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Characteristics and Your Characters

I have been avoiding writing in this section. It’s taken me a looooong time to decide what would be useful to write here. It seemed narcissistic to simply write about the monologues I chose for my 20, plus that’s beside the point – the 20 you choose should be your 20. So I finally decided to go over tips and tricks for finding and working monologues as they come up in my work. That probably sounds like a pretty obvious thought as you read this, but let me tell you something, buddy…. It took me a long time to think up that one.

So this time around I thought I’d start from the foundations of this 20 monologue challenge. Last time I wrote I went over why I’m doing this. I’m a super organized-type person, so let’s talk about how. The first thing I did was make a list of the types of monologues I thought I was looking for. This is not a hard and fast list, but gives you a jumping off point. For example, here’s my list (don’t laugh – most of these categories are way over-simplified):

  1. Teen
  2. Classic
  3. Accent
  4. Character voice
  5. Mom
  6. Political
  7. Positive
  8. Reserved
  9. Physical
  10. Memoir
  11. 20-something
  12. 30-something
  13.  Commercial
  14. Avant-garde
  15. Quirky/crazy
  16. Sexy
  17. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  18. Aggressive
  19. Compliant
  20. Intelligent

These are types of characters I want to show off and/or love to play, types of monologues I know I just have to have or styles of performance that I do well/need to have. This list is kinda hard to create, because your brain keeps getting stuck every 5 or so. You just have to plug on. You can do it! You have lived with yourself your whole life and part of this business is knowing who you are and what roles you can and should be playing. Once you have your list done, show your audition coach and see what they say about your choices.

Again, this list is going to change as you start working. There is going to be so much self-discovery involved in a huge undertaking like a 20 monologue challenge. I look at it like a puzzle. I know there are 20 pieces, but they keep changing shape. 🙂 The categories shift and the monologues you find jump from category to category as you complete the puzzle.

I like puzzles.

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