This blog serves to give acting ideas and advice to actors of all ages, especially young ones. This blogs author is J.T. Turner, actor, director, teacher and member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA. I hope you find the posts useful, and please pass along the blog address to anyone you think might benefit from it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I need a new monologue.......

This is a phrase many actors utter frequently, perhaps second only to, "I need a new head-shot". Finding good monologues is a key component in the business of getting work as an actor. Many auditions will have something for you to read, but will still often start with a request for a monologue.

This simple small acting scene is very important, and a good one will often help you get a role. A bad one will pretty well assure you have more free time, :). So here are some suggestions regarding monologues;

* Match the monologue to the time period that the play you are auditioning for is set in.

* Pick something with a beginning, middle and end, don't start mid-emotion and expect the listeners to get it. Also try and pick a piece that has some growth in it. Having a monologue that is all one level is boring and flat.

*Whenever possible, memorize! The casting agent/director will like you more with good eye contact, and reading from a page limits you.

* Be still, and only move or gesture with a purpose. Practice gestures and movement right into the monologue. Random movement is annoying and distracting.

*Only have a Shakespearean or classical piece for a Shakespearean or classical show.

* Never pick a piece where crying is needed. If it comes naturally in the moment great. But trying to fake cry is hard, and comes off as fake.

*Never use props. they are distracting and take the focus away from you.

* Make sure you understand what you are saying. You may want to read the entire play if it helps, but at least be sure you know why a character is saying what they are saying. Also what is the setting and most of all, WHAT DO THEY WANT?

*An actor should typically be ready at almost all times with one contemporary serious piece, one contemporary comic, and one classic or Shakespearean piece. A monologue should run about a minute and a half, as often you are given three minutes for an audition, and are asked for one serious and one comic piece.

* Change your monologues from time to time to keep them fresh.

Break a leg!

                                           J.T. Turner
                                     The Actors Sensei