From page 195-196 of "Shorter Faster Funnier"
Monologue for a young man. Hook opener "I'm Ben. I'm pretty stupid. I'm not going to a fancy college like you. I'm a third-tier kind of person." and closes on "...more than selfish discontent." Romantic comedy monologue of an earnest guy trying to talk his way into a woman's heart.
From page 195-196 of "Shorter Faster Funnier"
Monologue for a man. Character George Simmons. It's early morning, he's feeling disoriented and frightened. It's from the medicine he's on. He comes into Ira's room.
Actor performing this gets to play disorientation, fear, and a strong objective with panic under it, to get Ira's help to take him to the hospital. Contains some denial at how bad he is doing at the beginning. Then discovery at just how bad he feels and he needs to get to hospital ASAP.
Starts on page 54 of the shooting script for "Funny People" with line "I couldn't sleep." Ends on page 55 with "we gotta go now"
Monologue for a man, comedic. Character is described as "an older man" named Gaston. The play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" is by Steve Martin.
This monologue gives an actor a nice balance of past and present action to play. The present action is the character's desire to understand from Picasso what it's like to come up with ideas, to be creative, to have inspiration. He yearns to know what it must be like to be inspired; an original. Then he recounts a failed attempt in his own life to come up with an idea to pain something: the shutters on his house. The story he tells is actually really heart wrenching but comedically so, and the problem of coming up with an idea for the color to paint his shutters gets bigger and bigger until he actually considers taking his own life! Finally, he decides to paint them green. All the huge struggle over something so seemingly simple and relatively mundane/inconsequential both gives an actor a great intense journey to play, and because of the absurdity be pretty funny too. The build of the problem is like Henri Bergson's "Snowball" effect described in his famous essay on comedy "Laughter." As an actor you get to play all the great angst and struggle and desperation (past action) while using it as a way to convey to Picasso in right now how much you'd like to understand his process (present action). So you've got both a big emotional ride and a strong want/objective to pursue.
Monologue starts with the line "Well, you're a painter; you're always having to come up with ideas. What's it like?" and ends with the line "But then one day I said to myself 'Green' and that was it." Find it on page 55 of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile and other plays." Get the play here.
Monologue for a woman. Comedic. 1 to 2 minutes performed. Character is Paige.
Hook opening line "The invisible guest. No dinner party is complete without one." Paige goes onto explain how she feels Jesus would be a "thrilling dinner guest."
To perform in audition cut the interjections by Lars, Hal, Sian. End on the line "We'd all get indigestion."
Comedic monologue for a woman. Character is an artist named Wynne. In this funny monologue from Moira Buffini's play "Dinner" which was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2003.
Attention grabbing opening line "He's never forgiven me for - It was when I put my portrait of his genitals in my exhibition." If the auditors aren't paying attention after that line, check them for a pulse. The monologue goes onto detail Wynne's back and forth tete-a-tete. Each line she recreates for us, enacting both sides of the interaction, is a tactic by herself against him to justify her actions and maintain the upper hand. The last line she reports, his triumphant victory over her, as he justifies his infidelity based on her cruelty. So we go from a feeling from Wynne of slight "duping delight" and dominance to crushed, saddened, a little depressed. Deflated. Ergo, as an actress you get a few tactics to play, a funny banter to re-enact (chance to play a guy's voice and be silly as you enact his side of the convo), and an emotional journey. Not bad and it can be done in under 2 minutes.
Preview the monologue on google books here. The monologue starts on page 10 of the play "Dinner" with the line "He's never forgiven me for" and ends with the line "He was triumphant" on the same page. Get the play here.
Monologue for a young guy, 20's. Character is Ira, a young standup just getting started. Not making his money as a standup.
In this comedic monologue Ira has to follow George Simmons, a famous standup comic, who has just done a very unfunny set in which he was clearly very depressed and reflective about his life. Ira has to follow George and has no choice but to improvise some humor about George's set.
Great chance for an actor to play the situation, which is rich in realistic detail. Ira is nervous to be performing, as he's new to standup. He's a bit thrown by what he's just witnessed Simmons do. He's reactive in the present moment commenting on audience members who rudely get up and leave during his set.
One of the strengths of this monologue is how Ira starts struggling with weak material about himself, then gains confidence as he gets on a role with the improvised material about Simmons. He's drowning up there and he saves himself by making a split second decision to shift gears and try fresh off-the-cuff material. There's a real sense of discovery for an actor playing this monologue, as your character is having these thoughts, inventing the material which is finally getting the desired response (laughter) from the audience on the spot.
On page 17 of Apatow's screenplay his lead character George, a successful celebrity standup, has a very vulnerable, very human moment. Prior to the scene he's been given a cancer diagnosis and the prognosis does not look good. Now up on stage at a comedy club, he admits he's scared and tells a few jokes about growing up in a family that didn't believe in a higher power or an afterlife. The jokes fall flat. By the end of the monologue, it's gotten so quiet in the comedy club George jokes that he can hear the freeway. No one laughs.
Some of the jokes might play as funny in audition, but really this monologue is one of George's more vulnerable and raw emotional moments in tthe movie. For a standup comic, the stage is a place where he can be honest and express what he's going through. It's a slightly sad moment as we discover he has no one he's really close to and its onstage where he's able to open up. Bearing his soul to strangers, fans, in a club.
You could certainly consider this in the category of dramatic monologue. Great balance of past/present action as his recollections about his Athiest family tie directly to the terminal diagnosis he's trying to come to terms with. And the anger, at the situation, at his father for not giving him a religious faith that could have given him comfort now, is deep and moving. He has a strong desire in the scene to connect, to find comfort for the pain he is in, to release it, to tell someone. He also is struggling wanting to recapture his life before he got the diagnosis. He wants to go onstage and be adored, like normal, and do his act, perform a short set, like he usually would. But he can't just do his standup like always. So there is great internal conflict here as well. Ahh! This monologue is just fricken deep and honest and awesome. If you're into bear your soul kinda stuff, this monologue is your bag.
Contemporary comedic monologue for a young man in his twenties. Character is Mark, a young comedien.
There's a very funny bit of dialogue in which Mark tries to convince his roommate Ira to go after the girl he likes, Daisy. Mark gives Ira an ultimatum of 10 days to go after Daisy after which he'll have no choice but to sleep with her himself.
It starts on page 10 of the screenplay with the line "Now listen I'd love to stay here and chat with you but we have company" and ends on page 11 with "I'll see you out there." There's enough there that in the context of a solo audition actors could play quick reaction beats where Ira would be interjecting in the actual scene.
Comedic contemporary monologue for a woman from the play "F-Stop" by Olga Humphrey.
The monologue is about an actress named Susanne, who very much wants to play the role of "Tiffany Jones, a voluptuous, kick-boxing, platinum haired CEO, twenty-one years of age, who single handedly takes on the Singapore Mafia when they try to launder money and run drugs through the Fortune 500 company she single handedly started from the ground up."
It's very important to Susanne that she get the role of Tiffany, as she's seldom ever connected so strongly to a role as this one. Susanne's primary tactic to get the role is to sell herself and her skills as an actor. She lists off a bizarre array of accomplishments and talents including playing "every one of the Three Sisters," the ability to act in styles including "lyrical realism" and "realistic lyricalism" and her combat training in various martial arts including "Uechiryu Karate" from "the Okinawan school." Monologue engages the sense of sight with its descriptions of "acne encrusted boys" and the above description of the character Tiffany Jones.
If you want to play a hyper intelligent, somewhat hyper young woman in her 20's who is both eager to please, full of herself and probably pretty insecure underneath this role might fit the bill.
Find it on page 43 of Humana Festival 2012: The Complete Plays. To request the play "F-Stop" which this monologue is from contact the author at http://www.olgahumphrey.com/contact.html.
Great monologue for a man. You are playing Picasso! This monologue is in a comedic play but really is a dramatic moment. You get to demonstrate an artist's passion and excitement for his work. There's a feeling of yearning and awe and power. Picasso talks about wanting to be ready for when his great moments of inspiration strike. When he will create the works of art that will influence and shape the 20th century. The moment when his dream of making great art and the action of making great art converge.
Hook opener to this monologue:
"I could dream it forever and still not do it, but when the time comes for it to be done, God, I want to be ready for it"
On the hunt for great monologues.