Our book, 101 Awesome Original Monologues for 20-Somethings, was recently published (you can buy it at this link) offering hundreds of new monologues for early career actors.
So now the big question: how to choose the perfect monologue? That’s easy — and not so easy. The “right” monologue will jump out at you and will fit like it was written for you. Whether performing for a casting director, agent, acting class, church congregation, family gathering, or anyone else, the actor needs to give an honest, entertaining portrayal of the character she has chosen. Look for material that you relate to. Maybe you find it humorous or perhaps you have had a similar experience to the character. You want material that excites you, something you can sink your teeth into and memorize well. A well-crafted monologue will give you, the actor, a chance to show various “colors” of your personality. If you are using the monologue for auditioning and professional purposes, it should be 1-2 minutes long, which is the industry standard. Sometimes the length is specified, depending on the audition. Ideally, you will have two or three monologues of a contrasting nature prepared and ready to go at any moment. Monologues are a large part of the arsenal of “tools” every actor, no matter what age, should have prepared at all times. A carpenter would never go to at a job site without his tools, and neither should an actor. You want to find a monologue that best brings out your personality. You need to stand out among many other actors auditioning for the same role. Casting directors and agents are looking for the person with that “special something” that will win the heart of audiences. It is important that you “become” the character you are portraying. It is not good enough to simply know the lines and recite them. You need to dig down the well and show your emotional range within the nuances of the piece. Always have a coach help you rehearse and shape your monologues. An outside eye will work with you to find the truth in the character and the levels and range of emotions. You need to be able to drop into the character within seconds of being asked to perform it, so take time and care in rehearsal so you are well prepared and ready. “Dropping into character” is a skill you can learn and must be able to repeat consistently. This is your time to shine, so you want to choose a monologue that helps you do exactly that.