A couple of students have yelled in frustration, “I hate monologues!” When I ask “why” they declare them to be very difficult to make believable. If you are having similar challenges consider these suggestions!

Have you read the play which is your source material? By reading the whole play the monologue will make more sense. You will know the backstory of your character and the relationships he/she has that have brought you to the point of the monologue in the story.

Do you know your range and type for casting considerations? Is the part age and physically appropriate for you?  Show who you are and don’t hide behind an accent, a prop, character traits, etc.  According to Gwyn Gilliss, a marketing coach, if they can’t tell you are acting, that’s good acting!

Have you cut the monologue down when necessary and kept it’s through line and clear objectives? It has to have a sensible beginning, middle and end. Avoid once upon a time, narrating or storytelling pieces. These are hard to play objectives and interesting choices.

Are you being predictable in your choices?  Be brave enough to make outrageous choices that surprise the production team.  Decide on the reaction your imaginary scene partner has after you’ve spoken your first line. Choose something original in your delivery of the second line based on your response to your unseen partner.

Finally, are you choosing a delivery focal point? Be sure you assign your imaginary scene partner a place in the room. It can change during the monologue by the way you focus, and that is ok. It keeps you anchored!

By knowing your material and not just the lines, it will feel fresh, organic and in the moment!  You’ll be amazed at what a bit more homework can accomplish!

Lee