Working On Your Monologue is a series of posts to help you find discoveries with acting. Finding Your Monologue is Part 1 to kick things off.
It’s important to go about finding your monologue on your own because it really is a necessary step in the work, keeping you centered and connected to eventually performing your monologue.
Yes, a teacher or colleague may recommend a monologue to you but no other human being is really going to know you as much as you know yourself.
Therefore, it is most probably best for you to venture on your own and discover the monologue that works for your own instrument. More on this further down the article.
You need to search for a monologue that will rattle your intuition. Sort of like an alarm bell going off inside of yourself and in order for this to happen, you must read.
Read monologues, plays or scripts. Actors must read.
When you read, open yourself up to what you are receiving and experiencing emotionally. If the impressions felt move you, you may have found a monologue piece worthy of your time, commitment and expression.
- The only real valuable thing is intuition —Albert Einstein
Let us go further into discovering what path you can take to get yourself moving forward with finding your monologue.
Working On Your Monologue: Finding Your Monologue
Keep in mind that many auditions you will go on that ask for a monologue will come with instructions.
Pay attention to them.
You may be asked to prepare a 1 minute monologue that is contemporary or a two minute Shakespeare monologue ect.
Always be sure to get all the information right based on what the casting room wants and expects from you when you search for your monologue.
Know Your Type
If you are an eighteen year old female teenager, no one really wants to see you play a 90 year old woman.
Understand your type and find a monologue most suitable for the sort of roles you see yourself playing. It’s perfectly okay to stretch and grow as an actor but be realistic about what would be believable and acceptable for your audition.
Actress Anne Discovers Her Monologue
Let’s make up a person. Let’s call her Anne. Anne is an actress and she needs a monologue for an audition.
Anne visits Monologue Blogger and thumbs through the thousands of pieces we have in stock for free. (shameless plug)
After reading dozens, Anne comes across a monologue that stops her dead in her tracks. Something she experienced quite different than when she read any of the previous monologues. She felt a sense of something…moved by the character’s conflict or the dialogue of what was spoken.
Anne may not know exactly what it was that she connected to but she knows that there is a need to wish to read through the monologue a second time.
Anne gives the piece another read. Yes, again she feels something stir inside of her heart. Not so much like the first time she read the monologue, but even more concretely now, like a confirmation of the first reading…
You can take actress Anne’s example as a very basic fundamental of using your own intuition to suss out material that resonates with your inner core as a person.
When something inside of you clicks, connects, relates to the monologue you read, you are receiving clues from your intuition.
That is the area you work from as an actor.
Do you see why it’s a good idea to find your own monologue piece? Any teacher or colleague can do a wonderful job recommending a monologue for you and they could very often be right from their own gut but you cannot leave it to others to make creative choices for you in your work.
If you receive a recommendation for a monologue, it is a good idea to always let the monologue wash over you and see if you connect with it or else put it aside and find one that does stimulate your imagination.
Trust yourself. Trust what you connect to when you read material. Finding your monologue is not an easy task but certainly a necessary part of being an actor.
Have patience. It could have taken you hours, days, weeks or months but you’ve finally found one you feel good about.
It’s okay to take recommendations from a teacher or colleague but filter the material throughout your own intuition to see if it works for you. As a caution, just don’t take it on by putting blind faith on someone else’s creative choice in your work.
What do you do next?
In the upcoming article, we will discuss the next probable phase of developing your monologue piece. We will go over character, circumstances, conflict, imagination, subtext and a bunch of other principles you may find beneficial when working on your monologue as this series unfolds.
- Read Part 2 to this series: Working On Your Monologue: Given Circumstances