Sometimes, I long to escape from my life and become another person. This is one of the reasons that acting on stage gives me a thrill of freedom. Actors and actresses learn to transform their own personalities into a new persona with the use of imagination and character study. When the spotlight hits me, I transform into someone from another world.
However, unless you are cast in a show, theater is not a consistent form of self-expression and creativity. Luckily, reciting dramatic monologues from plays, movies, or books can give you a similar feeling.
This past week, I began to piece together and work on a dramatic reading from Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. To make it a monologue, the lines by Mama were taken out so that only Bella’s words remained. After I moved the dialogue around, the script became a painful but deep tale. Each time that I say it, the words nearly stick in my throat because of the pain and emotion behind them. Forcing myself to mention even the uncomfortable parts has helped me grow as an actress and move deeper into my imagination.
Reciting a monologue can take as little or as much time as you want. For fun, you can simply find a scene that you like from a movie or play. Poems, snippets from novels, your own writing, and even children’s books can work too. Then perform it for yourself in the mirror, videotape it and post it to YouTube, or give your friends a show.
No matter how you choose to present your recitation, be sure to spend a bit of time afterwards thinking about your character and the piece. Why did you choose it? How are you similar and different from the character? What did you learn from your monologue?
- Monologue Archive
- Monologues from Actorama
- Free Monologues from Ace Your Audition
- Monologues from Stage Agent
- Shakespeare’s Monologues
- Coping Skill: #31. Reciting Dramatic Monologues or Poetry by Rose with Thorns