When selecting a monologue, choose material that is suited to your casting age, personality, and look. In other words, you should realistically be able to be cast in the role. So, if you are 16, don’t do a monologue that is talking about college life. If you are 20, don’t pick a monologue talking to your 9-year-old son!
Choose monologues that make you laugh, cry, feel, or that you relate to. In other words, pick monologues that you like and allow you to draw from your own life experiences and emotions. Monologues which are active (meaning you are speaking directly to someone specific at the moment) tend to be better than those, which are reminiscent, speech-like, nostalgic, or highly descriptive stories.
Monologue(s) must be NO MORE THAN 45 SECONDS IN LENGTH. You will be timed and cued to leave the stage when your time is up. Do NOT slate prior to your monologue.
Also, keep in mind when you are reading and timing your monologue(s) that performing time will run longer than reading time.
If you find a monologue you really like, but it is slightly longer than 45 seconds, you should trim it down so that you may use it. If you need help in figuring out which lines to cut, please ask for help. However, do not bring in a 3 or 4-minute monologue to cut – it’s too long and too difficult.
WARNING: Do NOT! Choose materials that are suggestive, sexual in nature, or contain offensive language or behavior! If there is an offensive word in an otherwise suitable monologue cut and/or replace it with an acceptable one. Do not pick monologues that require dialects/accents, classical pieces (Example: Shakespeare), poetry, monologues on the phone, or monologues that are too old or young for you.
Other preferred monologue material can be found in plays, film scripts, TV scripts, monologue books, short stories and novels. You can type up a great monologue you saw in a film or on TV. Monologues books, plays, and short stories can be found at most bookstores and libraries.
You can also find movie monologues online. Go to a search website and then type in monologues. But make sure when you’re looking that you adhere to the rules we have listed here, especially age range.
Here are some great resources for more info on monologues: