Ideas for Monologues

Updated April 17, 2017

Every actor ought to have a few good monologues in her repertoire. However many pieces have been overly exposed and may carry a certain amount of baggage. Some monologues are too closely tied to certain actors and certain performances. To make auditors see you with fresh eyes and not compare you unfairly to other actors they have seen it may be a good idea to try and find a monologue from an original source.

Take a Monologue From a Book

This is a great way to avoid the pitfall of performing a monologue the auditors may have seen dozens, if not hundreds of times. Taking a passage, or passages, from a book or novel and formulating them into a monologue is a great way to generate fresh audition material that will let your talent shine without being compared to a host of past performances utilising the same material.

Find a Monologue in a Film

Taking a monologue from a film can be another way to generate fresh audition material. While monologues in films are not all that common it may be possible to create one by taking passages of dialogue from one character in a particular scene and putting them together. Remembering the lines spoken by the other character or characters in the scene and playing off those can be a great way to bring your monologue more to life.

Write Your Own Monologue

While this is a sure-fire means of generating fresh material you should proceed with caution before writing your own monologue. If you do write your own monologue it may be best not to tell the auditors you have done so. Otherwise they might be distracted by the fact that you wrote the material and miss your performance entirely. Remember, actors use monologues to get jobs acting, not writing.

Do a Monologue From a Play

This, of course, is where most actors get their audition material from and there's nothing wrong with getting a monologue from a play, as the material was written to be performed onstage. However, as mentioned in the introduction, it's probably a good idea to avoid certain pieces that are too well-known or too closely associated with a certain actor or performance. Let's face it, when it comes to performing Stanley Kowalski from "Streetcar Named Desire," there are few among us who can compete with the late, great Marlon Brando.

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About the Author

Alex Baker is a journalist, blogger and copywriter. He's been published in publications like "Resource Magazine" and the "San Francisco Weekly." He's a staff writer for and contributes to and Swagger. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary arts from San Francisco State University.