Posted on July 20, 2018
How to use the page more effectively.
What is Haber Phrasing? In short, it’s being able to use the page as part of your behavior. This means less time spent memorizing and more time living. Casting directors don’t like it when you look up and down, trying to find word after word. Imagine if you could read seamlessly off the page. Like you knew every single word even with only 10 minutes notice! Using this as an audition technique will change your focus!
An actor’s worst fear is receiving new sides at an audition and you have 10 minutes to look it over, sometimes even less – Haber Phrasing will help you!
All actors have a huge sense of relief when they realize that they don’t have to spend hours memorizing for an audition that might be the next day. This alternative to memorizing allows you to live in the unknown and thus causes you to be more present. In life, you don’t know what you will be saying next. You don’t plan your words. I trust that they will come out of my mouth and make sense to the person I am communicating with. Why can’t we do the same when we have a slice of life (scene for those not introduced to us:)
“Most actors lose their life when they read off the page and usually use it as a crutch in case they forget a line. It becomes an obstacle and gets in the way of the audition. But what I teach is another alternative to memorizing; how to use the paper as a part of your behavior so that it is a fluid, natural rhythm that is a part of the conversation.” – Margie Haber
If we have a strong relationship and know what our ‘need’ is then we don’t have to concern ourselves with knowing the lines. We just have to concern ourselves with creating a life and that is what makes acting fun! I don’t like to call it a “technique” because it sounds so technical. If you think about it, you can’t do it. Ironically it is the way we all talk. We don’t stare at people. We look at our nails, we look away with our thoughts. It is very natural. I guess the best way to describe it is a natural rhythm of communication.
The reason why some casting directors want you to memorize is that without practising and knowing how to do it we are so bad at using the paper! If you lose your life when you go down on the page then it will stop the flow of the conversation. If it becomes a part of your behavior and you stay down on the page it is like putting gas in the car. It just works! Don’t feel that you have to use it. If memorizing works for you, go right ahead. But isn’t it great to have an option?