You already know that auditions are tough. Having a short amount of time to showcase your range and skill is nerve-wracking, especially if you’re passionate about whatever you’re auditioning for. The last thing you need is a monologue that lets you down. Here are some of the monologues you should dodge if you want to put your best foot forward.
Monologues That Don’t Fit
If you’re auditioning for a specific role, it’s likely you already know what type of role you fit.
So, if you are a muscly, middle-aged man, doing the monologue of a teenage girl is not going to display your potential as an actor. Find monologues that suit your age and physicality – think about what you are uniquely suited to bring to life.
Since you usually have a short amount of time for your audition, it’s important to show off as much of your range as possible. A monologue that is a single emotional note or has a character tell a story from the past is not going to be very powerful.
Look for monologues where characters are grappling with a decision or a situation in the present moment: it will show off your ability to handle transitions and beat-changes, tell a story, and keep people entertained.
Monologues That Stand Out (in the wrong way)
In the quest to stand out, it might be tempting to choose a monologue that features lots of offensive language or graphic descriptions of sex and violence. It might even be tempting to write your own piece for the monologue.
After all, who is better suited to write the perfect piece for you than yourself?
While both options will certainly make you stand out, it won’t be in the way you want. Going for shock value says a lot about you and the faith you have in your abilities – none of it good. It’s also likely that the original piece you’ve written isn’t as good as you think. Rather, find good writing that plays to your strengths and make your talent the thing that stands out.
Monologues That Don’t Speak to You
You think you’ve found the perfect monologue: It’s the right length, it matches the type of role you’re going for and, best of all, it’s not one of those cliché pieces that casting directors probably hear all the time.
The only problem is you can’t connect with the character or story. The truth is, using a more well-known monologue is preferable for many casting directors, so long as it’s a piece that you feel you can connect with and bring something unique to. If you’re not feeling it, your audience certainly won’t.
Monologues Without the Homework
Whichever piece you choose for your monologue, it’s important to read the entire play or novel that the monologue is extracted from. That way it’ll be like gaming like a boss. The context will help inform your performance and interpretation of the monologue.
Casting directors are also well within their rights to ask you questions pertaining to the character and the story, so having good, thoughtful answers in your pocket can only help you. You don’t want to stumble at the finish line!