So, this is how it starts.
You're super stoked to be in a play. You got the part, you're grateful, you're happy, you cannot wait to be a star!
Now, you really have to become your character. You have to live their life, do their tasks, look like them, know their story, speak their words, memorize their lines... Oh yeah, memorize your lines. Oh yeah... Okay. Get stared.
You go through the script and highlight all of your lines (sometimes even color coding along the way).
You actually read the script.
You read through it a few more times, speaking your roles.
You write down everything you say in show on notecards (again, sometimes color coding).
You practice (with notecards).
You practice more (occasionally looking at notecards).
You practice even more (off book!)
Talking to yourself.
In this stage, there are a variety of different methods you could try, including but not limited to, repeating lines while looking in the mirror, choreographing gestures and motions that go along with the lines, turning them into songs, and saying them in strange accents.
You've practiced a lot! The lines seem pretty solid, you got this.
More often than not, you will stand up on stage and all knowledge of your lines will escape you.
If this is the case for you, repeat Stages One-Ten.
If continue to complete and repeat all of these stages until you essentially become your character, you're golden. The show is going to be great!
All in all, theater is the best. The outcome is worth it, but I can assure you, that anyone who has ever had speaking lines in a theater production can attest to the agonizing process that is memorizing lines.