How to Select a Good Monologue
There is not one particular monologue that is best for
everyone – besides, casting directors would get terribly sick
of hearing the same thing, over and over again. How many times could
they really listen to “To be or not to be,” anyhow?
Therefore, it is important to choose a monologue that suits you. You
want to choose a monologue that accentuates your best qualities as an
actor. It is a good idea to ask your friends which monologue they think
would be best for you. They know you – it is a good idea to listen
to what they say. Although you may think that you would make a perfect
Hamlet, they may think that you really ought to be cast as the Woody
Allen-type, instead. Your friends may have certain insight to your acting
that you had not thought of.
It is also important to pick a piece that is age appropriate for you.
Do not go ahead and memorize a piece from the Vagina Monologues if you
are trying out for a junior high Play. Also, if you are in your late
50’s, it might be a good idea to avoid monologues that are clearly
written for young teenagers (unless you are trying to make a specific
You should also select a monologue that is type appropriate. You need
to decide whether or not you should be doing something dramatic or comedic.
It is good to have both a comedic and a dramatic monologue under your
How long the monologue is is important, as well. Three minutes is generally
a good length for a monologue.
Make sure that you choose a monologue that you connect to as a person
– make sure that you choose a monologue in which you understand
the character and how she/he is feeling. You will not be able to accurately
portray a character if you do not understand why she/he acts a certain
way in a certain circumstance.
Also, make sure that you pick a monologue that you can have fun with
– it will be obvious if you are hating the monologue that you
Think of characters in movies that you think you would be appropriate
it. Also, try to find a movie that is less well known to find a monologue.
You want some fresh, exciting, new material to work with.
Once you have chosen a monologue, practice it, and then practice it
some more. Ask for your friends’ advice again. Perform it in front
of friends and in front of the mirror. Make sure that you have your
monologue down and good.