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The Essentials

Image credit: Joanna Nicole Photography

‘Slow Horses’ star Rosalind Eleazar on what makes a good monologue and how to nail your acting showcase.

Actress Rosalind Eleazar, best known for her role as ‘Louisa Guy’ in Slow Horses and ‘Agnes’ in The Personal History of David Copperfield, is a previous Spotlight Prize winner who returned to help judge 2023’s Spotlight Prize nominees. 

Having been on both sides of the process, Rosalind provided us with some insightful tips and advice for future Spotlight Prize nominees and anyone else preparing a monologue for an acting showcase.

Here’s what she shared:

Choosing the Right Monologue

An acting showcase is your opportunity to impress casting professionals and agents; as Rosalind says, “It’s important what monologue you pick.” 

These are her three top tips to ensure you select the right monologue to perform:

1. Think About the Audience

When you perform your monologue, it won’t be in the privacy of your room – or wherever else you may have been practising it. You’ll be performing in front of an audience that may well include the agent who’ll approach you for representation or the casting director who’ll give you your next job.

So, when choosing your monologue, think about what the audience will enjoy watching. 

Rosalind says, “I personally think the [monologues] that work very well are the ones when you’re talking to someone.” 

This will capture the audience’s attention, as they’ll feel like they’re that other person and as a result, part of the scene. Addressing your monologue to another character can also give you ideas for delivery. 

What is your relationship to this other character? How have they made you feel? What are you trying to achieve through your monologue addressed to them? 

These are all questions that can help drive and define your performance.

2. Stay Within Your Comfort Zone

As an actor, your job is to step into a character’s shoes and bring them to life. This will lead you to experiences and situations that are far removed from your own life and you may wish to explore this further and further with each performance. However, your acting showcase may not necessarily be the best time to do this.

Rosalind says, “I know we are actors, and we want to really do things that are very different and separate to us. You have plenty of time to do that.” 

“I just feel like you should do something that you are comfortable with,” she adds. “And that you feel represents you in some ways.”

3. Choose Something That Represents You

Rosalind’s final piece of advice is to choose something, “You feel a real connection to.”

There’s so much choice when it comes to monologues, so you’ll want to pick something that speaks to you on some level, something you understand and like. The more you connect to a monologue, the more authentic your performance will appear.

“Obviously, nothing that you’re going to do is going to be you,” Rosalind acknowledges. “But [it can] certainly represent you.”

A big thanks to Rosalind Eleazar for taking the time to talk to us! 

Take a look at our website for more interviews with casting directors, actors and agents and to find out more about the Spotlight Prize