How to Prep a Film Monologue for an Audition
Now that auditioning is getting back into its pre-march swing, it’s a perfect time to improve your prep. When it comes to casting, there are a few tips to help you prep a film monologue for an audition. Auditioning for film vs. stage, TV, and commercial is all very different. That is why it’s important to keep these tips in your back pocket when you get a chance at screen time. Read below for helpful audition prep tips and be closer to success.
1. Know your casting type.
Every casting breakdown will give you enough information to know what type of film you’re auditioning for and what type of character you’re reading for. You can use these clues to help you find a monologue from a movie that’s the same flavor of the one you’re auditioning for. For example, if you have an audition for a romantic comedy and you’re reading for the lead, you don’t want to prepare a monologue from a horror film where you’re describing the murder of your victims.
Instead of Googling random monologues, go to IMDb and research actors who have a similar casting type to you and look at the movies they’ve been cast in. The movie’s description will help you decide if it’s an appropriate fit for the role and film you’re auditioning for. Now, don’t watch the movie, but do read the script and put your own interpretation on it as if you were the first choice for it.
2. Know the story.
Stop thinking of monologues as a stand-alone piece of dialogue. Many actors will Google the top monologues for actors and memorize what’s in front of them without the context of the entire story. Or worse, they’ll watch the scene on YouTube and memorize it the way the original actor did it. Acting isn’t about the “way” you do your lines, it’s the “why” you do your lines. How can you possibly know what your character wants and why if you don’t know the entire story?
3. Have a clear objective.
Find a monologue where your character is using the dialogue to influence another character. Specifically, this should be to do something or achieve a goal. By using a monologue with a clear objective, you invite the casting director into the story and absorb them into your character’s cause.
Who are you talking to? What’s at stake? What do you want? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. I would stay away from internal monologues where a character is talking to themselves. If what your character wants is “to vent,” you border on having a performance that is riddled with sentimentality. Characters who fight for something are much more interesting. It’s the difference between watching a baseball player swing a bat to warm up and watching a player swing a bat to win the game!