Monday, February 02, 2009

ON ACTING: Selecting an Audition Piece

I received a request by email from a young actress. Her question and my reply follow.

"Dear Mr. Osmond,
I am currently preparing for my auditions to get into the BFA acting program at either NYU or USC. I am having an extremely hard time finding monologues. I have looked through all the search engines and all the different sits but am having a very hard time finding a good one. For both auditions I need two contrasting contemporary monologues that are no more than two minutes each. I am an 18 year old girl with brown hair. I did have a monologue from A Streetcar Named Desire and one from My Fair Lady…but NYU said no accents are allowed (as well as no props and no costumes). So now I am back to square one..."

My reply:

"Dear L: Forgive me in replying so late. Not knowing you, it would be hard for me to suggest a particular monologue. But I can offer there two criteria to aid your search: (1) audition pieces are aimed at auditioning YOU...therefore, pick two contrasing pieces that speak to you, your age, your emotions, your experiences. Pick two that touch your heart (which includes your sense of humor); these choices of monologues will be the easiest (and best) to perform. (2) 'No props, no accents, no costumes' means no 'extra' acting...which means 'just give me performance reality': deep feeling that is genuinely experienced (in language and movement) on stage. Forget all the 'acting' extras'...these auditioners want you to speak (act) simply and honestly from your heart (with full movement and loud enough to be seen and heard). Acting success follows that.
Good luck.


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