I’m very pleased to report that I have a new book coming out: “Monologues They’ll Remember You By.” Since I already had numerous monologues of my own published in various trade publications (with another one on the way), the idea of creating a book of my own seemed like a logical move. So I’ve been sequestered away for some time now (which is why I haven’t been around for a while), busily working on assembling a book of monologues taken exclusively from my back catalogue of plays, and I’m pleased to report that the official launch date is now within sight.
Divided into male and female comedic, dramatic, and seriocomic categories, the book also provides a useful guide on how to look beyond age and gender in many of these monologues in order for the actor to broaden their performance options. Additionally, each monologue is preceded by a brief summary of the plot, setting, and character profile.
I’m truly excited to see this project finally come to fruition, and as the release date nears, I’ll post updates with any news or developments of note. In the meantime, pre-orders for both the paperback and e-book editions are now available in the Amazon store should any actors reading this be looking for fresh, unique and compelling monologues for their next audition! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1974174859/
Last edited on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 04:29 am by Wrighter
Yes, the vast majority of the monologues included in the book are around the 2 minute mark. There are a few that are a little longer - useful for audition calls that want something lengthier - but most fall between the 1 to 3 minute mark.
I do actually have another book of monologues that's comprised of stand alone performance pieces. It's called Going Solo: One Act Plays for One Actor. https://www.amazon.com/Going-Solo-One-Act-Plays-Actor/dp/1547298979 Most of those run at around 15 to 20 minutes each, with one exception that runs at about 5 minutes. Most have been produced at various theatre festivals in the US and the UK, but not combined together - though they certainly could be.
I really enjoy writing long form monologues as they give you the opportunity to really immerse yourself in a character and tell their story from a very focused perspective. It's something I definitely intend to do more of in the future.
Great Book for actors. As there is an unwritten rule that all Auditon Pieces must be from PUBLISHED or PRODUCED plays.
As a young actor in NYC, I always researched and hunted and scrounged for VERY RARE Published Audition pieces from Plays that would draw the Auditioners INTO the piece I would be doing. It was a lot of reading. I never tried to IMPRESS Auditioners with bombast, as I heard sooooo many actors do! It was agony listening to them, as I awaited. (My beginning years was Loudness and Bravado from the men. Pleading and Tears from the women.) Thankfully, all that has changed!
I always tried to DRAW IN Auditioners. Seduce them. BUT, I ALWAYS BROKE THE FOURTH WALL BETWEEN THE ACTOR/AUDIENCE.
I knew only One friend when I went to NYC. I had not a BFA/MFA. I had a degree in History from a small college from the Midwest. But I loved Theatre.
My selected monologues and Partnered Scene Pieces through hours and hours and hours of research, worked so well...whether individually or with a scene partner...that the auditioners were so seductively drawn so much into the pieces they were almost FORCED to hire me...and/or my buddy if we did a scene. Even though I or we suckered 'em. IN fact that was the whole point : SuCKER THEM! (Monologue or Solo Scene.)
Never forget "cunning" when you are an artist! You don't have to PLEASE them. You DO have to CON them!!!
Deflect them. Sucker Them. Like a pick-pocket....or a sleazy Investment Counsellor. If you are SEEKING APPROVAL...YOU ARE SCREWED.Having auditioned actors as well, I saw soooooo many of them trying to PLEASE, rather than to make us BELIEVE! If you are needy, you are SCREWED. When AUDITIONERS realize YOU are holding their brain in your hand...and that they have been HAD...they wake up! And hire you!
I had read somewhere "Artists need Talent, Determination and...Cunning."
Too often artists only think they need Talent. HA!
One time, a buddy of mine and I were auditioning at CBS TV in NYC. We had a brilliant duo piece where we got into such an argument...as the characters IN THE SCENE... that one of us ACTUALLY LEFT THE AUDITON ROOM!!!!!! YEP...LEFT THE ROOM!!!
The two Casting Agents were totally flummoxed. There was tension in the room. They did not know what to do. A spat between two actors??!!!!
As the written character, I tried to apologize for my partner...with the playwrights words. The auditioners were quite nervous...tense. They did not know what to do.
THEN...the OTHER actor came back into the room - as the character - and also apologized...with the playwright's words...to me and to them. And the scene continued on as if nothing ever happened!!!!
By the end of the piece...after they found they had been "hoaxed", the Major casting agent was sooooo angry he started to yell at us!!!!!
I stood up to the jerk. I said, "Hey, you believed it, Right? Isn't that the point." However, his female casting partner really liked the piece. She was smiling. Kind of enjoyed that she had been "had!" (ISN'T THAT THE POINT?) It was his Male testosterone/control freak that got him mad. He felt he had lost control BECAUSE HE ACTUALLY BELIEVED WHAT WAS GOING ON! We suckered him!!!! Which is EXACtTY WHAT THEATRE IS ALL ABOUT. "The willing suspension of Disbelief!!!"
Anyway, my buddy and I left. We did both get called in for some work, by the way.
JUMP CUT: Couple of years later - after I was working like crazy in NYC - I ran into the same Casting guy at an audition. He had lost his job at CBS! I went up and mildly jibed him for having been such a jerk. He didn't give me any flack back, because he had lost his job...and he knew I was working all the time! Kind of a case of "The Actor's Revenge." I loved it!!!!
LESSON: NEVER LET ANYONE DEMEAN YOU!!!
Anyway, congrats on the book. Hope actors take the advice and use them collectively or singularly...while TARGETING their auditions with PARTICULAR pieces that work well FOR THEM...especially having so many to use for any PARTICULAR audtion. What a gift for actors!!! I thank you.
This is what they often don't teach you in schools. I learned "on the yob" as a Midwestern actor dropped into the Streets of Survival of NYC.
Worked out just fine!!!!
My biggest joy I ever received in my life is when I was walking down Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles after coming out of a small theatre after seeing a Late Night show on their Theatre Row.
This young guy came running up to me hollering my name. I barely remembered him until he said, "I was your driver after a shoot in New Jersey! Remember we got stuck in Traffic at the Holland Tunnel after a shoot?" Then I remembered! We reintroduced ourselves. It was great to see him. He said,
"I am an actor now. I am making my living as a full-time actor...because of you! You told me, 'If you really want it...go for it. Let no-one get in your way. Give it five years. If nothing happens...you may have to re-think. But give it five years." Then he again said, "I am an actor because of you! I have been making my living as an actor!!!" We laughed and chatted for about 10 more minutes.
I hope he still is making his living as an actor, and he is still talking about me!
And that he passes the advice on.
Wow, that was incredibly interesting reading about some of your past acting/auditioning experiences, IMR. Thank you, truly, for sharing that – I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
I especially liked what you said about actors seeking approval in an audition. I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, precisely, but I completely agree with your point about the importance of not seeming needy or desperate for approval. That is completely spot on.
I think actors who go into an audition seeking approval are setting themselves up for failure. Rather like if you show fear and weakness when confronted by an angry dog – they’ll sense it and have zero respect for you…and probably sink their teeth into you, metaphorically speaking.
Your approach (instinctive, by the sound of it) is the only way to go. You don’t need the auditioner to approve of you, you need them to respect you, to be intimidated by what you’re able to present before them. The desired effect is not them thinking “Show me why I should give you the role,” it’s you saying – through your performance – “Show me why I should accept the part.”
I also thought your audition at CBS TV was extremely bold and extremely clever – but instead of being bowled over by the complete realness of your performances, the clueless casting director threw a fit! He should have been awed by having been sucked into the performance in such a real and complete way. What a knucklehead! Still, as you pointed out, karma came a visiting one day. He couldn’t spot talent, obviously, and eventually that was found out.
Wonderful tale, too, about the driver from the NJ shoot recognizing you outside of a theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard (I know those theatres in that area quite well, by the way, being a former Los Angelean myself). What higher compliment could you have than to be recognized by someone you briefly met many years ago, only to find out that in that brief meeting you essentially changed the course of his life. Sometimes that’s all it takes – the words of someone like you that strike a chord in someone else and gives them something to cling onto and believe in.
I think as artists we all need that. Because whether you’re a writer, an actor, a singer, etc., the fact is you’re destined to have many ups and downs and have to deal with a lot of rejection – sometimes very painful rejection. But if you have words of advice from someone that resonated with you, you turn to them in those difficult times to help you get thorough that low and on to the next high.
Anyway, thanks so much for the kind words about the book. I’ve trod the boards plenty of times myself in years past and I know firsthand how tough it can be. So I was able to put this book together from the perspective of both an actor and a playwright – something I talk about in the book – and I think that helps immensely. I’ve walked in those shoes.