Finding a Monologue
Finding a monologue can be both a daunting task but a tremendous opportunity in an audition. The daunting part is just finding one! But the opportunity to do so allows you as a performer to demonstrate some of your strengths to the people making casting decisions. Are you a funny person? Choose a funny monologue. Are you a physical actor? Be sure to use the stage! Have you researched the character? Your monologue can show you understand how they think and feel.
So where can I look?
Well, Google can be a great resource. Searching "audition monologues" with the additions of "female" or "male" can be a great start. Adding "teen" "serious" "funny" and other words can also be helpful.
Here are some sites that you may find useful for finding a monologue:
- Daily Actor (Click the monologues tab)
- Ace Your Audition
- Backstage Monologues
- Monologue Archive
- August Wilson Monologues
- Shakespeare Monologues (Use only if you know how to read Shakespeare and verse)
- Theatre Nerds - Posts Tagged Monologues
Here are some sites you may find useful for finding a musical theatre audition song:
- Backstage -How to Pick Song Material for Musical Theater Auditions
- Musical Theatre Audition - Choosing Musical Theatre Audition Songs
How do I pick?
For WLA auditions, any monologue that fits the character is appropriate. We prefer monologues from published plays or musicals. Your monologue may be contemporary (modern) or classical. Whatever you think fits your personality and character best! Be sure your monologue is appropriate for a Christian Education setting. Another thing to check is the background of the play. Is the theme you need to bring out one that you can? Do you fit the racial and gender history of the play/character? Find one from a show that interests you, because you need to spend some serious time with it!
I've picked one - now what?
The first thing you need to do is research the show your monologue came from. Some questions to consider...
- Where and when was it written?
- Where and when is the play set?
- What is it about? If you could boil the show down to one sentence, what would it be?
- When in the play is your monologue? Is your character alone on stage? Are others listening?
- Where does your character fit into the three questions above?
- Is your character soliloquizing (sharing their thoughts and feelings with the audience ONLY - no one else on stage?) Is the character speaking to one or two people? A large group? Who are they?
- If you need to pretend that other people are on stage, where will they be? How will they react to your monologue? How will you react to their reactions?
- What is the goal - what does your character want the other people on stage to think after the monologue? What should the audience think and feel?
- What physical actions will you use to help express these ideas?
- What facial expression will you need to use to express these ideas?
- What vocal qualities do you need to exhibit to expose these ideas and achieve these goals?
- Where are you going to GO with the monologue. How will your attitude and performance be different at different points in your monologue? (Example - start happy, get sad, then angry, then complacent?)
These seem like a lot of things to think about, but in a short monologue it shouldn't take too long to figure them out. Big tip: write these answers on your script so they're always in your mind.
Then, work on performing! You must give some time - don't memorize the monologue in the day before your audition. Consciously memorize the actions, vocals, and facial expressions with the text. DON'T memorize by just reading, or the actions, vocals, and facial expressions won't come as natural to you when you are performing. Practice how you perform!
The Audition Date
Tips for a Successful Audition
- Come early - at least 10-15 minutes early. This will allow you to find the audition room. Feeling rushed will hinder your performance.
- Bring water. Take a drink or two to keep your voice working well.
- Be physically ready - stretch your body and warm up your voice on your own.
- Bring the paperwork. Generally at WLA you will always need just one piece of paper to turn in - this will have signatures from your parents and you. Bring printed copies of your audition materials just in case you need them as well. While generally missing this step won't hurt you, it does help show you can follow directions.
- Be ready for questions. We want to learn a little bit about you!
- Use the space. It is rare that a character would stand in one place for a monologue. Be sure to move a little bit.
- Be ready for random. You may be asked to "cold read" something (read it out loud without any preparation.) Don't be afraid if you mess up and need to restart. It's ok! The people watching know you've likely never read it before.
- Remember, the people in the audition room want you to succeed. Do your best and we'll appreciate it!
- Thank the people in the room for their time. It shows you can make a connection. We will also thank you for your time and we mean it! We are glad you took the time to prepare.
- Be patient! Remember that it can take us some time to evaluate performances. Remember not all performers receive callbacks. Not getting a callback may mean you are cast in another role.