To read or not to read?

I have finally got my two monologues together, it took me quite a while to choose them but they had to be right and I now feel happy with the result. I am going for the traditional route, one classical, one modern. The classical being Shakespeare and its one of Ariel’s speeches. It’s a good one and not commonly used.

I am going to point to a book which I found particularly useful with this actually. I tend to avoid mentioning individuals, or specific names, or places of events I am talking about, but feel this is worth sharing. It’s ‘Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Women’ by Simon Dunmore, a good book which helped me a great deal when I was deciding on my speech. I will stress again that if you are choosing to select your speech from one of these audition books you must make sure you also read the play in full. But this advice is also given along with other pointers in that book… so there, the first and possibly only plug. If you read this Simon, you owe me. BIG.

The modern piece I have actually performed before, quite a few years ago, but I like it and I think it is an excellent contrast to the other speech, so I am set. The decision now is in which order to do the speeches. You are told to prepare two but there is always the possibility that you will only get to do one… so what to do….

The Shakespearean one is certainly more powerful, energy wise it would be hard to evoke so much in the modern one. As with all Will’s speeches it is extremely animated and powerful. However the modern speech is very intimate and subtle and can be quite captivating to listen to. So which one to go for? My slot is towards the end of the day, so I am certain that the auditioners would have seen quite a few auditionees by then so how do I approach this?

Do I storm on with the powerful words of Will and do my best to deliver an original and engaging Shakespearean piece – which is always challenging – or go in understated and natural with the modern text?

To be honest I have absolutely no idea. I have considered asking them, giving them the options and seeing which they would prefer, but perhaps this would be a little too pretentious and they may think, oh bloody hell just get on with it. I think I may try to gauge the vibe when I go on and hopefully the choice will be obvious.

Crikey, I do prefer screen auditions if I’m honest. Straight to camera, piece chosen, direction fairly clear, in out and done. I’m hoping I’ll deliver one and they’ll like it and then ask me to do the other. That’s the thing with having the two contrast so much, they highlight totally different skills. I don’t want to risk not doing one strong enough and them dismissing me before I’m given the chance to show off all I can do.

I haven’t even learnt the lines yet! You’d think it would get easier wouldn’t you??

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