Monologue 101



 By: Kelly Friar, Barbizon International

What is a Monologue?

As you start to embark on your acting training and going on auditions, you are going to be asked over and over again to deliver your monologue. So what is it? Put simply, a monologue is a speech presented by a singer character. Most often the character is addressing themselves aloud or expressing their own thoughts aloud, at times though the monologue may address another character directly or the audience.

When searching for a monologue to learn and deliver, it’s important to keep some tips in mind:

  • The monologue should be “age appropriate”. This can mean the age you look, not the age you are. Always try to play younger, never older, than your actual age.
  • Pick a monologue that has “something to say.”
  • Pick a monologue that has emotions you are comfortable playing. You want to be comfortable and confident so you deliver your best work.
  • Do some research to find a monologue that you feel good about memorizing and presenting. Here are some great resources:
  • Read your monologue (OUT LOUD!) over at least 30 times. Write down any emotions you feel and try them out with your monologue.
  • Identify the 5 W’s in a monologue:
    • Who are you?
    • What are you doing?
    • Where are you?
    • When is it?
    • And why are you delivering this piece?
  • Memorizing becomes easier the more you practice. Try breaking up the piece several lines at a time.
  • And finally, here are some questions to ask yourself:
    • Am I believable?
    • Can I be understood?
    • Can I be heard?
    • Am I focused and “in character?”
    • Is there any unnecessary movement or fidgeting?
    • Do I understand all the emotions I am projecting?
    • Am I talking too fast?
    • Do I appear nervous or confident?
    • Am I showing enthusiasm and imagination?
    • How well do I know my character?

Most importantly, just remember, practice makes perfect, choose the right monologue for you and be confident! Good Luck!