Tips for Picking a Monologue

Tips for Picking a Monologue

Choosing a good monologue for an audition or reel is a daunting task. There’s so much out there, and so much of it doesn’t seem very good! The decision can also feel high-pressure, as finding the perfect monologue feels like it will set the actor up for success. Picking the right monologue for you is an important part of making a good impression, but with these tips, it will be easier!

Tip #1: Avoid Iconic Scenes

If the person watching you has seen the scene done before, the bar will be higher. Scenes and monologues that have been performed by iconic actors should be avoided. If you play the scene the same way they did, you could seem unoriginal or just simply fail to live up to their portrayal. If you play the scene differently from the famous version, you could seem like you’re doing it ‘wrong.’ In other words, you’re in between a rock and a hard place with famous source material.

Tip #2: Know Your Type

When you’re selling yourself as an actor, you’re selling yourself. If you’re a young person, don’t pick a monologue intended for someone in their 70s, for example. You want to be completely believable when reading the material. Maybe they’ll even forget for a second that you’re acting. In order to reach that level of transcendent performance, the person watching must be able to suspend their disbelief. This also applies to accents – use your natural accent unless the audition requests another accent specifically!

Tip #3: Be Quick and Concise

Leave them wanting more. This is especially true for self-tapes; don’t give them time to get bored.

Tip #4: Seek Present Activity

Many monologues are reminiscent. A character is recalling a memory or telling a story. These nostalgic monologues may be beautiful to read, but they are often one-note to perform. It is more interesting to watch someone with a clear objective and stakes. Maybe they’re trying to convince someone of something, for example.

Tip #5: Consider Parameters

If an audition posting gives any suggestion of what a monologue should be, this will help your search. The hardest part about looking for a monologue is how many options there are! So, rather than trying to bend the parameters you’re given, take them as a blessing. These specifications won’t just ensure that your monologue is a good fit; they’ll also narrow down the process of searching and make it easier.

Tip #6: Play to Your Strengths – AND – Show Range

Are you great at screaming and yelling? Cool! Are you great at crying? That’s great! Whatever you’re proficient at, you should do that in your audition – but don’t do the same thing for 2 whole minutes. Identify a few key areas where you can shine, and try to find a monologue that demonstrates a few of those talents in a short span. A great monologue won’t be one-note; it will be an opportunity for you to show your range. Monologues with clear discoveries or shifts are great for this.

Don’t let the process of picking a monologue scare you. Picking a monologue is only the first step in being prepared to showcase yourself as an actor! You can get your search started right here on the DirectSubmit website: https://www.nycastings.com/monologues-for-actors/

Goodluck with your search!

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