For people that have been asked to do two contrasting monologues, they often feel that it means one comedic and one dramatic.
However,the contrast is also in tone, style, subject and delivery. Remember this and the following advice when deciding upon your contrasting monologues.
Picking contrasting monologues is vital to showing off your capacity as an act. Look at what occurs in each piece and see if they are truly different and contrasting.
Contemporary and Classical don’t necessarily contrast. They might be similar characters, from similar backgrounds with similar concerns or objectives. The same can be said of the dramatic and the comedic, they are not necessarily contrasting.
When you look at your two pieces, try to make a list of the similarities and differences in the pieces: are there more differences than similarities?
Try to contrast the situation that the character is in, is one talking aloud about their thoughts and feelings and the other mid-flow in the crisis of the drama.
Are the pace of the two pieces different?
Are the topics similar? When you think of the theme of the pieces, do they actually contrast?
Contrasting monologues are two very different characters with two very different goals in two very different situations, in two very different plays and two very different genres of dramatic literature. Contrast is black and white, night and day, not differing shades of gray.
Contrast can exist in:
- Type of Language
- Movement Demands
- Emotional Range
- Mood or Tone of the Speech
The more differences, the more contrasting. But be sure that the heart of each speech is actually different. I’m surprised by how many people bring me very similar monologues without understanding that they are almost entirely the same monologue, just wrapped in different paper.
Contrasting monologues show your dynamic range and capacity. If you need help, you know where to find me.