A monologue is simply a tool to get the role, a discipline you have to learn to get you where you want to be. Remember that ...
just because you can deliver a great monologue doesn't mean you can act. Watch this great practical demonstration of what to do and
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How to Approach a Monologue in Acting
On behalf of tvlesson.com, my name is Joseph Alder and I'm producing artistic director of GableStage in Coral Gables, Florida.
How do you approach a monologue? Well, first of all, I think it’s important to know and I felt this way for years that basically a monologue is a tool to get the role. And as a tool, it’s essential. But it’s has really very little to do with acting. I mean the fact of the matter is that for me acting is about making the scene about the other person. Obviously, in a monologue, you're up there alone. So you're making the scene about something not someone non existent. And that changes the thing measurable right from the start.
But it is a discipline you have to learn. And teaching someone to audition and to do monologues is not necessarily the same as teaching them to act ones they get the role. There are plenty of people who can give you a good monologue who don’t necessarily grow during the rehearsal process. However, that being said, you have to learn to do a monologue. So what do you do? You pick a monologue that is hopefully age appropriate. You pick a monologue that people may not be familiar with to the extent that they’ve seen the same monologue 15 times during that same year. And you pick a monologue that gives you an opportunity to show your stuff.
To give you an opportunity to see someone’s approach to a monologue, here's an actor doing a scene from Shakespeare's measure for measure.
Now there are a couple of things we could say right, right at the beginning. First of all, it’s so important that you direct your attention when you're doing the monologue that you are focused and the direction you were looking in is one which makes it easy for the people who are viewing you to see you.
Now obviously, you shouldn’t be doing it to them. Sometimes an actor comes to me and says is it all right if I do my monologue to you? This is to me something you never want to do because I'm not interested in becoming part of that monologue. I don’t want to act with that actor. And if that actor is directing it at me, I have to give him the reactions. That just the way it is. So don’t ever direct it the person that you're not doing the audition for. But make sure that the direction you are taking it to is one way that he gets or she gets a full view of what it is you're doing.
Now let's take a look at that same actor not directing the monologue to the person in the audience that they are auditioning for. But making sure they are visible, totally visible to them and most important, taking time.
It is important to take your time so that truly you have an opportunity to prove that you understand the language and you understand the meter of the poetry.
On behalf of tvlesson.com, I'm Joseph Alder. Thank you for watching.