How to Choose Your Monologue

It’s really important to choose
something that you are really going to enjoy mining and working on. You’re going to spend a lot of hours reading it, learning it, perfecting it and so I think really follow your instincts on that, rather than maybe listening too much to other people and what they tell you they think you should do. I would advise them to
ensure that it suits them and their casting, their age, maybe where they’re
from. I just think it’s important because you don’t really want to be
doing a monologue that [has you] playing a 45 year old man who has five kids and
you’re [actually] a 20 year old man trying to portray that and trying to understand what that
person’s been through. Something they resonate with, something they connect to, something they can be like oh my god that’s me, because at the end of the day it’s you on stage so you might as well choose something that’s a bit yourself. Something that you enjoy whether it makes you laugh, whether it makes you really upset, it has to affect you in some sort of way. If you choose something based on a suggestion because you respect someone, as opposed to something that genuinely speaks to you, then it’s a mistake I would say. If it works for you and you’re passionate about it and it sounds great in your voice [then] do it because it’s gonna be you, they want to see you no matter what audition it is, they want to see you and if you find a monologue that
perfectly represents you – do it! Don’t think ‘I should be ticking all
these boxes and fitting the criteria’ because at the end of the day if you’re
doing something that you love to do you’ll do it, as well as you possibly can. The whole process of doing showcases at drama school is a very stressful one because it boils down from people who’ve got their pieces early on and then it whittles down to the last two [who are] still struggling to find
material and for those people it’s always difficult. So read as much as you can, watch as much as you can and if all else fails, maybe try and write something. When I first approach a script I just read it umpteen times, just constantly reading it, reading it, get to know the character read the entire play, get a feel for the character kind of see where they’ve came from, what their
background is, before that play actually begins. I’ll just imagine that world, imagine what it’s like to be in that situation and then what’s my intention and all that and then just keep that process going and the thoughts and stuff like that and so I kind of sit in it for a bit. I try and do it in as many different locations as possible so I did like at my school, I did it in my living room, I did it walking down the street, just trying to do it so that I’m not phased when going on that stage like ‘this is a new space’ because I’m used to doing it everywhere. I had a director who taught me and was very very insistent on just following your impulse
and green-lighting everything and I very much stick to that and then try my
best to just do whatever impulse I feel first, rather than overanalyzing it in my
head because often your first impulse is the right impulse, you’ve just got to train it to be as good as it can be!

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