Free Acting Classes

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer 

One of the first tasks this year in HMTC acting classes will be monologues. Monologues are important for a director or casting agent to get a good idea of what you are all about and whether you fit a perceived idea of a character to be cast. It is a mini-introduction of you and your acting skills.

Here is where people start to get self-doubt. A monologue is performed well. The director and his cohorts smile and thank you.  You walk out feeling you did your very best. Then time goes by, and you do not receive a call. Then you think maybe you did poorly. I am here to tell you no. You did well if you walked out of the audition feeling good about your performance. The reasons you are not called can be many. I have been on both sides of the table, and other factors come into play.

Some factors are physical. Perhaps what is called for in the script is a very small petite woman, or a male that has beady eyes. A lot of times it’s a certain chemistry between actors that the director wants to see. A lot of times, they are not sure what they want and must audition for months until a cast happens.

What’s important is to know that a monologue is like a business card. It introduces you. There might be a future project they may call you for.  

It is important to have a good monologue that fits who you are or what you can do. Start with a monologue that opens with a compelling opening line. Something to hook the audience in.

Secondly, search for a monologue with an immediate point of view. There is not much time to warm up and show every ounce of your talent. Usually, a character that has an issue and wants to solve it is best. You have two minutes or less. Any longer isn’t necessary for casting purposes. It they want more they will ask you to read a script or call you back.

Thirdly, perform a monologue that is roughly your age. We host monologue slams online, and what doesn’t penetrate our cyber judges are monologues that are older than the actors. This is especially true with children playing older characters.

Good advice is to choose a monologue that can show build-up to a decisive action, reference past events, and progress a character.

Finally, end the monologue leaving your audience with something to think about or wanting to hear more.

The good thing about HMTC or any acting classes is it is a place to practice skills. The more you do it, the more confident you become, and monologues become second nature and fun. Enjoying your monologue translates to the audience.

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer is the Executive Artistic Director of the Hanford Multicultural Theater Company. 

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