Ah, the dreaded monologue. Selecting the right one can often feel like trying to pick a needle out of a haystack. You want something that’s the right length, fits your age and gender, and also really shows off your personality and your acting skills.
And if that weren’t hard enough, many actors don’t even know where to begin looking. Instead of heading down a rabbit hole on the Internet searching for copies of scripts of plays (which can become very time consuming), we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite methods for finding great monologues to choose from:
- The Monologuer at Backstage.com
The Monologer at Backstage.com is one of the best online resources for monologue research. You can search for monologues based on several criteria, including gender, age, comedy or drama or contemporary vs. classic. Each monologue also comes with a scene synopsis and a play synopsis to give you more context, and there are a total of 690 monologues in the database, so you should be able to find something that speaks to you.
- Check out The Daily Actor
Another website with a good collection of monologues is The Daily Actor, where you can search for monologues based on gender, age, type and length. We love that they have a collection of one-minute monologues on here. Very handy!
- Buy a Monologue Book
There are many books that publish monologues for actors to choose from for auditions. Just go to Amazon and search for monologue books and see what appeals to you. There’s also a great book called The Ultimate Scene and Monologue Sourcebook that features descriptions of monologues from more than 300 contemporary plays, but it works more like a reference book: It features a short description of each monologue, but to read the actual text, you’ll have to go hunt down the actual play.
- Head to the Library
Your local library is a great source for monologues. Not only will you be able to check out some monologue anthologies, but you can also look up collections of plays by different playwrights. Plus, everything at the library is free!
- Go to Internet Movie Screenplay Database
Although you may be more familiar with scenes from movies than you are with plays, it can be harder to track down movie screenplays than you might think. One place you can go to find them is the Internet Movie Screenplay Database, but there is no way to search on here for specific monologues from each movie (or look for scenes based on age or gender), so you’ll have to take the time to read through the entire script before you land on what you’re looking for.
- Write Your Own Monologue
Sometimes the best way to show off your own unique personality is to write something yourself. If you’ve done any storytelling or open mics, you should have no trouble coming up with a personal story that includes some good dramatic moments. If you decide to write your own, however, make sure you give yourself time to re-write it and craft it so that it has the emotion and pathos you’re looking for.
Have any other go-to sources for great monologues? Let us know if the comments below!