If there was one statement that was most consistent among all performing artists, it would be thus:
"I'm terrible at picking monologues." Duh, and duh again. Who wants the responsibility of picking
something that is ultimately going to put your very life's meaning on the line? As well, when picking
monologues, there is something that must be psychologically disastrous in choosing words that you
believe represent YOU and YOUR TRUTH as a human being that you are then going to PUT OUT THERE for all
to see. Now get over it. Do these things and you will eventually find great pieces for yourself:
1. Read plays.
2. GO to plays. When you see a performance that smacks of something that is "in your wheelhouse," go get
the play and put the monologue together. (If you LOVE a character in a play, and he/she does not have a
standard "monologue" within the text, heck, piece it together. Find reasons to say those great lines.
Fill it up with lines from other characters that make sense within the context of the piece. Remember,
your monologue has got to have a life WITHOUT the context of the actual play. Yes, you must read and
know the play, however, the monologue as an audition tool, must have a beginning, middle and end, and
although I'll get lots of letters from playwrights, in the audition situation, the text is NOT sacred.
You CANNOT be sued by some selfish, overzealous author when using only snippets for purpose of audition.
Copyright laws DO NOT affect you here. Cut and paste as necessary.
3. Watch movies. If there is a character that you think, "Hey, I could do that," see if there is a good
piece for you to steal and apply the same rules as above.
4. Watch TV movies and sitcoms. Same as above.
5. Listen at auditions and if you hear a good monologue, ask the actor where he got it. Then steal it.
I believe it was Sir Laurence Olivier who said, "Good actors steal; great actors steal a lot."
6. SEARCH THE INTERNET. Here is a brand new resource for monologues. Make them your own. Again, cut
and paste and re-write where it makes sense in the life of the piece.
7. Sometimes, a piece can come out of a good novel or non fiction book or story. Just make sure it flows
out of your mouth because dialogue for reading is slightly different than dialogue for speaking.
8. If you are a gifted writer, do your own. Keep it short though, between one and one and ½ minutes is best.
A word about doing very popular pieces, or the "overdone" piece. I am pretty liberal about that, however,
many auditors are not. Once you start speaking the words of Claudia in "NUTS", some auditors just shut down
and close the books on you. I personally don't agree with that. As many times as I did THE FANTASTICKS, and
as many times as I hear the songs and speeches from that show, as long as you have a first moment, are in
contact with another human being and make colorful behavioral choices, I am there with you. But, if you CAN
be original, it's not a bad idea.
If you would like me to edit or comment on your monologue material, go to Monologue Editing and submit
it with a note