Add Colors To Your Monologue

Are you trying to figure a way to spice up your monologue?  Is it growing stale?  One of the things you can do is give your monologue colors.

What is a color in the monologue sense?  A color is a term used that simply means “change”.  If you have a two minute monologue for instance, you most probably would like to reveal different aspects of your character so it doesn’t come off as being one note.  Especially when you audition, you will always want to give the casting director a few different solid choices, so that they may see a bit of an acting range from your expression.  I’m not talking about a deliberate “put on” expression but rather an honesty expressed from you.  You make creative choices based on the truth of the circumstances your character is living inside of.

Break Down Your Monologue:

Scan over your monologue and break it down.  You want to mark your script when you see a change.  A change can be a beat, when something shifts within your character.  When you see this shift, mark your script and this will constitute as a notation, similar to how a composer notates a musical score or a dancer develops steps in choreography.

Once you have your notations, look at each beat as a “frame” until it reaches the next beat, for the next frame.  Each frame is where you get to splash your color.  You may have 4 frames (4 changes or 4 beats – all the same thing) in a two minute monologue for example.

Having each frame marked allows you to see the entirety of the monologue without overwhelming yourself.

Now, you can add color to each frame and play with it to see what feels right to your instincts.  Experiment and explore the piece as much as you like but eventually you need to lock down and make creative choices.

In a given frame, you may experience one element of expression but then as you enter the next frame, you begin to experience a different element. Listen to music from Beethoven or Mozart or any of the great composers and you will hear these shifts.  This reveals colors that express something but are all still joined together, making up the whole.  Same applies to your monologue.

Once you have made your choices of color, go through the whole monologue enough to where you begin forgetting your choices.  You do not want to think mechanically about what you are doing as you do it but rather openly as you express it and let what is happening take place on its own accord, the way that it has to.  The same way the dancer performs after having learned their steps.

You will find that your creative choices will carry you on their own subconsciously, especially when you are centered on the doing of your intention to whomever you are speaking to in the scene.

Technique in acting only serves as a tool in your craft to help you get to where you are going.  It is nothing more.

After your composition has been written…play it with your heart.  Remain open as you play because notes that were never imagined may suddenly come to fruition spontaneously and that’s one of the reasons why acting is such a beautiful art form.  =)

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Joseph Arnone

Joseph Arnone is the founding editor-in-chief of Monologue Blogger. In addition to running MB, Joseph is a filmmaker/producer who has had his films premiere at Festival de Cannes - Court Metrage and Tribeca Cinema's Big Apple Film Festival. He can be reached at