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You've been called to audition for a juicy part in a play. You really want to wow them at the audition with an amazing monologue, and you're frantically searching for the perfect choice.
But hold on a minute. Teachers in drama schools care about great monologues. Casting directors don't. They care about what you can do. They're much more interested in seeing how you connect with a character in the moment than hearing Shakespeare. Why complicate your life by choosing a monologue you're not comfortable with?
When picking a monologue, don't worry about impressing people with a masterpiece. Instead, keep it simple. Look for a monologue that you really connect with and that brings out the best of your abilities. Focus on wowing the director with the emotional truth of that character.
Keep working on the classic monologues in your drama classes or on your own. The more you expand your repertoire, the better. But don't bring them into auditions until you've made them yours. Shakespeare won't land you the part if you stumble awkwardly on the words. But the ability to inhabit a character — no matter how simple the language — just might.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|