“To be or not to be” – a phrase made famous by Prince Hamlet’s monologue in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. While not everyone has read or watched Hamlet, most people have heard the famous opening phrase of the monologue that had Prince Hamlet contemplating death and suicide and bemoaning the pain and unfairness of life.
A monologue, also known as a soliloquy, is a long speech delivered by one character. The form originates from theatre, where a character will deliver a long passage of speech either to another character, to themselves or to the audience.
A monologue can be a powerful tool to amp up the stakes that heroes and villains are facing in the story and to make it more compelling. Executed right by a skilful actor, it can achieve beguiling, revelatory and even enlightening plot twists, story developments and character arcs in a story. This is why auditions often include a monologue segment, so casting directors can observe your child’s acting methods, assess their level of skills and decide what kind of roles they are suitable for in a short time.
So, how can your child learn how to bring their characters to life through a riveting performance of a monologue?
Picking a Monologue
Before your child starts practising or preparing for their audition, they will first have to pick a suitable monologue that matches their skills level, and one that is able to showcase their talent for acting. Since monologues often serve as a way of signalling a narrative shift to transition the story or a key development in a character arc, the ideal monologue will have to be gripping for a short period of time and yet leave audiences wanting more.
A good, modern example would be the fantasy drama television series and trilogy of novels, His Dark Materials. Set in a multi-world reality, a young girl Lyra is destined to save her own people from the evil Magisterium that restrains their ability to do magic. Charmingly executed, performing monologues from this series allows your child to combine thrill, suspense and excitement all at once.
Delivering a Monologue
Now that your child is all done memorising their script for the monologue, they have to practise it to perfection.
Pick a focal point to focus on
Instead of performing the monologue towards the casting directors, decide on a focal point to direct the monologue to. It is okay if your child walks or moves during the monologue, but try not to deviate too far from the chosen focal point to avoid confusion.
Your child will have to think about the levels of emotions within the monologue – what is the character going through mentally or emotionally at this point of the story? How should the emotions be transitioning?
It is also a good idea to take the time to discuss the piece with somebody else to compare interpretations of the monologue.
Learn How to Deliver a Stunning Monologue at MindChamps Académie of Stars Today
Is your child preparing themselves for a Direct School Admission (DSA) audition with their talent for acting Why not enrol them for MindChamps Académie of Stars’ DSA preparation course to sharpen their skills before the audition?
With the arts school’s focus on nurturing the Champion Mind, they can help your child discover their unique self to outshine other performers with an outstanding monologue performance. The DSA preparation course accepts children between the ages of 11 and 12. Each session is 90 minutes long, conducted over 40 or 20 weeks. We also have short 4-week intensive classes that are 180 minutes long.