Why does an actor need to learn and perform a monologue?
What is a monologue?
A monologue is a long speech given by one person, usually in a theatrical context, expressing their thoughts, feelings, or opinions. Even though they are usually performed as an excerpt from a play, they are now widely being used for showreel material and promotional exposure for the actor. Either way, it can be a powerful way for an actor or performer to engage with the audience and convey various emotions or ideas. Monologues can be comedic, dramatic, or both and are often used to provide insight into a character’s motivations, beliefs, or experiences. Monologues play a crucial part in an actor’s development.
So why do actors have to learn and perform monologues?
How else are you going to get industry professionals to take notice of your acting skills? Monologues are great for showing off your talent. With my actors, I usually ask them to do a minimum of one monologue a month. This is because they need to stay in touch with learning words, creating a character’s mood. Looking at the breakdown of their character and researching plots. Also, it is an easy way to keep practising the art of what they love
Where do I find a monologue?
1. There are so many monologues you can choose from an array of super-talented writers online.
3. You can write one which can be fun and rewarding.
4. For children, there are many different ones to choose from, but I recommend Audition Speeches for Young Actors 6 to 16yrs. This book has never failed me with many choices of different ages to suit most young child actors
5. For teenage monologues, I recommend National Youth Theatre Monologues 75 Speeches.
Audition pieces for Actors 16 + I use this book for my teenagers and young adults for showreel and exam work
I use this book for my older actors for acting exam work and showreel material.
This is one that Sam Goodison, one of my actors, wrote to herself. She seamlessly fits into the role and gives a performance reflecting her acting ability, leaving a realistic impression on industry professionals.
Warning!!! There is some swearing. The author’s own monologue.
Four points why monologues are so important to actors:
· Working on performance techniques: Going through monologues can help actors sharpen their performance techniques. It permits them to explore various methods, like employing physicality or vocal range to make the character come alive.
·Building confidence: Rehearsing a monologue repeatedly can help actors feel more confident in their abilities. This can translate into more assured performances on stage or in front of the camera.
· Improving memorisation: Memorising a monologue is a great exercise for the brain. It can help actors improve their memory skills, which are essential for learning lines and delivering them convincingly.
· Audition preparation: Many auditions for plays, films, and TV shows require actors to perform a monologue. Practicing monologues can help actors prepare for these auditions and feel more confident when delivering their lines.
Types and styles of monologues
Suggestions you can look for. Choose something that you will enjoy or what interests you. That way you will have fun and it will be so much easier to do.
1. Dramatic monologue: A monologue delivered by a character in a play or film, where they reveal their thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
2. A comedic monologue A type of performance that comprises of a speaker delivering humorous dialogue intending to make the audience laugh.
3. Emotional monologue: A monologue where the speaker expresses their powerful emotions, such as grief, anger, or joy.
4. Interior monologue: A monologue that reveals a character’s thoughts and feelings as if they were speaking to themselves in their mind.
5. Narrative monologue: A monologue where the speaker tells a story, often in an interesting way.
6. Confessional monologue: A monologue where the speaker confesses their secrets, sins, or personal struggles.
7. Historical monologue: A monologue where the speaker recounts a historical event or moment, often in a dramatic way.
8. Philosophical monologue: A monologue where the speaker discusses philosophical ideas, often in a thought-provoking and reflective way.
9. Political monologue is a monologue where the speaker expresses their views or discusses a political issue.
10. Satirical monologue: A monologue that uses irony, sarcasm, or humour to criticise or ridicule a person, group, or societal issue.
This is an example of a real-life situation that has been brought to life by one of our actors Danny Bell, he used it for an audition recently. You can see his facial reactions are very real and believable. He is totally absorbed and relating to what he is saying.
Danny’s own monologue
Hope this has been of help and wish you the very best with your future monologues. Please send them to me, and I will post them up on our Platform 2C Twitter account. @Platform2c
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