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The "Perfect" Monologue

Mar 02 2018

We're halfway through our yearly monologue workshop, so naturally I've been thinking a lot about monologue auditions.

Most actors hate 'em. I'm tempted to say, for good reason.

Instead, let me say this: Get over it! 

Now, here's what to keep in mind.

Life, that's the first and essential thing.

The creative production of a focused inner life turned out. That's the actor's absolute obligation.

Truthful, emotional, believable, compelling life. Anything more is gravy. (Not that we don't like gravy - we do - but the meal is the meat, not the gravy!)

Want a great example? Have another look at DD Lewis' brilliant speech ("The finest beating I ever took") from Gangs of New York. It's well worth your careful study.

Is DD Alive? Hell yes he is.

Observe the moment to moment specificity. You can practically see his objects.

Listening and answering? Come on - of course he is!

So, what about learning to love the monologue audition? (Or at least not hating the thought?) 

Here's a suggestion that'll help you to change your thinking, not to mention help you to improve your skill.

Commit to fully preparing a new monologue a month for the next six months. 

Give up the need for finding the perfect monologue (it doesn't exist.) Instead, give your attention to the creative work of preparation. 

Work daily.

Remember, your essential aim is to create a focused inner life based on given circumstances and turn it out.

Remember that, and we'll remember you.