Monologues

At Bottle Tree Productions, we know that finding the right monologue is a challenge at any age, but especially for young people. We recommend that you read our article

"Be Prepared: 10 Audition Tips".

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Preparing to audition means finding and readying a monologue. Actors, especially young actors, teens and young women have difficulty finding good monologues . 98% of the young actors who I see do not audition well because they choose monologues that let them down.

Remember that you need a good monologue. A monologue is a snippet from the life of a character. Presenting your monologue is not a test of whether you can memorise and spout back some lines. It is not a speech that you have to make in school. You need to consider all of the aspects of that character in order to make a good impression with your monologue. Your monologue should include some blocking, some body language, some facial expressions, vocal dynamics. It ought to look as if this is a play that you have been performing and you are being asked to show some of it. A good monologue will show off your strengths, be interesting, and show a change in emotion for your character, all in two minutes.

Good monologues are mainly from plays, sometimes from books, and almost never from the internet. If you have not read many plays, you will need to find out what plays exist that have potential. Check the internet, ask your drama coach, ask the drama teacher at school, ask other actors, ask directors, call theatre companies, and check the library.

When you find a monologue that seems to have potential, find out where you can read the rest of the play. If there is no play, then move on to the next potential monologue. You need the play in order to define your character. No one can grasp the intricacies of a character by reading a two-minute bit.

You will be well-rounded if you can find a comedy and a drama from classical plays (Greek), a comedy and a drama from Shakespeare or Marlowe, and as well from a modern piece and a contemporary. That's eight monologues, or about sixteen minutes worth of performing.

Read the whole play once, just to read the story. Then read it again with an eye to your character's attitude about plot, other characters, the highs and lows of the piece. You will have to do as much prep for this as it would take to actually be performing the play in production. Now look at where your monologue fits into all of that and work the monologue until you have some blocking, and know the text. Keep layering and testing until you either run up against a wall, or until you think it's ready to be looked at. All of this is worth the time. You are now investing in yourself as an actor, you are making the effort to be as hireable as possible.

The right input for your monologue is crucial. Perform your monologue for people who know theatre. Show it to other actors, to directors, to your coach, and ask for specific input. Use your drama teacher to help you polish your piece.

Remember to rehearse your monologue every day, even after you have perfected it. You have worked hard to have a monologue that won't let you down, the rest is up to you!

Monologues for young children

Monologues for children

Monologues for teens and young adults