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Mind Going Blank During Monologue

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Mind Going Blank During Monologue

Postby upanishad on Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:32 am

Hello all,

I wanted to ask about this phenomenon--the mind suddenly going blank during a monologue or performance--and see if anyone has any ideas for a solution.

I don't memorize speeches word for word, but a monologue in theater requires this type of word perfect memorization.

Even when an actor has practiced their lines extensively, a high pressure show, maybe with critics or auditors in the crowd, can cause an actor to forget their lines.

It's a peculiar sensation. Going along seemingly just fine, and then suddenly--you forget everything you've ever known. Blank. I've read that maybe a good idea is to slightly distract oneself, by being mindful of a part on the body, etc., since grasping too hard for the words can short circuit, or get one locked out of, the brain. Too much conscious thought for something that should be able to be done from memory.

Hearing the inner, conscious/controlling voice too loud, or giving its thoughts just slightly too much focus, can also cause blanks. Much better to let the practiced information flow freely, from a still mind, than have extraneous thoughts draining the overall cognitive bandwidth.

Usually a deep breath and starting from the previous line or lines can get one back on track. Not always, though, ha.

But I'm more interested in preventing these mind blanks from happening at all, especially in high pressure situations.

Any insight would be appreciated. Or if anyone has any tools/techniques they've used with success.

Thanks.
upanishad
 
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Re: Mind Going Blank During Monologue

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:00 pm

U.,

upanishad wrote:Usually a deep breath and starting from the previous line or lines can get one back on track. Not always, though, ha.

But I'm more interested in preventing these mind blanks from happening at all, especially in high pressure situations.

Interesting!, about the breath. It seems a fixer for many ills, and a promoter of health, attention, and relaxation. A real tool in Yoga- (Hatha, etc.) practice.

Preventing the "mind blanks", or blankenings, is going to be a highly personal affair for all comers, I'm sure. It could be good to inquire in the circles you frequent (public-speaking? performance?), among the other skilled practitioners of those arts or crafts. I suppose again it will be highly individualistic, but it may also be specialized by area of endeavor, besides. Even within each sphere, though, there's bound to be various camps of favoring this and that over other things. "Tricks of the Trade", i.e.

best!,

--Joe
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