Nailing Your Monologue
Choose the right monologueWhen auditioning, your monologue choice could make or break you. Unless you’re auditioning for a Shakespearean play or a period piece, choose a monologue from present day. Also, choose a character and a monologue you “get.” In order to perform the monologue well, you have to identify with the character and what the character is saying. Make sure the character is age-appropriate; look for monologues portraying actors close to your age, dealing with issues you also deal with.
Match the monologue to the partThere are dramatic monologues and comedic monologues. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to audition with a dramatic monologue if the role you will be performing is comedic. So, if the role is dramatic, audition with a dramatic monologue. If the role is comedic, audition with a comedic monologue. Memorize your lines It looks a lot more professional (and real) than if you’re reading off a piece of paper
Block out the sceneRemember that even though you’re the only one talking, that doesn’t mean you’re the only one in the scene. You need to understand who you’re talking to, imagine where they are and what they’re doing, and how you’ll be interacting with them throughout the monologue. Block it out so that you know when and how to respond throughout your speech.
Time yourselfThis is especially important for auditions. You may only have a certain amount of time to perform your monologue, so if you have a two minute timeframe and a ten minute monologue, you may be forced to stop before you get to the “meat” of your performance. Choose a monologue that fits into your audition timeframe.
Choose a monologue with a beginning, middle and end. Your monologue should tell a story, even if it is a short story. You don’t want to leave the director hanging. Practice, practice, practice Practice makes perfect, and you may discover that there are a number of ways to perform your monologue. Practicing it will help you find the “best” way. Also, try practicing it in front of other people and video-taping yourself. The more feedback you can get before you perform in front of a director or crowd, the better your performance will be.
by Laura Williams