Contemporary Monologues

Presented by Clark Jackson

This workshop will be held online over Zoom: 

Though often misunderstood, the monologue offers answers to many acting challenges. It’s not just a performance or audition piece but also a training tool. When an actor decides to learn their first monologue, add a new one to their repertoire, and/or improve an existing piece, they embark upon a journey of self-discovery, continued training, personal growth, and overall craft improvement…if it’s done correctly.

One of the great things about monologues is that picking one is of the very few times you, the actor, will actually get to choose your own character and scene to perform in an audition or other professional setting. You get to show your best stuff.

This course will allow you to bring in contemporary monologues from any source, including one you choose to write for yourself. The guiding principle is that the monologue effectively showcases your strongest attributes and talents while also challenging you to grow in your craft. So, this course actually starts well before the first class, as you have to strive to know yourself, your type as it relates to the industry marketplace, and any other factors that guide your choice of material.

Some of the skills covered will include text analysis, actions/objectives, psychophysical characterization, vocal presence; developing instincts to make highly personal and spontaneous choices; meeting the demands of acting for the camera; learning how to command your physical and vocal instrument for maximum range, spontaneity, and impact; body language awareness for auditions; making the who/what/where/when of the character real and specific rather than abstract and general; learning to employ opposites through experiencing contradictory feelings at the same time to create levels and mystery; and other exciting elements of making your contemporary monologues soar and shine!

For the first day of class: Bring in a monologue, at least one minute long, but no more than three minutes long. Please be off-book and ready to work on the piece that you choose. When making your selection, bear in mind that monologues should capture the inner and outer life of the character in a way that also allows the character to grow and change from the beginning to the middle and then to the end of the piece.