Demystifying the Monologue: An Excerpt

Demystifying The Monologue addresses the issues dealing with monologue mysteries by using actor’s tools, character-fulfilling needs, various script and character analyses offering simple and specific answers in a focused connect-the-dots premise culminating in a practical roadmap. This roadmap replaces fear and anxiety with clarity and confidence guiding you to a fully realized character delivering a compelling monologue. This roadmap will prove a useful guide for all future work with monologues.

First, let’s clear up a major mystery involved with monologues. A character delivering a monologue is not acting alone. A monologue is a dialogue between two people. One person speaking, the other listening and reacting creating a relationship between the two. The other person, the listener, is the more important of the two characters because they hold the key to helping your character achieve their objective.

There is more to performing a monologue than just making a selection, learning the words and performing it. What is often overlooked is creating the character who is delivering the monologue. When performing a monologue, whether 90 seconds or two hours, you need to create the entire world your character inhabits. A world using your senses, intellect, awareness and insight, along with the ability to create relationships interpreted from your personally chosen material. Once you inhabit this world your character will not be acting alone.

Demystifying The Monologue guides you step-by-step through the creative process of building a fully realized human being in a sensorily alive environment performing a rich and compelling monologue.

The fear and responsibility of performing alone creates anxiety, mystery and confusion. The need to excite and interest an audience by taking them on an emotional journey while talking to an unseen person causes panic preventing you from remaining open to your process and accessing your basic knowledge of the craft of acting.

Demystification begins with a simple understanding. If you can create an organic, fully-realized, three dimensional human being alive in the moment you can create a complex character delivering a compelling monologue. This step-by-step process replaces your fear of monologues with the enjoyment you experience when acting with another person.

When you’re alone do you talk to yourself? Do you expect an answer? Guidance? To be offered peace and serenity? Help in clearing up your immediate need? Is it another person? Is that person real to you in that moment? Do you believe they can give you what you need? Do you feel that other person is there with you? Is it an imaginary person or do you know them?

Of course that person is real in the moment. You are in a dialogue with them. The other person is listening and reacting to you, prompting you to continue talking even though they are not talking back or you are not allowing them to respond.. The other person offers you what you emotionally need in that moment to get to the next moment.

A monologue expresses your work. Work made up of committed choices. Choices of monologue, interpretation, objective and the relationship created with the other person. These fulfilled choices and decisions give insights into the unique awareness you bring to the creation of your character. You communicate a personal perspective of human psychological understanding taking the audience on an individual and emotionally complex journey that compels them to travel with you.

Acting is communicating. You communicate your character’s need for understanding and love. Keeping your character in the moment and sharing their struggle with the audience involves them in your character’s needs. Involving the audience in understanding your character’s human needs propels them to root for you to achieve your objective.

Trusting your choices and decisions brings commitment to your work. The roadmap will aid you in believing in your choices by giving you a foundation on which to build your character. Your work is made up of choices and decisions. Every decision needs to be thought about and specifically chosen. In life you can be arbitrary. In your work every choice and decision needs to be carefully explored. Trust your choices. You made them. Trust the material. You chose it. Your interpretation is derived from your personal perspective. Everything you bring to your character is uniquely yours. Trust your instinct to bring you to your personal truth of interpretation.