Top tips on choosing the right monologue for drama school auditions
Drama school auditions differ from professional auditions in that 1) you’re not auditioning for a specific part, 2) you’re not expected to give a polished performance and 3) people are trying to find out what sort of an actor you will become. So, the choice of monologues is up to you. But how do you choose the right ones?
One purpose of the monologue is to get an idea of your personality and what you are like. Choose characters you can connect to, especially if it’s a Shakespeare piece.
We want to be engaged. Avoid descriptive monologues that don’t let us into your emotions.
We want to learn something about you. Choose monologues where you can relate to the character.
We want to see what your imagination is like. Find monologues that take you on an exciting and challenging journey to get under the skin of the character. Pick something where you can vividly see what the character is seeing.
We want to see how you bring language to life. Find monologues where you can be comfortably articulate without feeling you’re out of your depth.
We want to see your commitment to the words, as if you own the thoughts. Find a monologue that has something you can feel enthusiastic or excited about.
We need to picture you in different contexts. Find three monologues that show variety, usually: light-hearted, serious and classical.
We want to see you making it as effortless as possible. Avoid pushing for heavy emotion that will take you into lots of physical tension. At least one of the pieces should bring you – and us – joy.
We want to see your best self. Find a monologue that brings out the strengths of your personality and who you are.
We want to see if you can take risks. Find something that requires you to go on an emotional journey so there’s a sense of cost, not just staying on the surface.
We want to empathise with your character. Find a monologue that allows you to project warmth and vulnerability rather than coldness. Find something you love about the speech.
We want to see both body and face. If you’re auditioning online, vary your position to the camera so we can see you in close-up as well as a wide shot.