Top 10 Monologue Tips

Written by: Dave Andrews

Every actor hates auditions. It s the most awkward feeling standing up there in front of one or several strangers and pouring your heart out for a role, knowing that you re only one of 50 people doing it. Sometimes in the auditioning process though, you don t have to feel quite so awkward. You won t be simply one of 50. You can be unique. That time is when you re allowed to do a monologue. This is a rare opportunity to actually make the choice yourself on exactly what you ll be portraying to the producer, director, casting director or whomever you happen to be auditioning to. Here are some crucial tips for choosing and presenting your monologue. These monologue tips will help you land the role. 1. Choose your monologue carefully. You have tons of time to choose the monologue. In a cold read, you may have 15 minutes to prepare for an audition, you may have five. You may even get lucky and have an hour or a day, although this is not common. With a monologue however, you have all the time in the world. You can take days, weeks or even months searching for the right one. Then you can take just as long learning it and making it a part of you. A good monologue will allow you to portray a wide array of emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, etc. Choose one that not only complements you and your abilities, but allows you to really lay it on the line. 2. Give it some gusto! Have energy in the presentation of your monologue. Too much energy can be irritating, but you won t find any producer or director who thinks that not enough energy is better than too much. Having to tone it down is better than having to step it up a notch, so give it your all. That having been said, keep the energy up, but the volume appropriate. Sometimes you ll be auditioning on a huge stage and at others you ll be auditioning in someone s office. Even for the loud parts you need to keep the volume appropriate to the venue. 3. Move around! Whether you re on a stage or in a smaller setting, you need to be able to move around. How many people do you know in real life who plant their feet in one spot and stay there for a minute or two without moving while they re shifting from sadness to happiness to anger, etc.? None! When you re emotional, you move, and that needs to be reflected in your monologue. If

8. Again. This is your time. but don t get too far back either. It s all too common for an actor during a monologue to hyperfocus on one person and give their monologue to that person. they ll think you re just a great actor and that was part of the act. You re not supposed to be acting WITH them. If you follow tip number three. fine.there s a part where you need to sit in a chair. Get up close and personal. keep going! You ve picked something fresh. don t focus on one of them. 4. just keep going and stay in character. Face the people you re auditioning to. 7. You need to be mobile. keep in mind that they ll probably be seeing 50 other people today. If you mess up. This is especially important on a large stage setting where you can move around quite a bit. I don t mean to get in the auditioner s face so they can smell your breath. but TO them. People in real life mess up when they re talking. but keep your focus forward. If you flub up. For your monologue. Above all. but do NOT sit down for the entire monologue. You don t want them to be part of the performance. you need to be both modern and unique. Don t face the side wall and give them your profile. 5. don t ignore anyone. Even if the monologue is intended for one person. never EVER apologize! I mean . Don t do this! It will make that person uncomfortable and the others in the room feel ignored. They need to be able to clearly see your face and the emotions you portray. Don t choose a piece that s out-of-date and don t choose one that they re likely to have heard others do. This is an invitation for them to directly compare you to others who have come before. give the monologue as if you re talking to a group of friends rather than one. you ll obviously be moving around. toward those you re presenting to. They won t even know you messed up. Feel free to look very close to them without actually making eye contact. which most are. Don t be boring. Don t audition to one person if there is more than one person in the room. Instead of talking to one person. so if you keep going. 6. or at the very least. Neither is a good thing. remember? That means that they don t have these lines memorized. Make eye contact with each of them. Keep it fresh! You don t want to choose a monologue that they ve already heard 20 times.

but even if you re new.never! Act as if everything went exactly as planned. Thank them and head out the door with your shoulders high and a smile on your face. you ll still have a nice 8 x 10 that meets the basic definition of a headshot. as well as pointing out the most common mistakes made by actors of all levels. 10. again typed and spell checked. don t waste any more of their time. it just means the audition is over. It doesn t mean they hate you and it doesn t mean they love you. so leave in a polite way. They won t know the difference and they don t want to. They re busy and that s their cue to you that it s time to move along. Take them to heart! As a person who used to be the auditionee and now is the auditioner. typed with the spelling checked. In audition speak those words actually mean we re done. Once they say that. Have a résumé with the headshot. double checked and triple checked. Be a professional! Act like you know how to audition and you know the rules of the game. I can tell you that following these tips can make or break you chances at getting that part. If you re a pro. 9. you ll have a professional headshot. There are two words that will always come out of the mouths of the people auditioning you: thank you. If you have no experience at all. . They re not just being polite. These monologue tips cover the most important aspects of monologue choice and execution. at least provide a cover letter. Know when to say when.

1922. no one's going to believe you. Make the most of them while they last. G.. well. There's never been any man let come in it but you . MARIANA: I want you to stop talking. there's lots of room in the world for us both... New York: E. Off you go then . I'm used to earning what I need for myself and my children.. isn't it .. But . My kingdom's my home. but it makes me a queen in this kingdom anyhow..WIFE TO A FAMOUS MAN A monologue from the play by Gregorio Martinez Sierra NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Plays of G. I love you a long sight more than you deserve to be loved. It's little enough and it's hard to come by .. ... But let's have this clear . You always lie like a newspaper--it doesn't matter what sort of tale you tell. Martinez Sierra. and we'll meet again on Judgment Day. Your luck's in for the minute. And don't forget this. Martinez Sierra.. there aren't going to be any women in the case but me either. just you look out.. and you think you're such a fellow just because a few pesetas have fallen on you out of the sky. And if you're not agreeable to that . and it's easy to take the train as to buzz through the air. Dutton....P.

a cover. at times.. someone in authority sacking an employee. you know. then more discussion & so on until they work it out or we reach the end of the text. Change the monologues to suit.. The students are not only using their inference skills to work out the situation but there are very rich conversations taking place when they compare ideas..er.e. It only need be for a couple of days. If they still have problems. I prefer to soldier on & soon it goes away. But I must admit that it is uncomfortable. Monologue 1 Well. I'm not the type to shirk my responsibilities. then another bit.. missed more than two or three days a year since I started working. of course.quite severely.. The book's monologues provide challenging listening but they can be re-recorded to make them easier & you can easily write your own if you want a monologue on a specific topic to fit into your scheme of work. So I thought what with the event coming up & everything. There are somehomemade examples on the site. . a convict asking to stay in prison over the Xmas holidays rather than being released the day before Xmas (my favourite) etc..er. I then give out the text & they listen to the whole text & read at the same time. sort of. but it has been playing up lately.well.. which they answer in pairs & finally we look at some interesting aspect of the speaking skill or language in the monologue. Examples to accompany the Teaching Tip 'Dramatic Monologues' Get a colleague to tape one of the following & try out the procedure in the Tip.' Each monologue is centred around a situation .. a bank manager talking to a client whose newly wed young wife is spending all of his money. the tape. a couple stuck in a lift. The way I usually deal with a monologue like this is to play a little bit of the monologue (the first sentence or first few words) & then ask the students in pairs to discuss what they think is happening.Dramatic monologues Do you know the book 'Dramatic Monologues' by Colin Mortimer (CUP)? A great little book with 24 monologues & accompanying questions &. I wouldn't usually ask this.. aren't you? Yes. The back cover says that 'the monologues are designed to increase students' responsiveness to implicatory language by helping them to listen intelligently & interpret what they hear..I haven't. it should be quite something to remember.g.. If you'd be so kind. A warm bath usually sorts it out...frankly it is a special occasion & I wouldn't want to miss it. Listen to the kind of things they are saying & feed in more options for them. You're going too. I'll be on my way & not waste any more of your time. as you know. Then on to the questions... .. A follow up task could be to write the silent person's responses... I remember you suggesting that a massage might be beneficial but I've never got round to it.

. you must know the situation. One day it might happen to me & really.. I was looking in the paper last night & there are several openings for a man of your maturity & experience. seven is quite an early age to start & what with the warnings we're getting these days about it.. we'll have to take much stronger action. You don't er. apart from anything else. really.in fact.. I must admit & if there'd been any other solution you can be sure we'd have taken that but with the situation as it is.. But someone has got to do it.Monologue 2 Well..Anyway. It's been in the papers & now I'm afraid it's time to take some action. just as someone has to be on the other end. I'm sure you'll find something else before too long & I really do wish you every success in the future.er.No. if my memory serves me well. that's that & there really isn't anymore to be said. this is the seventh time and we are getting a bit fed up. This is the best solution. it can't do him any good. We've got enough to do without catching him at it all the time. That's what I wanted to say & if it happens again.... So.I'm just carrying out orders...... it isn't the easiest of decisions to take & it's as difficult for me as it is for you.. possibly you could look out for the telltale signs.well. The other boys see him & want to do it too & you know we can't have that... do you? Stopping that might be a way to sort this out. It's not as if this were the first time this has happened.. I honestly thing that it's high time that a firm hand were taken in the home. you know. And do you or your husband? No.. I mean.. Do you let him do it at home?. Anyway. ....give him money each day. As you know. the smell on his breath & his clothes & see if he has any on him.. Monologue 3 You must be aware why I've asked to see you. I don't imagine that you do.. You have been an important part of the team.Well.

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