No Such Thing As The Perfect Monologue

There is a huge misconception leading actors down the wrong path when it comes to the phrase, ‘Find The Perfect Monologue’. First off, there is no perfect monologue, just like there is no perfect song or perfect painting. Perfect according to who and what??  When an actor finds the so called perfect monologue, does that mean that he/she will now be able to give the perfect performance?

Not sure how or why the whole perfect monologue catchphrase came into existence and got popularized but there certainly seems to be a better phraseology that can be used.  It even seems like established teachers and monologue books are written with the same perfect phrase.  It’s completely wrong and misleading.

An actor has to search and suss out a monologue that rings true to their own being.  There shouldn’t be any hunt for perfection but rather, a hunt for connection.  Searching for a monologue is part of an actor’s process because through reading different monologues, sooner or later you will stumble upon something that moves you. It can be something funny or something sad, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that there is a genuine exchange between you and the monologue you’ve encountered.  That’s where it counts.  Does that mean you’ve found perfection?  Of course not.  Does that mean you don’t have to rehearse and work hard on it?  Of course not.

You cannot take for granted that finding a monologue will suddenly give you a ‘perfect’ performance. It will take hard work.  Plain and simple.  You have to work hard on your monologue, it’s not going to be perfectly packaged and you will not suddenly have it perfectly packaged for a casting director, director, producer, agent or whoever.

Even when you think you’ve nailed your audition…so what?  Are you too busy being caught up with how perfect your monologue audition was or are you instead thinking about what you could have improved upon?  It’s okay to feel good about your work but don’t ever feel like you ‘ perfected’ it because as soon as you do, you won’t stop pushing, experimenting or discovering.  You will get lazy, procrastinate and not work as hard…all because you think your monologue is so perfect.  Don’t allow the misled seeds to get planted in your brain because they have potential to negatively affect your work.

Have confidence but don’t get complacent with your work is all I’m trying to say here.  Avoid those misleading catchphrases because they’re out there.  This monologue perfection business is just one of the pitfalls I see that I wanted to talk about and clear up for those of you that read this.  So, now you know what’s up on that notion.

Throw that perfection myth out because it’s total nonsense.  There will be some other myths that I plan on busting in upcoming articles so stay tuned.

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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