Top 10 Monologue-Challenged Actor Tips

Is your monologue making you feel like a monologue-challenged actor?  It happens.  We’d like to share the Top 10 monologue tips to help you get over the bump in the road.

  1. Know Your Lines

    Really drill your monologue until you are confident about being completely off-book.  Here are 3 Tips in Memorizing Your Monologue that will give you some exercises and monologue techniques that you can use to get those lines in your head. When you don’t know your lines, you are not only doing yourself a great disservice but are also looking unprofessional in the eyes of casting directors and agents when auditioning.

  2. Losing The Flavor

    What does this mean?  It simply means that if you have been working on your monologue ‘since forever’ and have done everything you can with it, it may have gone stale and tired and you need to find new monologue material.  It’s always best to start fresh with new material that turns you on to get those creative juices flowing again.

  3. Choosing The Wrong Monologue

    Sometimes you think you found a dope monologue but in actuality it’s a rotten tomato.  You start learning the monologue and even get off book and something inside you is telling you it’s not right but you are too stubborn to listen because you’ve already put too much work into learning it or perhaps you don’t have enough time to learn a new one.  It’s important to trust your gut.  Something will always be amiss if you aren’t connecting to the material.  When that happens, there’s a strong chance you should find a better monologue to work on.

  4. Starting Off Key

    Sometimes you will be in an audition and start your monologue completely off key but are too afraid to start over because of the natural pressure of auditioning in front of industry professionals.  Listen, if you know you started off key, there is nothing wrong with stopping and stating that you “would like to start over”.  NO ONE will criticize you for that and in fact, it shows you have a process and craft and it also keeps you out of your head from thinking, “Shit, I’ve already screwed up.”  Start again, refocus your attention on your task and go for it.

  5. Keeping Relaxed

    It’s important to stay loose.  Meditating a few minutes with a breathing exercise or choosing to do a few physical relaxing exercises can help you loosen up and be more free and open in your monologue.

  6. Time Your Monologue

    It’s important to make sure that if you are performing a 1 minute monologue, that it actually doesn’t go on for 2-3 minutes.  Once you are off book with your monologue, time it.  Find out how long it runs.  If you are doing a 2 minute monologue, make sure it runs 2 minutes only.

  7. Character Range

    Sometimes you want to audition with a monologue that goes against your ‘type’ and other times it is better to audition with a monologue that enhances your type.  It is suggested to have monologues that do both, depending on what is asked of you in the audition room.  Be prepared.  Don’t get stuck on what aspect only

  8. Know Your Audience

    When going up before casting professionals, it is wise to do a bit of research beforehand.  Find out what the casting director has cast for in the past, learn about the kinds of projects that get involved in and the type of actors they have hired.  This information will guide you to choosing a monologue that is more appropriate based on their needs.

  9. Auditions Are Performances

    Don’t take your monologue audition for granted.  Al Pacino is quoted as saying that ‘every audition is an opportunity to give a performance.’  By viewing it in such a way gives you the opportunity to practice performing before people in the industry.  It doesn’t get better than that when you have that kind of mindset.

  10. Audition Etiquette

    Always state your name and the monologue piece title and writer before starting your audition.  At the end of your monologue you can also say “SCENE” to let the casting professional know you completed you audition piece.  Always be sure to thank them before leaving the room.

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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