Create a Compelling Scene: Preparing the Script Externally

As I’ve said, interpreting a script is always more than just saying words on a page. That’s just the external part. But we do have to practice externally a little bit so we can say the words without tripping. Why? When we speak extemporaneously, here’s the writer – he said, pointing to his brain; here’s the speaker – he said, pointing to his mouth, and there’s no disconnect between the two. If there is, you need to see a neurologist.

But with someone else’s words, an extra step is added. Our eyes have to see the script, our brain has to process it, understand it and fire the right fine muscle motors to enunciate it. So, I’m going to suggest you read the words out loud at least three times.

Once, somewhat slowly for comprehension. Because we can never communicate that which we don’t first understand ourselves.

Second, for enunciation. Really open your mouth and cross every “t” and dot every “I”. Physically exaggerate. We’re creating muscle memory here.

Third, flat and quickly to reinforce step two. So, once for comprehension, once for enunciation and once to reinforce the muscle memory.

It’s like driving a race course for the first time. You have to go slowly at first and learn where the turns are so you don’t spin out and hit the fence.  This frees us up to focus on the next task at hand, preparing the script internally by creating a scene.