How to choose the right monologue for school

by Ruben Fonseca
(Miami, FL)

QUESTION:

I just received your article on monologues. It really helped me a lot. I want to try to out for a few schools, one of them being Juiilard, but they don't tell me the type that I should study for. All I know is that I have to perform four monologues. Auditions aren't till late september, so in your opinion what should i be preparing for?

ANSWER:

Hi Ruben,

Juilliard is actually very specific on what they want. Visit the school's website and download their "Audition Requirements". Last time I checked, they requested 2 classical and 2 contemporary monologues. Although you may be auditioning with only 2 monologues (one classical and one contemporary), I recommend working hard on all four. They want at least one classical monologue to be Shakespeare, but there's nothing wrong with choosing Shakespeare for both monologues. Here are some ideas of female Shakespeare monologues to get started. Try to pick two contrasting pieces (so if you do a dramatic Shakespeare monologue, choose a comedic contemporary monologue to go with it).

Make sure the monologues you pick are from published plays. Although original monologues can be very useful at times, you shouldn't use them for acting school auditions. Actually, Juilliard expects applicants to answer questions about the play their monologue is from, so read the plays you choose your monologues from several times and study their theme, characters, style and plots. My guess is that they want to see how you approach material and how much thinking you've put into your performance.

Since you're applying for a school, concentrate on finding material that showcases your acting strengths. As I mentioned in the newsletter article on monologues, pick monologues that inspire you. This is particularly important when you audition for an acting school because what they are looking for is POTENTIAL. If you're inspired, your potential and uniqueness will shine through.

Juilliard is a great school. It is very competitive (only 18 students out of 1,000 applicants make it) but whether you make it or not, you'll learn a lot from the audition. Let us know how it went by adding a comment to this posting.

Break a leg!

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