(Or, what I want to tell some of my actors.)
1. Learn your lines.
2. Read your line notes.
3. The show being open does not mean you can stop reviewing your lines, particularly if your grasp on them was somewhat tenuous to begin with.
4. If you have two similar monologues in a scene, and you accidentally do the second one first, only to find yourself with no other choice but to do it a second time, DON’T RUSH THROUGH IT. THAT TELLS THE AUDIENCE YOU KNOW THAT YOU FUCKED UP. FUCKING OWN IT. SAY IT WITH EMPHASIS. THESE THOUGHTS YOU HAVE TO COMMUNICATE ARE SO IMPORTANT YOU’RE SAYING THEM TWICE. RUSHING TAKES YOU OUT OF THE SCENE AND INTO AN “OH GOD I FUCKED UP” PLACE, AND IT TAKES THE AUDIENCE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. DON’T DO IT. STAY COOL.
5. And then look over your lines when you get home.