5 Reasons Why an Actor Should Choose Their Own Monologue

Written by Tiffany Weagly-Wilkie

February 16, 2017

As an acting teacher, the question I get the most from students is, “Will you recommend a monologue for me?” My answer is always, “No.” Why? Below, I answer why finding a monologue for yourself is the most important thing you can do as an actor.

1. You’ll learn more about yourself.

To be a better actor, you need to be a better person. To be a better person, you need to know yourself. If someone besides you chooses a monologue for you, then you are surrendering the chance to know yourself. Knowing what type of monologue works for you is a vital part of an actor’s journey.

2. You’ll have a much better success rate.

Monologues selected by the performer equate to better performances because the actor is intrinsically connected to the character. When someone else chooses your monologue for you, then they are offering their vision of you. You must learn to know yourself.

3. You’ll learn the value of hard work.

Let’s face it, finding a monologue that works for you isn’t easy. You will have to devote many hours of time to find the right monologue, but that makes it all worth it. Additionally, if you are willing to spend the time searching, you will appreciate the time it takes to earn a role.

4. You’ll learn what characters you can play.

Searching for a monologue will help you discover the characters that work for you. Perhaps you have been relying on a crutch character. Seeking out new monologues will help you break that cycle. It is also important that you have at least three signature monologues that you can do even if you’re falling out of bed.

5. You’ll have the chance to cast yourself.

90% of good acting is great casting. Cast right or perish. Think about your monologue search as a chance to cast yourself in the perfect role. During auditions the director spends days, weeks, or even years to find the perfect actor for the role, so you can do the same to find your next audition monologue.

Need some advice? We’ve got you covered.

Tiffany Weagly-Wilkie is the Director of Theatricals for PerformerStuff.com. She also serves as the Casting Director for The Imagination House.