Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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!
The Actors Sensei
Posted by J.T. Turner, "The Actors Sensei", Actor, Director, Teacher, Mayanist and Preacher at 8:43 AM