I’m always telling my clients, “Play the life, not the lines.” That’s why I suggest NOT to worry about memorizing your lines for you your auditions. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great if you know your lines by heart (notice I said by “heart” not by “head”), but at the audition, what the CDs and/or producers and director want to see is your performance as the character, not your memorization skills.
Too often I see actors blow auditions because they forget a line. Why put this pressure on yourself? HOLD THE SCRIPT! We assume by the time you’ve got the role you will have the lines down, what we can’t assume is that you can inhabit the role.
My theory here is exemplified by this video of Hugh Laurie auditioning the for the role of House. He is using the script and he is fabulous.
Learn this skill, how to snatch the line off the page (theater actors already know how to do this because they usually don’t need to be “off book” until at least a week or two into rehearsals).
A good way to practice this skill is to read to a child from a storybook. (If you don’t have a child handy, read to your pet, or a plant!) “Once upon a time there were three bears…” When you read a story to a child you are not “off book”, but you are attempting to make the story come alive. You make eye contact, you inhabit the roles, you don’t keep your nose buried in the book. Do this for (at least) ten minutes every day.