Knowing how to choose the right monologue could mean the difference between booking that job/being on that agent’s books or not! You won’t always be asked for a monologue but occasionally you will and you need to be prepared. There are so many monologues out there. How do you know which one to choose?
10 Tips For Choosing The Best Monologue For You
- Know your casting type and be realistic about it. A good way of discovering this to ask other people in the industry. If you choose a piece that is something you’d LIKE to do as opposed to something that truly suits you, you are unlikely to stand out among the competition- there will be plenty of others who ARE that particular casting type.
- Know your age range. Again, be realistic about this and ask people in the industry for honest opinions then stick to that age range for your monologue.
- Play to your strengths. It’s great to experiment and try a wide range of monologues to practice but when it comes to what you choose to use for auditions, play to your strengths and show yourself being the best that you can be.
- Choose a monologue with shifts in emotion. The most interesting monologues to watch are the ones with changes in emotion. This will make it more compelling to watch and will show more of what you are capable of.
- Choose one that matches the role you are going for. The closer you can match your monologue to the role you are going for, the better. It’s no use showing how skillful you are at comedy if you are going for a drama.
- If they haven’t specified timings, keep it short. People generally make their minds up in the first few seconds anyway. Keep them wanting more.
- Choose a strong character. It’s easy to switch off if the monologue is about someone who is feeling sorry for themselves and is whinging. Choose feisty, strong roles. Survivors not victims – these are the characters people prefer to watch.
- Do not change your accent. Stick to your own accent. You’ve been invited to the audition because of who you are, and if you deliver your monologue in a different accent, you won’t be giving them what they wanted when they called you in- which is you! The exception to this of course is if you have been asked to do a different accent, and even then only go for it if you are flawless.
- Stick to the present. The most dynamic monologues are those that are in the present where the character has a strong need for something right now, as opposed to reliving a memory.
- Avoid iconic scenes where possible. They will have been seen a million times and people won’t be able to help themselves but to compare you to the actor who performed the original.
With all of the above points in mind, the most important thing to remember is that you go for one that feels right for you, that you are confident with, and where you know the character fully – don’t take the lazy way out.
Read the play or screenplay in full and do your preparations as if you were playing that role in the play/film. If you have chosen from a book or written your own, decide on the backstory and make strong decisions about everything that has led them up to this point.
Remember, this is your chance to show yourself at your best!
Looking for a monologue?
Check out our database of Contemporary Monologues here!
Eirian Cohen is the founder of Northern Star Acting and co-producer of ESG Media, LTD