It’s the beginning of the school year, you’re getting into the swing of things, figuring out which clubs you want to be in, how to manage your time and almost before you have time to think, your school is auditioning for their first play or musical!
You may have lots of experience with auditioning, but have you ever been coached on how to choose an audition piece?
Choosing a monologue doesn’t have to be scary. Here are just a few tips to help you make the right selection for you:
Try not to choose something that’s too trendy. As a director, actor, and adjudicator, it is SO FUN to see something different. Often times when you search for “monologues for boys under age 15,” you’ll get a list of the top 10 most popular. Try to find something unique to you that’s a bit off the beaten path. It’s easier for the audition panel to stay tuned in when it’s not the 5th Hamlet they’ve seen that day.
Does it grab you in the first 10 seconds? If you don’t love your piece, neither will anyone else. You have such a short amount of time with an audition piece, make sure it grabs and holds both yours and the casting panel’s attention in the first 10 seconds so that you stay on the top of their "who we loved to watch" list.
Look for one to two beats in your audition piece. A “beat” is a change of intention or thought. It is often preceded by a pause. A beat change can show depth of character, inner life, strategy… if your audition piece contains a couple of those, it’ll be more interesting to watch and perform.
Is it age and type appropriate to your physical attributes and your personality? Sometimes your middle or high school will do Steel Magnolias and you’ll have the opportunity to play a character completely outside of your actual age, but most often your school will choose things that are more relatable, such as Seussical JR. or Disney’s HIgh School Musical. Try and select pieces that are similar to the style of the show and the character type you would most like to be cast.
Can you find the humor? Even in the most serious of monologues, as in Hamlet referenced above, finding points of humor helps to add depth and interest to your piece. It doesn’t need to be LOL humor; even the subtle comedy of flip-flopping back and forth between thoughts or in making a decision counts. The goal is to continue to capture attention and to bring believable, relatable life to your character.
Whatever you choose, remember to have fun! Educational theatre is about growth opportunities and helping each other succeed. Relax and know you are winning just by wanting to be there.
For more information on our SEPT - OCT class schedule, Spring Break Film Camp and Summer Theatre Camp, visit richtheatre.org
Lynn Richards is the Co-Founder/CEO of Rich Theatre. She’s been on stage since 5th grade when Ms. Cote cast her as Juliet’s Nanny in her class performance of Romeo & Juliet. She later joined a semi-professional song & dance troupe and performed in school shows before earning a Theatre Arts major in undergrad and an MFA in Acting in graduate school. Lynn spent some time in NYC and now resides in Virginia Beach, VA with husband and Co-Founder Jason Richards and their three sons.