The Most Important Element When Choosing a Monologue

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  • The Most Important Element When Choosing a Monologue

    How to choose a monologue that fits you like a glove

    (by Tonya Tannenbaum)

    (Photo: Monica Silvestre/Unsplash)

    It’s important to choose a monologue that makes people laugh, or makes them cry. It’s important to choose one that entertains people, or inspires them. It’s important to choose a monologue that demonstrates your ability to act, or your ability to sing.

  • But, by far, the most important element when choosing a monologue is to select one that fits you; one that people will believe and buy into. Without fit and believability, you’ve got nothing!

    Choosing a monologue is that rarest of rare moments where the actor actually casts themselves, choosing a role that they believe best fits them, rather than having a casting director decide.

    A good casting director will always cast you in a role that closely fits your type and talent. You must do the same when choosing your monologues.

    Here are 5 ways to choose a role that fits:

    #1: Connection

    First, do you connect with the material? Does it interest you? Are you excited about it? Do you understand the character? Are you eager to tell the character’s story?

    If it doesn’t excite you – I mean really excite you – then what’s the point? How will you excite the audience who watches it? Your lack of passion for the role will shine through vividly.

  • #2: Type

    If you’re a geek type, own it. Be proud of it! Geeks make the acting world go round. And so do jock types, hunks, professionals, Millennial-types, tech savvy, best friends, girl-next-door and all other types.

    Choosing a monologue that neatly fits your type does not restrict your ability to demonstrate your range. It enhances it, by allowing you to thrive in a way that others cannot.

    #3: Age

    A good casting director would not bring you in for a role that is not age appropriate for you. And, while you may regard yourself as a talented actor who’s capable of playing a much younger or much older character, there’s only so far you can push the age envelope.

    Do yourself a favor and choose a monologue that comfortably fits your age range.

  • #4: Talent

    Evaluate your talents. What can you do better than most actors? Can you cry on demand? Are you good at deadpan humor? Can you sing at very high octaves? Are you great at playing a weird guy or a jerk?


    Choose a monologue that showcases something you do extremely well to ensure your monologue is remembered long after you perform.


    Whatever your special talent, it’s time to put it on full display. Choose a monologue that showcases something you do extremely well to ensure your monologue is remembered long after you perform.

    #5: Background

    It’s always helpful to choose a monologue that, at least to some degree, fits your background. That could include your nationality, ethnic background, regional background or personal experiences that you share with your character.

    It all goes back to connectivity. The more you understand your character, the better you will be at telling their story in the brief time your monologue allows you to tell it.

    Remember, above all other considerations, make sure the monologue you choose fits you like a glove, or at least like an oven mitt.


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