Acting 101: The Art of the Monologue
The Magical Medium of the Monologue, Making Monologues Matter, Why Monologues Matter, Making a Mark with Monologues, The Might of Monologues
5 min read
Introduce your character's profound interior world to the audience through the medium of the monologue. Learn the whats, whys, and hows of this dramatic skill with us.
When you think of the word ‘acting’, it is important to understand that it is an action word. Being able to perform a dramatic monologue is a weapon in an actor’s arsenal. Monologues help you get deeper into the character’s interior world. And if worked on properly, they are a wonderful tool to showcase your acting chops.
What is a monologue?
In simple terms, a monologue is an uninterrupted speech, a character delivers in a play or film. It is not to be confused with ‘soliloquy’, which is a speech that characters deliver to themselves or the audience when they are alone. A monologue, on the other hand, is delivered to other characters.
Importance of monologues
Monologues are often used to understand a person’s acting abilities and imagination. So, here’s some reasons why actors should make performing monologues a part of their regimen:
- You get to choose the monologues you want to perform – With a monologue, you can choose which one you want to perform. You get to choose the character and scene that excites you and perform that.
- You get to showcase your range – Choosing best theatre monologues will help show off your strengths and talents. It will help you get noticed by directors and casting agents. Choose a dramatic monologue where the character goes through a journey, thus allowing you, the actor, to showcase your acting range.
- It makes actors read their material – To perform movie monologues, it is necessary to read the entire play/film script, not just the monologue you’ve chosen. Also, when you’re looking for the right acting monologues to perform, it makes you read different works across genres. It increases your knowledge on many levels.
- You learn more about the character – Acting monologues for beginners help you understand your character’s motivations and how they behave. You will be able to focus the required energy while delivering the monologue. A monologue can reveal the character’s inner workings, giving you clues about what they think, feel etc.
- All the attention is on you – When you are performing a monologue, you have the audience’s attention. Everything you do is noticed by them. It is a golden opportunity to experiment and play. How do you retain an audience’s attention? A monologue is a great place to explore that. As you practice and perform more and more acting monologues, it will give you the necessary tools to bring that energy into your scene work as well.
Examples of monologues
There are several acting monologues for beginners you can pick from to perform. Shakespeare’s plays are a good place to start. Here are some play and movie monologues you can use to practice your skills:
- Morgan Freeman’s monologue from Shawshank Redemption (‘Get busy living or get busy dying’)
- Hamlet’s monologue from Hamlet (‘To be or not to be’)
- Lady Macbeth’s monologue from Macbeth (‘Yet Here’s A Spot)
- Haider’s speech from Haider
- Silk Smitha’s monologue in The Dirty Picture
Want to learn more about how to perform monologues? Sign Up now for our course ‘Mastering Monologues’ with actor, writer and founder of NOW Productions Niketan Sharma!
India’s best online acting and theatre training platform, an initiative of Drama School Mumbai (DSM). DSM is one of the best acting and theatre schools in India. At Ekalavya, all the courses are designed and delivered by highly trained DSM faculty and industry professionals. Currently available courses are Breaking Open Characters, Mastering Monologues, Expressive Voice and Speech, Art of Auditioning and Expressive Body.