Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is There a “Best” Monologue?

I love this article about finding the “best” monologues for audition, for three reasons.

First, because it comes right out and says “there’s no such thing as a best monologue.”  Of course that’s true.  Men, women.  Comedy, tragedy.  Long, short.  Old, young.    But that won’t stop the psychology at work when somebody sees “10 best” – they almost always have to click. I know I did. :)

Second, it’s a lesson in monologues.  It is NOT,  for example, “dialogue where you’ve stitched out the other person.”  Amen, brother.  He also suggests that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you use a sonnet instead.  You clearly haven’t expanded your horizons to appreciate the variety available to you within the plays.

Lastly, Shakespeare’s certainly included – but absolutely none of what you’d expect.  No Hamlet here.  Instead you get 3 out of 10 from the Bard – the Tempest (no, not Prospero or Caliban or Ariel, either!), Twelfth Night, and even Measure for Measure.  I think, having done away with the “best” idea, that he’s clearly trying to make a point that life is more than To be or not to be.

Maybe it reinforces the obvious, but who cares.  Sometimes you need that.  Especially for anybody who really did think they were going to get a magical list of the 10 best monologues guaranteed to get them the callback?

UPDATE:  Helps if I include the link!  Thanks Chris!


Christopher said...

Where can I read this article?

Duane said...

Fixed! Thanks Chris!

Christopher said...

Thank you! I feel some satisfaction that my current audition monologue made the list (Trinculo from The Tempest); but a little worried that too many people will start doing it now! ;)

I think it's also great that some Chekhov and other Russian writers were mentioned. I think those often get overlooked by American actors, when in fact they can serve us quite well.

I had never seriously considered taking a monologue from a novel, but it's a very intriguing idea.

*word verification: phakovkiv ~ Sounds like a russian playwright!