"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Struggling Actress

Hi, I'm Charlotte :) I'm fifteen and I might have an audition for a talent management company coming up. You have to send in a photo of you + a resume, and if they like you, they'll want you to perform a scene for them. Since I'm still pretty new to this, I have a monologue-related query.

How do I know which monologue is right for me? Does it matter if I found it online or not? I found a monologue online that I thought to be true to "me" or "my persona", while still allowing me to express more than one emotion. However, I found another website stating that monologues should be from classical Shakespearean plays, Greek plays, and contemporary plays; and never from the internet. Is this true, or should I stick with the monologue that makes me the most comfortable? I do have a serious monologue and a contemporary one that I received in previous acting classes, but I never quite mastered the serious one, and when I try the "comedic" contemporary monologue, it seems too gimmick-y and I can't pull it off well. With the monologue I found online, it's a lot easier for me to get into character and be able to feel what the character is feeling. In case it matters, I enjoy comedic scenes and I feel that I can deliver the lines a lot more convincingly than I can with over-the-top dramas, so I'd be more aptly suited for a comedic monologue. I'm still working on the more dramatic roles. Also, I am no longer in the previously mentioned acting class, because it was $2500 a year, so I can't really go to my old acting coach (of course I'm looking into cheaper acting classes).

I know the chances if this talent management comp. calling me in, let alone representing me, are slim at best; but I feel that I should still have this stuff down even if they say "no". For the next time an opportunity like this arises. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate the help.

Heya Charlotte! :)

Congrats for taking the initiative to seek representation! Awesome!

You say that if the company is interested in you, they bring you in to do a scene, but then you ask about monologues, so I want to make sure we both understand that scenes are usually done with two people, and monologues are done by one. This management company MIGHT ask you to cold read a scene they have filed away, so be prepared for anything.

As a young actor, having a monologue in your back pocket that you can perform straight away when asked, is always GREAT. What's better? Having two: one that's comedic and one that's dramatic. Also,  do monologues in your age range. Even though you might have played Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs at your school, (who is a strong supporting major character) she's also in her late 40s, so you can't do her monologue. Find some monologues with characters the same age as you.

How do you know if the monologue is right for you? Easy. Do you like it? If no, then it's not for you, if yes, let's consider some factors: Is it about 60-90 seconds? No? Then edit it down. Is it something you can relate to? Yes? Awesomesauce! Is it something you feel strongly about? Yes? Sweet!  Then this is good material for you.

Does it matter if you found it online? No. Absolutely not. The other website, where they said monologues should only be from plays - were they trying to sell you those plays? If you found something that really speaks to you, that you absolutely love, who cares where you found it! Heck, I write my own because I know how to and I love it.
Who you are performing for will make a huge impact on what monologue is right for you. If this management company will be submitting you for tv and film, the last thing they want you to do is anything from Shakespeare because they wouldn't be submitting you for Shakespearean theater. If the management company, however, was called Kate and the Tamed Shrews, then yes, learn a monologue from the Bard. And tell them what a sweet name that'd make for a band.

Yes, stick with the monologue that makes you more comfortable, but also make sure that the character has a bit of an arc- she starts at one emotion and changes to another.

I would recommend going to the library or online bookstore and finding monologue books and reading plays. When I was your age, I read as many plays as I could during the summer and typed out all the monologues I liked for my own files. I did the same with scenes. I have a ton of material to pull from in case I need it. I suggest doing the same.

If you'd like, you can email me the monologue, and I'll give you my opinion of it. 

I hope you get called in! Break a leg!

1 comment:

  1. Great advice, girl. Or should I say...awesomesauce? ;) Break a leg, Charlotte!!


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