Monologues to Avoid as an Actor


Nayeli Pena

Nayeli Pena

·3 min read

Having a great monologue is essential for anyone looking to become a professional actor. Most actors have their "go-to" monologues that not only show off their skills but are versatile for a variety of settings.

A lot rides on having the "perfect" monologue. No pressure! So - how do you pick the right monologue? While there's not one right answer, there are many great options for choosing the perfect monologue... but today we’ll be focusing on what isn’t perfect.

Here are a couple monologues elements to consider staying away from.

  • **1. The “I Remember When” Story** A monologue centered around a real life story about your life isn’t dynamic enough. It’s not about sharing a story about a time you did something or how something made you feel. Casting Directors are looking for how you can turn a small piece of life into a much brighter moment.

    Two important elements that you should have in a monologue is both connection and conflict, which is something usually lacking from “I remember when” stories. Don’t tell us the story of a really bad date you went on, act out the date instead.

    2. Trying To Be Something You’re Not If you are a 21 year-old college student, your go-to monologue shouldn't showcase you the role of a 50 year old retired firefighter. Makes sense, right? Even if you’re trying to showcase a range, it’s better to stick to something familiar that can be done well rather than something that hasn't been perfected.

    Focus on showcasing your strongest persona and what you do best. Finding your own persona may be hard but be honest with yourself about which personas you can play best.

    **3. A Novel ** It’s a monologue, not a novel. Every great monologue should follow an arc, but this doesn’t mean it should take 15 minutes to recite. The longer the monologue, the less likely your audience is to listen.

    Shorter monologues that are well done is more memorable than a mediocre one that lasts 3 minutes. It’s not about doing as much as you can with your time but doing the best you can do with the time you have.

So - there you have it! Visit our blog for more monologue advice and examples. It'll help navigate your journey to finding the best lines for your auditions.