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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 point).

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 belt.

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 have chosen.

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.


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