To use or not use a monologue. that is the question…
We all remember those moments on stage, that moment when a character goes into a monologue or soliloquy and we feel just a little bit closer to that character and their journey afterwards. As actors, we are expected to have a classical, comedic and dramatic monologue to go on audition with; but how can we use the monologue form to help us in our acting, in our training and as a device to further and deepen ourselves as an actor outside of the audition room?
5 ways to use a monologue to help you become a better actor:
1) It helps you work on your memorization skills, pick a new monologue each week, and work on how easily and quickly you can memorize it!
2) Use it to work on character history work and making the character real. Kathleen Turner once said in a master class that she looks for “ the actors belief in what they are saying.” Do you fully believe the characters words and emotions? Will your audience believe it as well?
3) How to embody a character physical. Do they talk with their hands? Are the cut off emotionally and physically from the neck down, stiff and fearful? How can you combine this is a realistic way with the words, it start to create a whole being on stage?
4) The power of the voice. We do vocal work for a reason as actors, there is not only emotions in each phrase, each word but in fact there is emotion that can be put into each sound. Hardening our constants, sliding slowly through an S sound, or playing up assonance.. How can you use your voice, diction and placement to change the character, how does changing their voice during the monologue affect everything else?
5) How easily can you commit and perform these monologues.. is what your feeling and committing to even coming across? Have friends,family watch you, or videotape your monologue and watch it back! It everything coming through the way you thought, if you walked into an audition would the casting people, directors and producers feel what you want them to?
Memorizing and playing around with monologues are a great way to keep up your dramatic and comic chops for free, keep you fresh and nimble as an actor. We need to keep our physical and mental muscles sharp as actors. this is a great way to do just that!
For more support in your acting ventures, or for audition prep and monologue selection, please visit my website in the bio!