Audition Tips #2 Monologues
Hope you all liked the last Audition Tip post on songs, this week I thought I’d talk about monologues. There are a couple factors you should consider when deciding on a monologue, whether it’s for an audition or not, however, keep in mind that these are just my personal guidelines and not things you necessarily have to follow.
Gender – I think it is always better to perform a monologue that matches your gender, this is only my personal preference as I find it easier to act as a female character rather than a male character. However, if you are not required to perform it as the given character, saying you are allowed to create a new character, or even perform as yourself then obviously the gender in which the original monologue is not specific.
Time/Length – Most auditions require a prepared monologue, and from personal experience this can range between 1 or 2 minutes. It’s best to choose a monologue that falls comfortably towards the end of the time limit. You don’t want one that is too short, otherwise you won’t have reached the time set, and choosing one that is too long risks being cut off. Another difficulty with choosing monologues that could run over the time limit, is that you could end up panicking and rushing through it in order to fit it all in, and you don’t get a chance to show off your acting skills. So make sure you rehearse your monologue, and time it to ensure you aren’t too short or too long over time, leaving a few seconds at the end is recommended as there is a possibility you could perform slower in the audition due to nerves.
Where? – A lot of people struggle to find monologues, and I’ve always found it easier to choose one from a play i’ve already read. If you’ve studied any plays at GCSE or A-Level they are a great start. You can always ask your drama teachers, or any actors and actresses you might know too, you can guarantee they will have stacks stored up. If you really are struggling there are many you can find on the internet, there are some great websites around. Always make sure you check what kind of monologue you need to prepare, does it specify and upbeat monologue? Upbeat or happy monologues are a lot harder to find than emotional ones, so you need to make sure you know in advance. Also check if your monologue has to be from a play, or movie, or if a musical will do. I tend to go from monologue from straight acting plays, this is the most typical monologue requested in auditions. Here’s an example of one taken from a play I studied at A-Level, Jim Cartwright’s play ‘Road’:
Jerry: “I can’t get over it. I can’t get over the past, how it was. I just can’t. (He puts his shoes down.) Oh God, I get these strong feelings inside and they’re so sad I can hardly stand it. (He puts his ties on the ironing board, irons it.) Oh, oh I can feel one now, it’s breaking my heart with its strength and tears are coming in my eyes, and that’s just because I thought of something from ago. Oh God. (He gets down to ironing again.) Oh they were lovely lovely times though, and such a lilt to them, I go down it when I think. (He sits down, looking up.) I hate to mention it, but that big silver ball turning there and all the lights coming off it onto us lot dancing below, and the big band there. And all the lads and girls I knew, all with their own special character. And the way you stood, you know, and you had a cigarette. You even lit a cigarette different then. There was some way, I can’t do it now, good thing too, if I could I’d cry me flipping heart out.”
I hope these little tips are helping anyone struggling with finding a monologue, or maybe you’re just interested in acting in general. Make sure you’re prepared for your audition, even if they don’t specifically ask you to bring a monologue, it is always best to have one at hand incase they change their mind. Having a pre-prepared monologue is great for working in drama schools or on theatre courses, being prepared is the key here guys.
Next time we’ll have a look at dancing for auditions!