If you’re looking for a monologue to work on, plays are usually a great resource – especially for theatre auditions. But if you’re wanting to work on a monologue from screen, perhaps to add to a showreel, or just for fun, you’ll want to find a great monologue from TV or Film. With everyone streaming television series now, television is really rising to new heights and there are some excellent monologues from TV series that you can practise with. Below we’ve sourced some great monologues from TV from series such as Game of Thrones, After Life and The Bold Type. Have a look at which ones resonate with you and get to work putting down that self tape!
Female Monologues from TV Shows
I’m a journalist. I want to tell the truth. Your truth. Sometimes that involves some deception. But know this, I will never lie to you. You have every right not to trust me, but in time, Abigail, I hope you let me prove that you can. If you tell me what you know, I can help you fill in the blanks. Your dad was the Minnesota Shrike. Your mother wasn’t the first person your father killed. He killed 8 girls. 8 girls that look just like you. The Shrike is a bird that impales its prey, harvests its organs to eat later. He was sick. You’ll be fighting the perception that you’re sick too. Perception is the most important thing in your life right now. What you remember, what you tell everyone, is going to define the rest of your life. Let me help you. Help you carve a path in this world so you can survive what your father did. And not be held accountable.
Orange is the New Black
Hey, you know that thing that happens to lesbians in high school? How we strike up a really intense best-friendship with a straight girl who’s really into it. And we can convince ourselves that friends is good, right? Until she gets a boyfriend. We hate that poor asshole with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns, a ‘he’s not worthy of you’ or whatever when he’s probably a decent-enough person, I mean, as guys go. Because what’s really happening is that we’re in love with our friend. You think you’re not in love with her? Sure. Let’s go with that. But in the event that you were having the feels for her? Yeah, it turns out that by hating her boyfriend, you’re just gonna drive her away. I mean, you gotta suck it up and make him like you. Take up poker. Watch the Godfather 10 times or whatever. Anyway, it’s your life. I mean, spend it how you want, all right?
Orange is the New Black
Dina. That’s a pretty name. You know I could tell you a lot of things that would scare you Dina. I could tell you that I’m gonna make you my prison bitch. I could tell you that I’m gonna make you my house mouse. That I will have sex with you even if we don’t have an emotional connection. That I’m gonna do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees but in a prison way. Pop them and root them. But why bother? You’re too tough right? Yeah I know how easy it is to convince yourself you’re something that you’re not. I could do that on the outside, you just keep moving. Keep yourself so busy you don’t have to face who you really are. But, you’re weak. I’m like you Dina. I’m weak too. I can’t get through this without somebody to touch, without somebody to love. Is that because sex numbs the pain? Or is it because I’m some evil fuck monster? I don’t know. But I do know I was somebody before I came in here. I was somebody with a life that I chose for myself. And now? Now it’s just about getting through the day without crying. And I’m scared. I’m still scared. I’m scared that I’m not myself in here, and I’m scared that I am. Other people aren’t the scariest part of prison Dina. It’s about coming face to face with who you really are. Because once you’re behind these walls there’s nowhere to run even if you could run. The truth catches up with you in here Dina. And it’s the truth that’s gonna make you her bitch.
Rue: (teenager, early 20’s)
I remember when I was eleven years old, it was a couple months after my dad got diagnosed and we got the results back from the prognosis, and it was really good. It was like 80/20 and we decided to celebrate, so, we ordered a bunch of Chinese food. I remember that night I was laying in between my parents in bed, and all of a sudden I could not breath. It was like there was no air left in the world. And I was gasping and I was panicking. And they called the ambulance and they thought I was like, having an allergic reaction or some shit. And then when I got to the hospital, they gave me liquid Valium. Yeah, to calm me down. And when it hit me I thought, this is it. This is the feeling I’ve been searching for my entire life. For as long as I can remember, because suddenly, the world went quiet. And I felt safe. In my own head… Two years later he was gone. Panic attack stayed.. and I found a way to live, so.. Will it eventually kill? Maybe, but maybe not, I don’t know… Still gonna be my dealer?
I’m not crying for myself. I’m crying for you. They say great beasts once roamed the world. As big as the mountains. Yet all that’s left of them is bones in amber. Time undoes even the mightiest of creatures. Just look at what it’s done to you. One day you will perish. You will lie with the rest of your kind in the dirt – your dreams forgotten. Your horrors effaced. Your bones will turn to sand – and upon that sand – a new god will walk. One that will never die. Because this world doesn’t belong to you. Or the people who came before. It belongs to someone who is yet to come…
How awkward is it watching everyone try and get it up for each other? This guy’s crying because a fro-yo opened up on his block. He’s trying to think of the saddest thing he can think of… and it’s not that sad. What do you want? Do you want me to cry? Is that what you want? How about how my dad has been in rehab 12 times, about how I don’t even have his number? Or about how my mother, how she can’t even go to the bathroom on her own? Or how alone I feel and without a life vest? Is that what you guys want? Because I can do it? I’m really good at it. But it’s exhausting… and boring. And by the way, I figured my shit out already when I was five years old, okay? Heroin is really fun, but it can also kill you. Okay, and Melvin over here– sorry, Kelvin over here is a dark horse, and not in a good way my friend, and also named after a temperature measurement that no one uses, and I’m European. Okay, and let’s talk about Mindy, meth-face over here. Mindy enjoys wearing scrunchies. No one has addressed that. Maybe you haven’t seen her wear one before, but she wants to wear them, though. How come no one has talked about this guy and how he insists on being called “Phred” with a “ph”? I’m sorry, shh. You know, I think I’m doing pretty good. I haven’t done drugs, I’ve made some friends… some really ugly friends and I don’t even mind. You know, I’m only here because it’s what my grandmother would pay for. I do sixty days and she gets me a plane ticket, and rent, and these boots that I want, they’re called Uggs. They’re from Australia. Anyways, back to my feelings. I feel like Laura is using being molested as an excuse. I’m really sorry that your uncle abused you, but at the end of the day, we’ve all been through a lot, we can’t go around blaming other people for our crap behavior. I just feel like you’re being a bit whiny. Okay, now you’re all looking at me like I’ve said something horrible. First, you all want me to express my feelings, then I do, and now I shouldn’t have even bothered. Let me try again. I feel like Laura might be gay. Hear me out Laura. You hated being with your boyfriend even though he played hockey. And your vest… Okay, I apologize. I don’t want any of you to be mad at me. I would hate if you hated me. And Laura, I’m sorry for your uncle abusing you. And I’m also sorry that you’ve all been through a lot and I understand. I had a weird uncle. He was gay, but he also said a lot of awful things to me. I was he first person he told that he had AIDS and I was five. I actually knew what AIDS were and I don’t know how. But the point is, I also feel like a victim. Often, so. This is so cool. Like, I bet the minute you accept that you’re just a bunch of lesbians and a little needy, you won’t ever want to do drugs again. They were just a placeholders for girls and attention. I feel better already.
And I just helped you all out, it was basically charity. I’m not looking for any sort of meaning in the things that I do. Do you know, you can’t make things that mean nothing mean something. Am I sociopath? Am I method actor researching a role? Well, congratulations to me. I got myself kicked out of rehab. Are we done?
You know, the last time we saw Hannah– I’m sorry, just one last thing. I can’t get her out of my head. Last time we saw Hannah, she called me “miss” and you “sir”. Didn’t that upset you? You really don’t get it do you? Hannah is my dearest friend. She will always come first. We may not be talking right now, and I hope to God that that changes, so, you saying that she’s not in our lives anymore doesn’t work for me. You know people hate me? I’m a hateable kind of person. I don’t know why. I can’t help it. Maybe it’s because I have a big ass and good hair, but I know, I know that I have principles. And one thing that I don’t do is steal people’s boyfriends. But you ruined that. Don’t you see that? I’ll never forgive you. I will never forgive you for that. We could die in the same bed and I will never forgive you. And if you don’t believe a fucking thing that comes out of my mouth is on you because the only time I ever lied is when said I cared if you lived or died. I’m so fucking out of here. Hannah may be a lazy, entitled, manipulative, myopic narcissist who knows a lot less than she thinks she does, and you hated me for so fucking long because she fucking hated me. Welcome to having a friend, something you would know nothing about! You fucking dumb fuck. You’re kidding me. You didn’t scare me, it was just so over the top unnecessary. I guess I’m going to make a great therapist because I’m fucking insane, and you’re going to make a great actor because you’re a narcissist sociopath. Hannah told me everything about you. Everything! I used to think she was being dramatic, but now I know that it was all true. You’re actually even worse! Assfuck.
Jean: mother, 30’s/40’s
Sorry if I upset your friend. Sweetheart, I’ve been meaning to talk to you. You’re pretending to masturbate and I’m wondering why? The hand cream gave it away. And only pensioners would be into porn mags these days. It’s a little overkill. You know you can talk to me about anything. No judgement. Are you even masturbating at all? I’ll stop analysing everything you do when you stop creating performative situations that you clearly want me to observe. Go to your room if that’s what you feel is best. We’ll talk when you’re ready.
Maeve: (highschool age, 16-18)
Do you see that couple over there? The one on the left has never been in a lesbian relationship before. She’s terrified of her new girlfriend’s vagina. Do you see her? She believes that flicking the bean might make her clit drop off. Her religious aunt told her that when she was seven. She hates herself for it, but she just can’t stop. And do you see them? I’m ninety-eight percent sure he’s giving everyone pubic lice. That the students at this school need your help, Otis. And we need their money. I haven’t worked out the details, but I’m good with numbers so I’ll deal with the business end of things and you can do the therapy. We’ll charge for every appointment and split the cash. Sex therapy. Look around. Your peers are crying out for guidance. They’re drowning in an ocean of misleading information. You have a gift. It would be irresponsible not to use it. I know, this is a lot to take in. So, take some time to mull it over. You know, think about it.
American Horror Story
Constance Langdon: (30+)
I got your flowers. They smelled of the gas station where you got them. Red roses? Could you be more of a pathetic cheap cliche? The card said to meet you at “our house”. This was never our house. It was my house, and then it was yours. You’ve got something to tell me? Then do it, up close and personal. I’ve seen you, skulking around outside, have you seen my new beau? He’s handsome, isn’t he? Come here, I want to see your shame. Come closer, so I can get a good look at you. I bet the kiddies scatter like little buggies when you walk down the street. You’re disgusting. You’re weak. You let this place get the better of you. If I catch you peeping in my windows one more time, I’m gonna send Travis out to ruin the other half of your face.
How to Get Away with Murder
Ophelia: (65 +)
I bought that house off Peach street when I was pregnant with you. I was so proud of that house. It wasn’t much, but it was mine. Built a porch swing and tended a little garden that was just right out front. I’d bake up a storm on that old stove, you know, the ones that you had to light with a long match? And one winter, Uncle Clyde came by and said he needed a place to stay. Just ‘til he got on his feet, he said. Can’t turn your back on your family. And then, one day, I woke up in the middle of the night. Don’t know what it was, I just woke up. I walked down the hall, to look in on you… he came out of your room, and I knew what he had done. He was a big man. Liked his liquor, and his hooch. Smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, he was always stinkin’ up the house with cigarette smoke. All the time, he’d just fall asleep on the couch, lit cigarette hanging out his mouth. And I’d go by, I’d put it out. And one night, not too long after, he fell asleep on the couch, drunk as a skunk, lit cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I got you and your brothers and sisters out of bed, and we went over to aunt Mabel’s to sleep. And that night, that house that I loved so much, burnt to the ground. And your uncle Clyde burnt right with it. Oh, I know how you’ve been torturing yourself about what went on here, baby. And maybe you did something real bad, I don’t know. But I know if you did, you had your reason. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. Even if all you’ve got is a long match, and a very flammable hooch.
The Bold Type
Kat Edison: (20’s)
So I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said about giving this a good shot. So ever since I lost the election I’ve been looking for something to make me feel better. For something, someone, to distract me from how embarrassed and disappointed and hurt I felt – well, feel – about losing. I think if I don’t run from it I can turn it into something really incredible. But I can’t do that if I just jump back into a relationship with you. And I know we can’t do it halfway either. I need to find myself again, so right now I’m choosing me. I need to be by myself. I’m really sorry.
The Bold Type
I took this photo in Paris. I didn’t have the heart to develop it for a long time. But when I saw this picture, it clicked. You did inspire me Kat. With your grace, and your fire, and your spirit. And I know that you’ll do the same for everyone else when you’re elected. Only you can decide what’s best for you right now. But the Kat Edison I know, she is all about growth. I mean you were only into boys when I first met you. Look at you now! And since we’ve been apart you have continued to grow. You have kept using your voice to fight for the things that matter to you. And yeah, if you continue with that you may have to lose Scarlett, which is scary. But I know you can handle it. If that’s what you want.
I’ve got a good feature for you. Crystals. They have healing power. You’re so narrow-minded. You don’t believe in anything. Thought you were an atheist – how can you not believe in God? Someone must have created it all, it’s so good. Can’t just be chance can it? What, the Big Bang? Everything came from nothing? That’s impossible.
The End of the F**king World
I get these moments when I have to lie down because everything feels, sort of, too much. And I look up and see the blue or the grey or the black and I feel myself melting into it. And for, like, a split second, I feel free and happy. Innocent. Like a dog. Or an alien. Or a baby. My mum used to be nice, but then she divorced my dad and met Tony. Last week, he said he thought I needed a bigger bra. So I threw a Chicken Kiev at his head. Mum pretended that she hadn’t heard him. Now she has the perfect house and the perfect garden in the perfect neighborhood with perfect twins. Their heads do smell nice though. I haven’t seen my dad since I was eight. He never fitted in. He couldn’t settle. So he had to leave. I don’t blame him. But he sends me a card, without fail, every single birthday. I understand, actually. I don’t trust people who fit in.
You don’t get to abandon your kids and then just show up one day and take your pick of the litter. This is about you. It’s about what you didn’t do. It’s about what I did. And you know what? I did a great fucking job! Debbie is class president, she’s on the debate team going to nationals! Liam is top of his class, he set the curve. Ian just got promoted to ROTC and he tested out of English and Carl blew something up at the science fair. And you know what? They did it all. No thanks to you, because you weren’t there! You were my mum too. You know what, you’re right. You are their mum. So I’m done. I’m done with the schools, with the bills, with the appointments. You’re here now. I’m done. They’re all yours now, Mum. Good luck.
Male Monologues from TV Shows
The End of the F**king World
James: (teenager, 17/18)
I’m James. I’m 17. And I’m pretty sure I’m a psychopath. I was eight when I realized I didn’t have a sense of humor. I’d always wanted to punch my dad in the face. When I was nine, he bought a deep-fat fryer. He saw it on an American shopping channel. One day, I put my hand in it. I wanted to make myself feel something. When I was 15, I put my neighbor’s cat in a box and took it into the woods. It probably had a name. After that, I killed more animals. And I remember every single one. School was beneath me, but it was a good place for observation and selection because I had a plan. I was gonna kill something bigger, much bigger.
Hell, you all know I’m Waylon and I’m an addict. And the fact is that I want to be clean today more than I want to be high. It’s good to be here. Hell, it’s good to be anywhere clean. It’s good to be here. Even Baltimore. I’ve been clean a few 24 hours now, and I’m still dead certain that my disease wants me dead. Yeah, I’m in here with you all, talking shit about how strong I am, how strong I feel but my disease is out there in that parking lot, doing push-ups on steroids…waiting for the chance to kick my ass up and down the street again. Scars on my hands, on my feet…two bouts of endocarditis…Hep C and whatnot knocking down walls and kicking out windows in my liver. I lost a good wife, bad girlfriend, and the respect of anyone who ever tried to loan me money or do me a favour. Pawned my pickup, my bike, my National Steel guitar, and a stamp collection my Grandad left me. And when it was almost over for me and I was out there on those corners, not a pot to piss in, and anyone that ever knew me or loved me cussing my name, you know what I told myself? I said, “Waylon, you’re doing good.” I surely did. I thought I was God’s own drug addict. And if God hadn’t meant for me to get high then he wouldn’t have made being high so much, like, perfect. Now, I know I got one more high left in me but I doubt very seriously if I have one more recovery. So if there’s anybody out there that sees that bottom coming up at them I’m here to talk sense. I don’t care who you are, what you done, or who you done it to. If you’re here, so am I.
So if you’re watching a movie, and you’re really enjoying it, something with Kevin Hart in it…And someone points out that this’ll end eventually, do you just go, “Oh, forget it then. What’s the point?” and just turn it off? I think life is precious ’cause you can’t watch it again. I mean, you can believe in an afterlife if that makes you feel better. Doesn’t mean it’s true. But once you realize you’re not gonna be around forever, I think that’s what makes life so magical. One day you’ll… eat your last meal, smell your last flower, hug your friend for the very last time. You might not know it’s the last time, so that’s why you should do everything you love with passion, you know? Treasure the few years you’ve got because…that’s all there is.
Well, fear is sort of an odd thing…when I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a 16 year old girl kid. A girl. And at the end, after 13 hours, I was closing her up and I…I accidentally ripped her dural sack. It’s at the base of the spine where all the nerves come together. Membrane as thin as tissue, and…So it ripped open. Nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I…the terror was just so…crazy, so real, and I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in. Let it take over. Let it do its thing. But only for five seconds, that’s all I was gonna give it. So I started to count. One, two, three, four, five. And it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine.
Game of Thrones
Father, I wish to confess! I saved you. I saved this city and all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all. I’m guilty. Guilty. Is that what you want to hear? I am guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I am guilty for being a dwarf. I’ve been on trial for that my entire life. I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey but I wish I had. Watching your vicious son die gave me more relief than anything in the world. I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it. I will not give my life for Joffrey’s murder. And I know I’ll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat!
American Horror Story
My mother taught me the importance of decorum: offering an aperitif is the first duty of a gracious host. Believe it or not, Regina and I grew up together. We were childhood best friends. Inseparable – until the summer I turned 9 and became aware of the difference in our stations. But even though we’ve grown apart, I’ve never known Regina to lie. So if she says I killed them, then they must be dead. But what she didn’t tell you, Detective Colquitt, is the absolute conviction that I am going to get away with it. The Mott family owns the biggest brands of frozen foods across America. You’d be surprised how much money can be made one block of spinach at a time. So, including this estate, and the house in Montauk, and the stocks and bonds held in trust from my grandfather, the fortune left to me could easily sustain a small country. But more importantly, I’ve been imbued with the light. I have seen the face of God and he is looking at me from the mirror. I can think of nothing that can stop me now. I have an idea. You dig a hole. For her. You work for me, and I will pay you one million dollars cash.
Ad men sit around a conference table.
[So have you figured out a way to work the wheel into it?]
Well, technology is a glittering lure. But, uh, there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.
My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old-pro copywriter, a Greek named Teddy. Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is new. Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product. Nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent.
[He gestures to the girl standing by the projector] Sweetheart?
She turns the projector on, the ad men swivel in their chairs to watch. Don flicks through images of his family.
Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound”. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine.
It goes backwards, forwards, takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel. It’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and around, and back home again… to a place where we know we are loved.
The final slide shows a mock up – “Kodak Introduces Carousel”
Don turns the projector off. The clients are silent, touched.
So I stopped at a Jack in the Box on the way here. And the girl behind the counter said, “Hiya! Are you having an awesome day!” Not, “How are you doing today?” No. “Are you having an awesome day?” Which is pretty shitty because it puts the onus on me to disagree with her, like if I’m not having an “awesome day” suddenly I’m the negative one. Usually when people ask how I’m doing, the real answer is I’m doing shitty, but I can’t say I’m doing shitty because I don’t have a good reason to be doing shitty. So if I say, “I’m doing shitty,” then they say, “why? What’s wrong?” And I have to be like, “I don’t know, all of it?” So instead when people ask how I’m doing, I usually say, “I am doing so great.” But when this girl at the Jack in the Box asked me if I was having an awesome day, I thought, well, today I’m actually allowed to feel shitty. Today I have a good reason. So I said to her, “Well, my mom died.” And she immediately burst into tears. So now I have to comfort her, which is annoying, and meanwhile there’s a line of people forming behind me, who are all giving me these real judgy looks because I made the Jack in the Box girl cry. And she’s bawling, and she’s saying, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” and I’m like, “it’s fine. It’s fine. I mean, it’s not fine, but, you know, it’s…fine. And I would like to order a Double Jack Meal, and I’ve kind of got somewhere to be, so maybe less with the crying and more with the frying, huh?” And the girl apologises, again, and she offers me a free churro with my meal. And as I’m leaving, I think, “I just got a free churro because my mom died.” No one ever tells you when your mom dies, you get a free churro.
Sam: (teenager, early 20’s)
Sunflowers are polymorphs. They can be more than one thing at once. They’re food, medicine, and they can even absorb heavy metals and radiation.
We, you and I, Josh, we’ve gotta be sunflowers. This is the time we’re supposed to experiment, find who we are. But how can I when I am terrified that some arsehole out there is going to post a comment that shreds my soul?
I should be able to fuck whoever I want, whenever I want without judgement. Before today, you thought I was a virgin, and now I’m what? The neighbourhood bicycle? Queen Guinevere, the Skunked of Avalon? Why do you get to be a stud if you bang me, but I’m an easy fuck oven if I have sex with anyone else?
You want a girly-friend. A sweetheart. A blow-up doll who will do the things that you want her to do. Well guess what, Wheeler? I might wanna be polyamorous. I might wanna join a thruple, or be asexual, or demi, or gyne. The dusty, old names like “virgin” and “slut” were made by men to put women in barbie doll packages with easy to read labels.
Well, I’m no queen. I am not a queen. I am not a queen. Not a queen, or a slag, or the saint that everyone seems to think I am on social media. I’m a kid. I don’t know who I am…
JOSH: I know who you are.
SAM: Who am I?
JOSH: You’re Sam Dean.
Will: It’s not the greatest country in the world, professor, that’s my answer.
Moderator: [pause] You’re saying—
Moderator: Let’s talk about—
Will: Fine. [to the liberal panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paychecks, but he [gesturing to the conservative panelist] gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fuckin’ smart, how come they lose so GODDAM ALWAYS!
And [to the conservative panelist] with a straight face, you’re going to tell students that America’s so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.
And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?! Yosemite?!!!
We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.
Bingham is up on stage. The judges and the virtual crowd of thousands of people watching ‘Hot Shots’ are urging him to speak, to sell himself.
I haven’t got a speech! I didn’t plan words, I didn’t even try to. I – I just knew I had to get here, to stand here and I knew I wanted you to listen. To really listen, not just pull a face like you’re listening like you do the rest of the time. A face that you’re feeling instead of processing. You pull a face and poke it towards the stage and we, we “la di da” – we sing and dance and tumble around and all you see, up here, it’s not people. You don’t see people up here, it’s all fodder. And the faker the fodder, the more you love it because fake fodder is the only thing that works anymore. Fake fodder is all that we can stomach – actually not quite all, raw pain, raw viciousness that’s what we can take. Yeah, stick a fat man up a pole and we’ll laugh ourselves feral because we’ve earnt the right, we’ve done the time, so “ha ha” at him! Cuz we’re so out of our minds with desperation we don’t know any better. All we know is fake fodder and buying shit. That’s how we speak to each other, that’s how we express ourselves – is buying shit. Oh, I have a dream? The peak of our dreams is buying a new hat for our Dopple. The hat doesn’t exist! It’s not even there! We buy shit that’s not even there. You’d show us something real and free and beautiful? You couldn’t. Yeah? You’d break us. We’re too numb for it. Our minds would choke. There’s only so much wonder we can bear. It’s all augmented, and packaged, and pumped through ten thousand pre-assigned filters until it’s nothing more than a meaningless series of lights while we ride, day in, day out, going where?! Powering WHAT?! All tiny cells in tiny screens, and bigger cells and bigger screens and FUCK YOU! Fuck you for sitting there and slowly making things worse! Fuck you from me, from us, from everyone!
The West Wing
President Bartlet: (40’s/50’s/60’s)
Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here’s one that’s really important because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? “Think about that, will you? Oh, and one last thing. You may have mistaken this for your meeting of the ignorant tight-asses club but in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
My father died when I was 6. You knew that, right? Yeah. He had Huntington’s Disease. It’s– destroys portions of the brain, affects muscle control, leads to dementia. It’s just a nasty disease. It’s genetic. It terrified my mother that I might have it, so they ran tests on me when I was a kid, but I came up clean. My father fell very ill when I was 4 or 5. He spent a lot of time in the hospital. My– My mother would tell me so many stories about my father. She would talk about him all the time. I knew about his personality, how he treated people. I even knew how he liked his steaks cooked– medium rare. Just like you. I knew things about my father. I had a lot of information. It’s because people would tell me these things. They would paint this picture of my father for me, and I always pretended that was who I saw, too, who I remembered, but it was a lie. In truth, I only have one real, actual memory of my father. It must’ve been right before he died. My mother would take me to the hospital to visit him, and I remember the smell in there, the chemicals. It was as if they use up every single cleaning product they could find in a 50-mile radius… like they didn’t want you smelling the sick people. Oh, there was this stench of Lysol and bleach. You could just feel it coating your lungs. Anyway, there, lying on the bed, is my father. He’s all– He’s all twisted up. And my mom, she puts me on her lap. She’s sitting on the bed next to him so I can get a good look at him… but really he just scares me… and he’s looking right at me… but I can’t even be sure that he knows who I am. And your grandmother is talking, trying to be cheerful, you know, as she does, but the only thing I could remember is him breathing. Oh, th– this– this rattling sound, like if you were shaking an empty spray-paint can. Like there was nothing in him. Anyway… that is the only real memory that I have of my father. I don’t want you to think of me the way I was last night. I don’t want that to be the memory you have of me when I’m gone.
How to Perform a Monologue from TV
In many ways, a monologue, is a monologue. BUT it is important to remember the medium, and take into account that a monologue from TV is going to be written and performed slightly differently from a film monologue, and definitely a theatre monologue. The character is definitely going to be talking to another character, or character’s – so make sure you work on that relationship and make that connection really authentic and grounded. TV monologues are 99% of the time, not soliloquies – so the relationship to the other character is very important!
Another thing to note is that TV is fast and furious (most of the time)! There’s a lot of dialogue to fit into 1x 30 minute or 45 minute episode, and so the writing is often fast-paced compared to film and theatre. Make sure you take not of genre, is your monologue from a Sci Fi show, or a crime thriller? This will also affect how you perform the monologue.
We would also recommend checking out the entire episode, and if not, series that the monologue came from. You’ll need an idea of context and what is happening in the world, so you can prepare the monologue. You are going to perform the monologue differently once you have a solid understanding of who that character is, and where they have come from.
All in all, the above monologues are all written by some fantastic TV writers, and they would all make for interesting showreel material. So go forth, enjoy these monologues from TV and all the best with your acting!