Z Center Stage » How to Audition--Tips for Monologues

How to Audition--Tips for Monologues

How to Audition!
Auditions for a play require a solo acting scene, or monologue.  Generally, these are scenes that are about 45 seconds to 2 minutes long (can be longer) that allow an auditionee to show the directors their ability to play a character, have poise on stage, and memorize/prepare the scene.
Most of the time, you choose the monologue yourself.  Unless the directors give out a specific packet of monologues from the show, assume you are in control of the choice of which scene you will perform. 
Here are some tips:
  • --Always choose one that is classroom-appropriate because of where you are performing. 
  • --Also, think about how this scene shows off your ability to play someone else besides yourself!   How will you talk, move, and feel as this character? 
  • -- Make sure you choose a piece that you fully understand.  That includes language and ideas, and the plot if it is taken from a full-length show or movie.
  • --Visualize what this character is doing, where they are (the setting) and why they have started to speak.   
  • --Is this a good length for you to memorize in the time you have to prepare?
How do you find a monologue?
  • Mrs. Brant has binders of monologues in her classroom, along with books that contain monologues.  You can come look before school or after school.   
  • You can also search for monologues online.  Be sure they only have ONE character (or can be played that way) and are APPROPRIATE.  Curse words can be cut to make it work.  If you are not sure, see Mrs. Brant.
  • Once you have found one, do not remove it from Brant's binder!  Mark it with a sticky note with your name and # of needed copies, and she will get it copied for you to pick up and use.
  • If you find an online one, be sure to get two copies printed--you will need them for your prompting partner at auditions, and you may be required to show the directors your choice before auditioning.
What are the next steps?
  • Break your monologue down into manageable memorization chunks--roughly into four sections without breaking a sentence.
  • Use the method of memorizing which works best for you.   Some people repeat it a lot, others write it out, some record it and listen--do what works.  Do not paraphrase--you need to learn it as it was written.
  • Decide what character you are playing--what are they like?  How do they walk, talk, sit?  Practice putting that on your own body.
  • Decide where they are:  often that is given by the monologue's author, but if not, pick a place that makes sense and that you can set up with simple chairs, etc. on stage.  Where are you at each point of the monologue?  Change that by using different stage areas and levels (stand, sit, lean...).  Use the setting as much as you can.
  • Plan a strong entrance.  
  • Plan a strong exit, too!
  • Practice the movements, the lines and the emotions so they are clear and keep the audience into the scene.  Know them well.
  • Work up an introduction to the monologue.  Include your name, grade, what scene title and character you are performing, and some background to get us started with the scene.  (SEE VIDEO EXAMPLES BELOW)
  • If you need help or feedback, see Mrs. Brant.  We will also spend some practice time at audition practices working on monologues, too.  (Taking the Introductory Drama class is a good way to be trained and feel confident in this process, too!)
The Day of the Audition:
  • Bring your paper copy of your monologue.  You will choose a prompting partner, who is responsible for giving you the next three words of your piece if you forget for some reason.  If you know your piece well, that should get you back on track and not interrupt the scene too much for the audience.
  • Generally, at least part of the group that is auditioning will be present in the audience when you perform.  Being able to do this in front of an audience is important since you will be performing in front of audiences when you are in the play, right?
  • When called, set up your furniture and props if any.  Then, center yourself on the stage.  Give your loud introduction.  Go to your starting position.  Turn around backward/head down and collect your concentration.  Then, start!
  • If you forget a line, have it worked out with your prompter what your signal will be if you need the next line.  Signal them, get the words, and get back in.  No biggie.  Just keep in character and in the scene.
  • Finish, pause, and say "Scene" when you are finished.
  • Do not comment on your scene on the way up to the stage, on the way back to your seat, or after that.  Leave it to the audience and directors to make their own impressions.
Watch this video for what it looks like when you are called upon to perform your monologue:
Audition Examples to Watch:  From "Finding Nemo"
Audition Examples to Watch:  From "I Ate the Divorce Papers"
Audition Examples to Watch:  From "Crazy Cat Lady E Harmony Bio"
Audition Examples to Watch:  From "Aladdin"  (the Genie)