Your child’s audition monologue should be about a minute long. Anything longer than a minute or two is excessive – remember that your child will not be the only one auditioning that day. Shorter monologues will be appreciated.
Even though an 8-year-old Miranda Priestly may sound amazing, don’t give a Meryl Streep monologue to your third grader. In the professional casting world, your child will be auditioning for the role of a child, so it’s important to pick something that they can relate to.
Choose a published play
As good as your child’s original work may be, using their favorite novel or movie is a better choice when practicing. When it comes to the audition itself however, a piece from a published play works best. It adds legitimacy and has a better chance of showing your child’s true talents through well-constructed lines.
Read the entire piece
Knowing a piece’s context is important. It certainly wouldn’t be a good idea to send your kid to school with a paper about the Boston Tea Party without them knowing about the Revolutionary War. Likewise, make sure you don’t send your child into an audition with a monologue without understanding its context. This is crucial for understanding a character’s motivations and actions within the monologue. Have your child read the entire piece before they audition (or read it to them if they’re very young) to give them a feel for their character’s situation.
Connect with the piece
If your child doesn’t enjoy a piece or can’t emotionally connect to it, find a new one. Don’t force a particular monologue if your child doesn’t like it – they simply won’t do as well as they can in their audition. Picking something that makes your child genuinely happy to perform has greater potential to give a better performance.
Look for something active
Find a piece where the character is actively doing something. Standing still while giving a monologue runs the risk of boring the casting director and fails to display as wide a range of skills as possible. Get some movement involved!
Pick a self-contained piece
Make sure you a pick a self-contained piece (or one that has been edited to be so) so that it may be understood without further context. It must make sense to the casting director without extra explanation.
Avoid common monologues
Try to avoid picking a monologue from common plays, movies, and monologue books. Casting directors will have heard them hundreds of times and would have a better chance of remembering a monologue from something different from the rest.
Choose something that sounds natural
Unless the role specifically calls for it, don’t choose a monologue with a dialect that sounds unnatural coming from your child.
While these tips certainly aren’t exhaustive, remembering them will hopefully allow you to pick a monologue that truly allows your kid to shine. There are thousands of monologues to choose from, and while you might worry that you won’t find the perfect one, just make sure you pick one your child has fun doing and that demonstrates their talent. After more and more auditions, you and your child will surely find what works and what doesn’t, and will eventually know which ones best show off your child’s potential for all types of roles.
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