Usually you are performing a monologue for an audition. And whether that is for a theatre production or a drama school there will typically be a similar set up: empty room, chair and a panel of one or more people. This can be a daunting, but there are a few ways of making it a more positive and hopefully enjoyable experience. Here is how to perform a monologue in 10 easy steps.
1. An Opportunity to act
Always think of any audition as an opportunity to act. It is a chance to do what you love. We put so much pressure on auditions that we often forget that we are doing something we enjoy. Thinking about it this way takes some of the pressure off the audition. Here is a great video summing up this point:
2. Walk in confidently. Be genuine.
Be confident as you walk into the audition room and be genuine with the people you are auditioning for. Go up and introduce yourself with a hand shake and feel self-assured in knowing that they wanted to see you! Don’t pretend you know more than you do, just be yourself. Here is another great video which you can use pre-audition to help your confidence:
3. Get on with it.
It is absolutely fine to take a beat before you start your monologue, but don’t do a full vocal warm up or mediation session in there. It’s great to show you can get in there, be professional and get the job done. It comes across as indulgent if you take a lot of time to prepare before your monologue, at least I think so.
4. Be ready to take direction.
You will almost certainly be asked to do the monologue a second time with some new direction. I recommend preparing your monologue a number of ways before you come into the audition to prepare for this. Never fight with the director, be open and always try to take on their direction as best you can. If you don’t understand something get them to clarify.
5. Minimise gestures and movement
Don’t use excessive gestures. In some circumstances it can really work to be very physical, but for most monologues you are better off keeping movement to a minimum. If you can stand or sit still and deliver a monologue that is very powerful and impressive.
6. Be well warmed up before performing.
Find some time to warm up before the audition. Even if it is just a 10 minute warm up, it will get you focused and ready to go.
7. Don’t panic about your preparation. Be in the moment.
As we spoke about in how to rehearse a monologue, preparation is vital, but once you are in the room and performing don’t get caught up trying to remember all your preparation. If you have rehearsed well it will be in your muscle memory and you will be able to just relax and perform.
8. Never look at people your’e auditioning for.
This is a classic rule. It makes the people you are auditioning for feel uncomfortable and it can also make you uncomfortable and throw your performance . As a general rule I recommend placing your eye line just above their heads at about eye level.
9. Be clear and direct.
When speaking use your full voice, and be clear and direct with the person/audience you are speaking to. If you are auditioning for theatre, they are not just looking at your acting ability but your movement, posture, voice and confidence, so show them you are a well-rounded performer.
10. Give it your best.
If you have prepared well, the rest is out of your control. Be yourself, keep it simple and when you walk out that door let it go, grateful to have been given an opportunity to do what you love.