MONOLOGUES Monologue – text presented by a single character, most often to express their thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience Soliloquy - when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience First Person - a narrative device whereby the narrator is speaking for and about themselves, a literary style in which the narrator recounts his or her own experiences or impressions Focus - To concentrate attention or energy
LESSON OBJECTIVES: • The student will: • Prepare a slate for a monologue • Choose an appropriate focus for a monologue • Explore/discover the objective, obstacle, and tactic for a monologue • Successfully memorize a monologue
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WHAT IS A MONOLOGUE? A monologue is an excerpt of a longer piece written for stage or film. It’s a sample of your work to show agents, casting directors, producers, directors, etc. what you can do as an actor. A good monologue plays up your strengths; it shows what you can do, who you can play, and who you are. Nothing is more important than choosing the right monologue for your type and skill level. Remember, monologue auditions are your moment to shine.
Types of MONOLOGUEs Interior monologues involve a character externalizing their thoughts so that the audience can witness experiences that would otherwise be mostly internal. Dramatic monologue involves one character speaking to another character.Active monologue a character is using their speech to achieve a clear goal. Narrative monologues simply involve a character telling a story and can often be identified by the fact that they are in the past tense.
FINDING A MONOLOGUE Search online or through books of monologues from plays. While searching keep the following questions in mind: Is it logical? Look for a monologue that makes sense out of context. You want to choose something that your audience will understand while you are performing it. What is the Content? Choose the right monologue. Not only must it show off your strengths and skills as an actor, but it must show that you are the right actor for a part. Is it well-known? Try to seek out material that has not been overdone. Consider your audience, what might they enjoy hearing? How long is it? Keep your pieces short. 90 seconds is ideal, two minutes is the absolute limit. Most directors can see what they need to see immediately. Remember, you’re showing them a sample of your work; 1-2 minutes is plenty
Preparing a MONOLOGUE Read: Read the play that the monologue came from to get a better sense of the character. Analyze:Complete a character analysis to develop knowledge of the character’s internal and external characteristics based on information given in the play to improve the believability of the performance. OOT: Determine the objective, obstacle, and tactic for your character in the monologue. Focus: Determine the focal point for the monologue. Move: Movement is always more interesting than standing in one place. Don't avoid gesturing or even a little acting during the monologue. However, you shouldn't perform in costume or with props. Memorize/Rehearse: Know your monologue well enough that you can perform it without being nervous. Once you begin, you are your character, and you should only be nervous if your character is nervous.
Monologues are typically prepared for auditions. When auditioning, you will need to prepare an introduction or “slate”. Preparing a slate To slate usually means to state your full name, along with the title, author of the piece(s) you will be performing. Example:“Hello, my name is Sally Sue. I will be performing Gemma’s monologue from Junk, by John Doe.” When slating, you should be clear and confident. Typically in an audition, this is the only time you should make eye contact with anyone observing the audition (director, judge, producer, etc)
Performing a monologue Once you are in place to present for your monologue, begin with your slate. After slating, take a moment to “get into character” and then begin your monologue. Trust the work that you have done in rehearsing the monologue. Be confident, be clear, stay in character. Forgetting your lines is every actor’s nightmare. In the business, this is called “going up” on your lines and it happens to everybody at some point or another. If you go up during a performance, do not panic. Either improvise a few lines until you get back on track or pause a moment to gather yourself, but stay in character. Your composure and confidence can sell you on the rare occasion your memory lets you down. Once you have completed your performance, say “Thank you” and exit with pride in what you have just done.
Essential Questions What must you do as an actor to prepare for a monologue performance (6 things)? What are the components of a successful slate?
Project Choices Given Monologues Select and prepare (slate, focus, character analysis, character traits, OOT, memorization, rehearsal) a one minute given monologue for performance. Choice Monologues Select and prepare (slate, focus, character analysis, character traits, OOT, memorization, rehearsal) a one minute choice monologue for performance. Original Monologues Compose and prepare (slate, focus, character analysis, character traits, OOT, memorization, rehearsal) a one minute original monologue for performance.