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The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > Searching for great dialogue

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 Posted: Mon Feb 5th, 2018 12:10 am
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asbjoernt
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Mana: 
Hello there!
I am new on the forum. I hope u wont find my post too irrelevant. I just thought this would be the perfect place to ask.

I am an young actor who currently is applying for acting school in my country. (Denmark)
So far so good! I am at the final round and i need a new dialogue for the audition.
Requirements:
- Short. Max 3 min ( i can edit the text myself, if it is longer)
- Must have a male character in it. Doesnt matter if my character is talking to a male/female.
- Must be a comedy.. or atleast a scene that potenttialy could display my talent for comedy.

Would be a great help, if u had ideas!!
Hope to here from some of u guys
Best Regards
Asbjørn From Denmark

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 Posted: Mon Feb 5th, 2018 12:24 am
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Hi, Asbjorn.

Welcome.

Just a wee bit of advice - a playwright really doesn't want to hear you say you can edit yourself. You might just want to amend that.

Cheers, and best of luck.

Paddy

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 Posted: Tue Feb 6th, 2018 05:29 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
Firstly...CONGRATULATIONS on getting this far!

Secondly, you are not looking for a dialogue, you are looking for a monologue, where you are talking TO someone. (However you MAY have to react to someone in the scene, depending on the scene.)

A dialogue is between two people/actors. But, you CAN have a monologue talking to someone who never answers you. This is what you are looking for. But you still may have to REACT to the other character's reaction depending upon the piece.

And never be afraid of SILENCE - a PAUSE -in an audition piece. It can be really wonderful!

And, though it is a monologue, you must still take into account the other character is hearing you...or not paying any attention to you!!!!

I will refer you to one of our member's posts, who has an entire book of monologues.

http://www.stageplays-forum.com/view_topic.php?id=6864&forum_id=7

Read the exchange he and I had.

And...If you go in feeling "needy"...you are DOOMED. They will eat you alive. (Get used to it! "Act as if you've been there before!" That is the phrase.) Act as if it is the 100th time you have done the piece. AND you should do it at least a hundred times before you go for the audtion. Friends of mine had a game we would play, where no matter where we were, we would challenge each other in public and say "Do one of your audition pieces." (Now we would have to adjust it to the appropriateness of the space, but we still had to do it!)

Imagine what you would feel like if you went to a doctor and he was worried or nervous about what you were feeling? You would flee the examination room.

If you go in as the character and not worrying about the people watching you,
you will succeed. You must go in as the Answer to their Prayers!!! LEAVE IT ALL IN THE AUDITION ROOM.

I always imagined at my auditions, that I was performing for people who had paid a hundred and fifty dollars a seat. They WANTED to see me. I never thought I was audtioning for people who could hire me. I never put myself in a psychlogically subservient role. I was the Attorney...they were the Client who needed my services to keep them out of jail. I never sought "approval" from anyone.

I went in as a PROFESSIONAL from DAY ONE of hitting the pavement of New York City. Got my very first gig!!!! A lot of MFA grads I knew, never learned that and they paid a hundred thousand or more dollars - at that time - to some top schools.

I hope this will help you out.

A few of my friends and I had a phrase if we had an audition.

We would say to each other in encouragment when we were all starting out, "Don't fuck it up."

Go for it.

It is lying there in waiting for you to grab it if you want it.

Best of luck. Go get 'em.

And one more thing: ENJOY YOURSELF!


IMR

P.S. Another trick I had was violatiing the auditioner's space if the opportunity was there. One especially delightful moment was when -in character while doing my piece - I took a pen off the producer's, director's and auditioner's table at one of the MOST premier Regional theatre's in the USA. I used it as a prop.

Before I left the theatre building, my cell phone was ringing. It was my agent telling me I had been cast. And they had many more people to see. This happened many times. You can not be timid. Again, how would you like to go to a timid doctor? Or worse..a timid dentist?

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 Posted: Tue Feb 6th, 2018 11:06 am
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Paul Thain
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Mana: 
Thanks for this, IMR

Words to treasure

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 Posted: Tue Feb 6th, 2018 05:14 pm
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Wrighter
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Mana: 
Hi Asbjørn,

Well, it looks like you hit the jackpot with your post, as IMR has given you some of the best guidance you could get when it comes to auditioning. You’ll do yourself a big favor in heeding his sage advice, as they are, as Paul pointed out, words to treasure.

One thing I want to add, though, is that as long as you feel comfortable and capable of editing a monologue to fit your requirements, you should go right ahead and do it. The purpose of an audition monologue is to showcase the actor’s talents in the best light possible, not to showcase the work of a playwright. It’s all about you, not me.

In fact, in my book that IMR so very kindly referenced, I actively encourage it if it’ll make the piece work better for you. And not just in terms of length, either, but also age, gender or anything else that may need to be tinkered with in order for it to suit your needs. If a piece really speaks to you but needs a little manipulation to fit you just right then go for it.

This is taken directly from the book:

“Plays are meant to be performed as written, but monologues aren’t plays; they’re short presentation pieces intended to help you win that role or competition. Audition panels and casting directors aren’t going to give you any extra points for sticking faithfully to the source material. The only thing they care about is seeing you deliver a knockout performance of whatever it is you’ve chosen to present them with.”

And whatever the Danish translation is for “break a leg,” I wish you that!

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 Posted: Tue Feb 6th, 2018 07:57 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
I agree completely with Wrighter.

There is no money exchanging hands. There is no Public Pereformance.

Do what you need to do to get the job.

See again where I said "cunning" in my post.

Here is also a trick I used. In my searches, I stumbled upon a beautiful, brief Shakespeare sequence that was a rhymed DIALOGUE from one his his mooooost lesser plays in a verrrrry small, but very sweet scene. (At least that is the way I interpreted it!)

I realized I could make it all one piece by taking one of the character's names out and it could become a perfect METERED monologue... that no one ever would have heard before in such a setting as an audition. A totally forgettable scene at first look, probably written by Shakespeare to allow for some brief scenic change!

When I would use it, people really LISTENED to it!!! The response was almost reverential. "That was beautiiful. I never heard that before." PRECISELY!
Why would anyone have? I TOTALLY stumbled upon the idea. If I had read the thing five minutes earlier or later, I may never have thought of it myself! But, for my purposes...I knew I had found Gold.

Everyone was always thinking of "going OUT" to the audience with Shakespeare audtions. I was thinking how to "bring them IN."

Again...good luck

Best,

IMR

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