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Young Performers

Imelda Staunton, Alex Jennings and the Spotlight Showcase nominees share their advice for selecting and performing a monologue successfully

Need to prepare a monologue? Imelda Staunton, Alex Jennings and all our nominees and winners from the Spotlight Showcase 2018 give their tips on how to choose your material and making the most of your preparation time to ensure your performance is a success.

Tips for Selecting Your Showcase Monologue

Do pick a monologue that:

  • You love doing and that you can find new things in every time you do it
  • Sits naturally with you
  • Feels like ‘home’ to you, where the audience doesn’t even notice you’re doing a monologue
  • Has a build, where you can show real contrast in your performance
  • Feels like you’re the only person who could do it.

Don’t pick something:

  • Just for the shock factor
  • Because you think will show your crazy (or whatever) side
  • Just because it’s competitive. Think about you, who you are and what you want to showcase.

Tips for Preparation

  • Do your preparation in the weeks, or months, ahead of the performance
  • Read the piece over and over, then try to get a lot of association for yourself in it
  • Look for similarities between yourself and the character, and the differences, then try to balance the two
  • Think about the facts in the whole ‘world’, how the character lives and what they believe in.

Tips for Performing a Monologue

  • Don’t let the words do the work
  • Do perform with confidence as so much of it is about convincing the audience
  • Do make the audience feel at ease
  • Do think about breath and voice as they’re important for how the character moves
  • Do show a version of yourself.

Read more advice about choosing, preparing and performing a monologue.