Introduction: How to Prepare a Monologue
In the acting industry a monologue will be your best friend, and probably most hated enemy. Nevertheless, they will be your gateway to roles and success.
Step 1: Know the Production
When auditioning for a show it is important to do your research. Know the details of the production. Start by reading the play itself. See how many potential roles it offers. Knowing the ins and outs of the show will aid you when choosing a monologue for your audition. Additionally, find out what the director likes and dislikes. It'd be pretty bad to choose a monologue from a play notoriously hated by the director!
Step 2: Choose a Monologue!
This is where the real work begins. Monologues can be found in monologue books which you can purchase at any bookstore. They can also be found within the script of a show. Of course, there is always the option of the internet too. When choosing a monologue, look for one with a character that you can relate to. A good monologue has levels within it. Don't take the easy way out. It should be somewhat complex. Also, make sure it fits the time requirement of the audition.
Step 3: Read the Play
Once you choose a monologue it is very important that you read the play in its entirety. It will allow you to get a sense of the character's story and who they are. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to do this!
Step 4: Memorize
This step is ESSENTIAL! Memorize the monologue. Directors tend to favor actors who can memorize their lines. Do this the best way that works for you. It usually helps to just break the monologue down into chunks, and memorize it chunk by chunk. Then, work on reciting the full monologue.
Step 5: Make a Character
This is the meat of the whole thing. Your goal is to make a character and showcase that character for the director. There might be a certain voice that fits your character. Decide what kind of posture the character would have. Consider the body language and gestures they might use when speaking. When you perform, there should be a clear distinction between you, and the character. Make it real.
Step 6: Develope Emotion
It is important to find the emotion of the character. It is part of the character's story. It's what drives them, and it needs to be what drives your performance. Make it real so that your audience can clearly perceive how your character responds emotionally to the situation they are in in the monologue.
Step 7: Score Your Monologue
This is what makes your performance lively and natural. Scoring your monologue is the process of physically writing on your monologue where you will take pauses, speak loudly or quietly, what words to emphasize, and all of the other little things that make a performance natural. Scoring also involves writing down your blocking. Know when you will perhaps stand, take steps, extend your arm, or touch your body. Find the perfect balance when scoring your monologue. Too much is distracting, not enough is boring.
Step 8: Rehearse!!!!!!!
Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse! Now that you have put all of these components together you have to rehearse the monologue. Each time you run through it, do it as if it's the real deal. Always dive into the character! You'll only get better each time. You'll even discover new things about the character as you rehearse over and over again. However, be careful not to work it too much. You don't want to get bored with the monologue. It should always be exciting and fun for you.
Step 9: Seek Critiques
Artists always have to be open to critiques and constructive criticism. It makes us grow. Perform for people and get their feedback. Seek the criticism from other actors, and people who don't act. Both can give useful suggestions. They may even end up complimenting a choice you made that you may not have been so sure about.
Step 10: Perform!
You've done the work and now it's your time to shine! Show them what you've got! Be confident. Use the nervous energy to power your performance. You won't perform exactly as you've rehearsed, but that is ok. Don't get hung up on the mistakes. Whatever you end up doing, do it to its fullness. Dedicate yourself to the choices you make when performing.
Following these steps, you will improve your craft. Be dedicated and determined. Never lose your love for the art. From one actor to another, break a leg!