Audition Monologues – What to Avoid Doing

I often get asked the question ‘What monologue should I do for an audition?’, but in this blog, I’d like to answer the question ‘What monologues shouldn’t I do in my audition?’. There are some outright no-nos, and this should help you avoid them:

ONE: RAPE – SEXUAL TRAUMA – MASTURBATION: Within the context of a play, these are important dramatic monologues, but outwith the context of the play, they play on trauma rather than drama. They make the auditors uncomfortable and they aren’t going to select you if you made them feel uncomfortable.

TWO: AGE APPROPRIATE: Unless you have an stonkingly good reason to do it, your monologue should be age appropriate. This means ensuring that it’s within about 4-6 years of your playing age upwards and 2-3 down if you’re young, and a bit more if you could pay for 16 and you’re actually 20. If the auditors need to work to consider you as this role, you aren’t getting them in the right frame of mind to cast you.

THREE: WRONG STYLE/GENRE/MEDIUM: If it’s a comedy that you’re going to audition for, do a comedy piece. If it’s a film, choose a short film piece. Suit your audition material directly to the audition. But what about Drama School? It’s a matter of choosing two contrasting pieces and contrasting is difficult. Perhaps choose a comic and dramatic, but make sure the subject matter is constrasting too. Often people think they’ve chosen contrasting pieces when actually, they haven’t at all.

FOUR: MADEY-UP-MONOLOGUE: This is the monologue that you really constructed out of a scene. You’ve just cut the other person’s dialogue out. That isn’t a monologue. A proper monologue needs a beginning, a middle and an end.

FIVE: BAD LANGUAGE: People call it swearing, cursing, bad language, profanity, but I just say that a piece that is too full of those words will have the auditor and the auditionee focused on those words. A bit of swearing is fine, but too much becomes a bit of a problem for both.

SIX: ANYTHING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY: Don’t do monologues about monologues, or monologues about casting, or monologues about anything to do with the industry. It’s self conscious.

So what should you do? Check out some suggestions on my website – Acting Coach Scotland

Best Wishes

Mark Westbrook – Acting Coach Scotland