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 Monologues

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Peanut
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This may be a quick dying thread, but I thought I'd tap the Eater resources to see if there are any other actors or aspiring actors out there.

One of the things I hate the MOST is tracking down good monologues to use for auditions. I always wish I could find the one monologue that is not over-used and yet is such an excellent piece to do.

Are there any actors out here that have a favorite monologue they'd like to share? I have some rather important auditions I'm considering and I would like some strong material.

Many thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The short answer from me is no, I've got nothing to do with acting, unless the police come chasing after me for a speeding ticket. But as for monolgues, I've always been partial to stuff from the Iliad or the Odyssey, Herodotus has some moving stuff as well. The ones where the hero rails against his fate but goes on headlong to that fate because it is the honourable thing to do.

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DrWho
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Almost anything from Shakespere. Hamlet's soliloquy (sp?) "To be or not to be" is never deliver with the correct feeling. most people deliver it as a speech, when he is on the verge of suicide. If you can make that believeable, you are an actor.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Alan Bennett’s much loved collection of monologues

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wrote a monologue about unicorns and weird stuff. It needs some polishing, but it me into the play. You're welcome to borrow it if you want.

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Wurzgnubbel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Queen Mab digression from "Romeo and Juliet" is usually highly appreciated.
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Pachanga
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Henry Scott Holland wrote a piece from the perspective of someone who has died, and I have heard it spoken beautifully.

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!



Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

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kleindoofy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The play Lenny (Julian Barry, 1971) about Lenny Bruce is more or less a two hour monologue and demands about everything an actor can give.
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Slightlyoutofit
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm with DrWho.

Shakespeare is the master of the monologue and I would guess that he would be one of the most respected by any casting director.
My favourite would be from Julius Caesar:

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him......"

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Peanut wrote:
I always wish I could find the one monologue that is not over-used and yet is such an excellent piece to do.


It is defiantly not Shakespeare but it would make you stand out in a crowd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vagina_Monologues

Other than that, Cpt. Wolf Larsen had a nice one in the Jack London's "The Sea Wolf" It is short, but powerful. I added the first paragraph for context.

"Then what is it worth to you? Another man's life, I mean. Come, now, what is it worth?"

The value of life? How could I put a tangible value upon it? Somehow, I, who have always had expression, lacked expression when with Wolf Larsen. I have since determined that a part of it was due to the man's personality, but that the greater part was due to his totally different outlook. Unlike other materialists I had met and with whom had something in common to start on, I had nothing in common with him. Perhaps, also, it was the elemental simplicity of his mind that baffled me. He drove so directly to the core of the matter, divesting a question always of all superfluous details, and with such an air of finality, that I seemed to find myself struggling in deep water with no footing under me. Value of life? How could I answer the question on the spur of the moment? The sacredness of life I had accepted as axiomatic. That it was intrinsically valuable was a truism I had never questioned. But when he challenged the truism I was speechless.

"We were talking about this yesterday," he said. "I held that life was a ferment, a yeasty something which devoured life that it might live, and that living was merely successful piggishness. Why, if there is anything in supply and demand, life is the cheapest thing in the world. There is only so much water, so much earth, so much air; but the life that is demanding to be born is limitless. Nature is a spendthrift. Look at the fish and their millions of eggs. For that matter, look at you and me. In our loins are the possibilities of millions of lives. Could we but find time and opportunity and utilize the last bit and every bit of the unborn life that is in us, we could become the fathers of nations and populate continents. Life? Bah! It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest. Everywhere it goes begging. Nature spills it out with a lavish hand. Where there is room for one life, she sows a thousand lives, and it's life eats life till the strongest and most piggish life is left."

Edit: Here is the rest of the exchange between them... I add it because it is one of my all time favorite chapters of a book. Wink

"You have read Darwin," I said. "But you read him misunderstandingly when you conclude that the struggle for existence sanctions your wanton destruction of life."

He shrugged his shoulders. "You know you only mean that in relation to human life, for of the flesh and the fowl and the fish you destroy as much as I or any other man. And human life is in no wise different, though you feel it is and think that you reason why it is. Why should I be parsimonious with this life which is cheap and without value? There are more sailors than there are ships on the sea for them, more workers than there are factories or machines for them. Why, you who live on the land know that you house your poor people in the slums of cities and loose famine and pestilence upon them, and that there still remain more poor people, dying for want of a crust of bread and a bit of meat, (which is life destroyed), than you know what to do with. Have you ever seen the London dockers fighting like wild beasts for a chance to work?"

He started for the companion stairs, but turned his head for a final word. "Do you know the only value life has is what life puts upon itself? And it is of course overestimated, since it is of necessity prejudiced in its own favor. Take that man I had aloft. He held on as if he were a precious thing, a treasure beyond diamonds or rubies. To you? No. To me? Not at all. To himself? Yes. But I do not accept his estimate. He sadly overrates himself. There is plenty more life demanding to be born. Had he fallen and dripped his brains upon the deck like honey from the comb, there would have been no loss to the world. He was worth nothing to the world. The supply is too large. To himself only was he of value, and to show how fictitious even this value was, being dead he is unconscious that he has lost himself. He alone rated himself beyond diamonds and rubies. Diamonds and rubies are gone, spread out on the deck to be washed away by a bucket of sea-water, and he does not even know that the diamonds and rubies are gone. He does not lose anything, for with the loss of himself he loses the knowledge of loss. Don't you see? And what have you to say?"

"That you are at least consistent," was all I could say, and went on washing the dishes.



The Sea Wolf - Jack London (1876-1916)

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