Advice for Writing Your Own Monologue
When it comes to finding the right monologue, there can either be too many options or not enough. With the added free-time for creativity these days, why not write your own? You’re likely thinking, “Write my own?, How? Why?”. Writing your own monologue is easier than it sounds and the benefits of doing so can be plenty. When you take a chance at writing your own monologue its one of the best opportunities to express. In doing so you can showcase your creative skills, range of emotions, and directorial techniques. If you choose to take on this task, there are a few things to know. Read below for helpful tips on writing your own monologue.
1. Start with the basics. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Think of it like an oreo or icecream sandwich. You have the top and bottom that hold together the delicious middle part. If your monologue is missing this, people will notice even if they can’t put their finger on what’s wrong. Many acting classes will tell you to look for the objective in every scene and the super-objective within the entire script. A monologue should have an objective too. What does your character want? Who are they talking to? What do they hope to achieve?
2. Try improv. If you are unsure of what to write or where to start, try improv. Much of your favorite films, especially the comedic ones are littered with improvised lines. Start by thinking of a setting and a character. Using the questions above, record yourself improvising it and then write it out. As you workshop the monologue, you may find different lines to add and begin to see which ones to get rid of too.
3. Add layers. Think subtext and conflict. Obstacles. The more emotional layers you add, the more fun you’ll have workshopping the monologue, and the richer it’ll be for those who watch it. Going back to our oreo cookie analogy, you want to find just the right layer for each part. Too much cookie and you barely taste the cream filling, too much cream filling and you completely forget about the cookie layers. The same goes for your monologue. You want to make sure you have just the right amount of emotion, challenges, ups, and downs in the minutes you have to draw your audience. You should make sure if you write your own monologue, that the audition allows for it. Never prepare your own monologue for an audition that has already provided sides. If its an audition where you can bring your own material, make sure the character fits for the role you are going for so as not to confuse the casting directors. Lastly, if you do write your own monologue, COMMIT, COMMIT, COMMIT. Give your material the same emotion you have written down as you do when its performed. This is your time, your moment. Make it count!