How to Read Monologues: 5 Tips for Beginners
If you’re getting into the acting biz, you’re going to need to know how to read a monologue. This is an essential piece of the acting puzzle and audition process. Knowing how to achieve a spot-on delivery is just as important as the marketing package you use to submit to opportunities. Your read in an audition room needs to set you apart from the competition, and it’s important to get as much practice as possible in advance. Here are some tips for better understanding how to read monologues.
First, you’ll need to know how to go about selecting a monologue to present. It’s important to note whether you’ve been given a specific piece that you must use, a general idea of the content or genre you can choose from, or whether monologue selection has been left completely open-ended. If the latter, you’ll want to pick a piece that is both an easy read and that will allow you to adequately demonstrate your range. You may want to go with a monologue that is somewhat recognizable but not too much so. In learning how to read acting monologues, you’ll also want to ensure you’re able to make it through the entire piece without getting stuck on a particular part.
When you arrive, you’ll want to enter the audition room with confidence. It’s important that you are aware of your body language and demeanor as you’re preparing to read. Make eye contact with the casting director and/or panel of people present, offer a smile, and take a deep breath before you speak. These few formative seconds are an important part of how to read monologues.
When you’re positioned where you need to be – and you’ll be directed to this spot – you’ll want to “slate” before starting. This basically just means you’ll introduce yourself and let anyone reviewing your performance know which monologue you plan to use. When you’re learning how to read monologues, remember, it’s not only about the script itself, but everything you do before reading it.
As you’re performing the piece, pick a focal point in the room, whether it be someone in the audience or a spot on a wall, and deliver your speech accordingly. This will help you focus on the task at hand and appear more prepared. When your eyes shift about, it looks like you are having trouble with your performance or are trying too hard to memorize the lines and appropriate movements. When considering how to read monologues, one of the biggest mistakes that new actors make is focusing too much on words they’re delivering and not enough on nonverbals.
The best way you can learn how to read monologues is by practicing at home. The more you get used to reading through lines while fine-tuning the skills necessary for making your performance believable, the easier it will get. Having a few pieces in mind ahead of time will also help you prepare before your audition is scheduled and ease any anxiety about the big day. Practice makes perfect, so go ahead and give it a shot!
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