copy of Learn How To Improve Your Memory by Robert Knightwell should arrive soon from Amazon. When the book arrives I will place it in a “Safe Spot” and then read it from cover to cover. Perhaps the glasses I was searching for will be where I put the book. Until the book arrives, I need memorizing my lines for the play I am in March 8-10th, Dorothy Meets Alice, at DCP Theatre, in Telford, Pennsylvania.

Joshua Foer in a TED talk, Feats of memory anyone can do, published on May 1oth, 2012, gave suggestions on how to memorize. He suggested using unusual images to associate with the words  to help you remember. In my lines as The Wicked Witch of the West, I say, well, but and I, often. I think of a well, and a large butt and an eyeball as big as my two-story house to help me remember how each sentence begins.

To memorize I must set aside focused time to concentrate. I keep a copy of the script in my purse, the bathroom and over the kitchen sink.  Actually a Xeroxed copy. I have not taken the original script out of the house. I have about ten copies printed of my scenes and highlighted. I don’t trust myself to take the original out of the house.

The treadmill at the gym has a small ledge to rest a magazine on. While I walk for twenty minutes in the morning, I work on memorizing my lines. I just mouth the words as I walk steadily. No one talks, they just run beside me.  The only sound is of the overhead fans.

Memorizing lines while walking on the treadmill

Yesterday two woman who appeared to be friends, took the two recently opened treadmills to my immediate right.  Blond pigtail, and brown pigtail.

Blond Pigtail said, “I hate taking down Christmas ornaments. Yes, I really don’t. And then he finally took them down. And I was so happy. And then we decided to just leave some of them up. And I was so glad. And I bought storage containers at …..”

She didn’t stop talking for twenty minutes. Her friend, “Brown Pigtail, only said, “I know” the entire time in reply.

Her continual talking made it hard for me to concentrate on memorizing my lines. So, I started to read my lines out loud. I wonder what Brown Pigtail told her husband?

“I was at the gym, and there was this lady and she kept saying, “Those stupid flying monkeys, over and over again.” She was so annoying, I couldn’t hear myself talk, and then I told my friend with the brown pigtail about when we took down the Christman lights, and then…”

I didn’t tell them I imagined them as two walking eyeballs, which is actually much kinder than imagining them as the first word at the start of this sentence, “But, that doesn’t seem to apply in this case.”

What do you do when you have to memorize something?




About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Pamela,
    You had your glasses on the day you took your picture by the computer when you got your part in the play…that’s the last time I remember seeing you with them…
    As far as memorizing, I have tape recorded myself and played the part back as a sound byte when I was drifting off to sleep…
    Good luck with the memorizing!

  • Pamela,
    You had your glasses on the day you took your picture by the computer when you got your part in the play…that’s the last time I remember seeing you with them…
    As far as memorizing, I have tape recorded myself and played the part back as a sound byte when I was drifting off to sleep…
    Goodluck with the memorizing!

  • Jaana

    You made me chuckle! I can so picture those pigtail ladies. I don’t know that I would have been able to keep my mouth closed like you did (meaning not commenting or at least making a few faces). I memorize by reading out loud. The seeing and hearing at the same time really makes memorization go faster for me.

    • pamelahodges

      Jaana, I will try memorizing by reading out load. Thank you for the suggestion. We have to be off book in nine days. Egad.

  • Speaking of putting books in a safe spot… my husband cannot find our copy of Blessing of a Skinned Knee that I took notes in. He lost it when we went to NY. He was pondering calling the hotel to see if they still have it. I discouraged him since I think that’ll be spinning his wheels. But still, I want my book back.

    Sorry, I had to vent. Did I mention my notes were in that book?

    Anyway, back to your question.

    I was Mollie Ralston in “The Mousetrap” back in high school. I read the play over and over and over again ’til I memorized my lines. I find that anything I do enough times sticks in my head.

    • pamelahodges

      Oh no, I hope you get your book back. No need to apologize. Vent away. Thank you for your suggestion. I had my first practice tonight, and I forgot a few lines when The Red Queen was yelling at me. Being on stage with the actors is so much different that memorizing lines by myself. I will keep reading it over and over again. That should glue the lines in my brain.

  • (The header looks great, btw! Your site is really coming along!)

  • I’m terrible at remembering names. If I make the name into a rhyme I remember better. John Brown has a nose like a clown. Carrie Cross should learn to floss. Even though they usually aren’t true, the rhymes help. 🙂

    • pamelahodges

      I love your idea. The director’s name is Sam. Now to rhyme it with ham, and I am all set. Thank you for the comment on my site. Sort of like trying on a new dress, and seeing how it feels. A little awkward at first.

  • Ha! I loved eavesdropping on the pigtails and I know just how annoying all of that superfluous background talk can be when you’re trying to concentrate. The Wicked Witch is a great part! Sounds like you’re going to have fun with it.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Lee Ann. I wonder if the two ponytails will be there again tomorrow? I won’t stand near them again. Tonight is my first practice for the play. I am all ready to say, “Those stupid flying monkeys!”

  • nanc

    I really, really want to see you as the Wicked Witch …can you do a short video clip, so we can say it. Rote memorization was my saving grace through school. I didn’t use eyeballs…but I tried putting things into different places in my house and sometimes that worked. An example: ‘Oh my pretty’…I might imagine being in the bathroom. Did you find the glasses? XO PS I will watch TED.

    • pamelahodges

      Hello Nancy. I will try and put a short video clip up, after the play. Would love for you to see the play. I may be green. Still haven’t found my glasses. I will let you know when I do. XO

  • I have never been very good at memorizing but I am going to watch that TED talk and see if I can get inspired. Love your images.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Juliann. Let me what you think of the TED talk.