Monologue Tips For Monologue DreadThis week on SmartActors, we are tackling monologues! *Insert groans and complaints here*
So we know a lot of actors dread the monologue request for an audition. A lot. We are going to try to give you a few monologue tips to help you suck it up, nail it, and hopefully land the role that makes it all worthwhile.
- Make it short and sweet. The phrase less is more is a real thing. Giving a 5-minute monologue is overkill. Nothing more than a minute and a half. Create an adaptation of a scene. Highlight the best parts – maybe insert a short measure. But keep it short. You really only need less than 30 seconds to judge the ability of an actor or actress.
- Be prepared to do a little…or lot of improv. Being able to pull something out of thin air shows your versatility.
- Avoid using a new monologue idea during an important audition. Some auditions mean more than others. Make sure you use the one you KNOW and feel BEST about. Don’t throw something new out there and hope for the best – you want something you are well rehearsed with for an important audition.
- Make sure to prepare more than one monologue. Nothing can be more uncomfortable than when you are asked to perform another piece and instantly turn to mush. Having well practiced monologues can save you from sudden panic
- Make it interesting. Nobody wants to hear you ramble on and on. Tell a story (in under 90 seconds). Avoid being stuck in one emotional state. Show variety with your monologue.
- Choose an age appropriate piece. While you might very well be able to act the 30-year-old businesswomen, you really shouldn’t if you are 15 years old! Be something believable. Be convincing.
- Keep it professional. Nobody wants to hear a monologue full of bad curse words or something really suggestive. They want to see something real and full of talent. Avoid obscenities at all costs.
- Get a coach, and take advantage of their advice. Schedule a video meeting with one of our professionals at SmartActors, or find an acting coach that can help you choose a rich monologue. Finding one that works for you can be one of the hardest parts of the battle. Come prepared with a dozen monologues.
- Find a rhythm that isn’t all that consistent. Don’t spend your whole audition rushing through at a pace that screams nervous and memorized. And don’t pause dramatically every few measures. Vary your rhythm and convey a story. Show that you did more than memorize your stuff.
- DO NOT end your monologue with “that’s it” and make sure to ENUNCIATE. Thank your audience, or hold for a few dramatic seconds and bow your head. “That’s it,” sounds like “that’s all I’ve got” and can come off as unprofessional. Enunciating your piece clearly also helps add emotion and rhythm to your piece.
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