Rehearsal: An iPhone App to Help Actors Learn Lines
Learning lines is one of the chores that bedevil all actors. There is no “one way” to do this as everyone memorizes and retains lines differently. For some it comes easy, for some it is like pulling teeth. One thing that is common in all of this is the highlighting of lines in a script. I know several actors I work with who use technology to help them in the memorization process. One touts his successful method of recording lines that cue his lines into an iPod and then playing that back so he can insert his lines as they come due.
It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a tool or tools for the iPhone to attempt to help actors with this process. David H. Lawrence XVII of Heroes fame worked with RipTide Games to come up one such solution called simply Rehearsal. (iTunes link.)
I haven’t tried this out yet, but here is how the system is designed. You download the free app and then set up an account with a custom rehearsal email address. When you get your hands on a script (PDF or Microsoft Word format) you forward it to that address. From there you load the script onto your iPhone. The script then becomes interactive. You can add notes, highlights, photos, or videos. You can black out your lines so that you can rehearse a scene with only your acting partners(s) lines.
You can also playback and record your scene with the lines flowing in a teleprompter like fashion. There’s a function to allow you to email and MP3 of your work which I guess might come in handy if you need to send audio of an audition to a client or casting director.
While the app is free, there is a cost for the service. Each script costs $1.99 to add to your account and there are monthly ($19.99) and yearly rates ($199.99) available. These are discounted at 50% at the moment. This is geared much more for the TV/Film/Commercial side of the business than it is the theatre, but it should still work just fine, assuming you can get your hands on a digital copy of the play script. That’s much more common in TV/Film/Commercial.
I’ll have to check this out further and see if any of our iPhone toting actors can make any use of this or have interest.