Here’s 5 top tips on what to avoid when doing a Shakespeare Monologue for your Drama School Audition:
Can I Do Hamlet?
First and foremost, don’t pick something for your audition because it’s very popular. I don’t think you should avoid things because they are popular, if you can nail Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy, then go for it. But never choose it because of that. On the other hand, the most famous speeches will probably be more harshly judged - so unless you really can nail it. Maybe choose something else.
Emoting Your Ass Off
Lots of young actors feel that their job in the audition is to emote. To show their anger, tears, madness. While showing these things is fine by itself, it is not a demonstration of these elements of your performance that sells your ability. Acting is not about emotion. Emotion is part of it, but it isn’t the core of performance. Avoid trying to ‘show’ the emotions.
The Rain in Spain…
Do not attempt an accent in your audition. I don’t care if you’re English playing Macbeth. Or Scottish playing Lady Percy. Most people just cannot sustain that level of accent under the pressure of an audition without focusing on it a lot. If you focus on it, your performance will suffer. Your own accent is just fine.
You want to show your range, your versatility, your virtuosity - but you have to choose a monologue that works within your playing age. Don’t be Juliet if you’re a 30 year old. Don’t choose Lear if you’re struggling to cultivate bum-fluff. Make it easy for them to believe it’s you.
There’s every chance you’ll find a monologue that’s longer than the allowed time slot. Stick to the time slot, going over means you can’t follow simple instructions. What will you be like to teach for 3 years if you can’t stick to the time limit? Find something shorter and put more punch into a short amount of time. Shorter the better.
To You, The Best
Mark Westbrook is the Co-Creator and Co-Presenter of The Shakespeare Monologue Audition Masterclass online course - The perfect companion for Drama School Preparation - launching in late August 2017.