Book Review: ‘Monologues for Every Audition’ by Glenn Alterman

I hate monologues. Always have. It’s just so unnatural to stand there before a casting director or agent and talk to someone that isn’t there. And to do it out of context? Ugh, the worst.

Plus, it’s always hard to find a good one. If you’re like me, you constantly have one eye open whether you’re watching TV or a film or seeing a show. You think, “Oh, that’s a good one. I could do that.”

Then, if you find one you like, is it appropriate to do in an agent’s office? Does the character yell and curse?

And finally, is it over 2 minutes? Lately, I’ve been seeing the need for 1-minute monologues.

It’s enough to make you go nuts.

Glenn Alterman’s book, Monologues for Every Audition, helps out with the awfulness. Glenn has a rating system before each monologue. He tells you the age range of the character and whether it’s comedic, serio-comic or dramatic. Those are always a given in monologue books. But, and this is the coolest part of the book, he also tells you the exact running time of each monologue; 2 minutes, 2 minutes 20 seconds, 90 seconds, under 1 minute. This was fantastic. If you see something over a certain length of time, you can just skip over it. No more wasting time. Actors are busy!

Another cool part is that he tells you if the monologue is appropriate to perform in an agent or casting directors’ office or if it’s good for theatre or TV and film. Completely handy when you’re searching for the perfect monologue.

This is Glenn’s 10th book of monologues and as an actor himself, he clearly knows what works and doesn’t. Monologues have to have a beginning, middle and end – some kind of story to it – and each one definitely has that.

At the beginning of the book, he’s got a primer on how to prepare for monologues: What’s the best way to find your piece and how to memorize it.

He also deals with the question of should you write a character bio. And, if you do, he’s got 21 questions to ask yourself when you do.

He gives you all the tools to help you deliver the best performance you can give. The book has 37 monologues for women and 37 for men, all very good. I even chose a few to work on myself.

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