Excellent female audition piece: Nina Mansfield’s monologue “Bite Me” from the play of the same name. Look for monologue starting with the line “So there he is stunned from the spray..”
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"
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.
Contemporary dramatic monologue for men under 2 minutes. Man can be 20's to 40's. Character's name is Mike from the play "Hero Dad" by Laura Jacqmin from Humana Festival 2012: The Complete Plays
The character, Mike, envisions what it would like to be a father. He addresses a character "Seated Female" who he has got pregnant. She sits in a waiting room. He's on the phone with her. He pleads with her to give him a chance to be a father.
Start the monologue with "I mean, the vision I have of myself? As a dad?" on page 209 and close the monologue with "we can figure it out" on page 210.
Per Monologue Writing 101, this monologue is notable for:
Comedic contemporary monologue for a young woman. Character is 16, named Patricia.
Patricia opens up to a boy she likes. She begins by talking about herself; how accomplished she is. She ends up going deep, talking about her mother's new boyfriend and the loss of her father. By the end, vulnerable, she asks the boy she!s sharing all this with to kiss her.
Piece gives a young woman in her teens plenty of solid comedic and dramatic beats to play. Great journey from funny (she brags about herself) to raw and vulnerable and tragic (she talks about her father's loss, seeing his ghost), to her struggle dealing with her mother having moved on, now in a new romantic relationship, and to curiosity about adult relationships and sex.
I saw this contemporary dramatic monologue for men while watching Breaking Bad and it blew me away. You'll find the monologue within Breaking Bad Season 4, Episode 10 at 23 minutes into the episode. The monologue is spoken by the character Walt who is in his forties.
The monologue is short under two minutes and exemplifies elements 1-6 and 8 of Monologue Writing 101. The night prior to the monologue Walt's son, Walt Jr., had come to his father's condo to check if everything was alright, because Walt had missed Walt Jr.'s 16th birthday celebration. Walt Jr. finds his father looking beat up, Walt's been in a fight, and drunk. In his drunken weakened state Walt had spoken briefly to his son and then passed out. The monologue takes place the next morning.
In the monologue Walt shares the story of his one real memory of his own father, who died of Huntington's disease when Walt was very young. Walt's memory is of a father who was very sick, barely hanging onto life, who could no longer speak, and who may no longer even have fully recognized him. Walt's only real memory of his father is of a shell of a man. Walt wants his own son, Walt Jr., to remember him at his best. Walt does not want Walt Jr. to remember him the way he was the night before; drunk, beaten, incoherent.
For actors auditioning for a dramatic role, who want to demonstrate they can achieve a layered, nuanced performance - this monologue delivers.
Per Monologue Writing 101, this monologue exemplifies the following elements:
Element 1: Walt has a strong desire for his son to have a positive memory of him. He wants his son to forget what he saw last night.
Element 2: Walt has at stake how his son sees and esteems him. As a father, Walt cares deeply how he will be remembered by his son when he is gone.
Element 3: Walt tries a few tactics to get his son to forget about his lapse in character. He apologizes to his son, he shows his son he feels ashamed, he uses self-deprecation, and finally he opens up about his own father. The memory he shares is something very personal that he has never told his son before.
Element 4: The opening of the monologue serves as an effective hook. It sets up the current state of the relationship dynamic and the want that the speaker has in that relationship. It pulls us in. We want to see if Walt will win over his son. "I wish I could take back last night. It was your birthday, this shouldn’t be on your mind. No it’s not okay, I’m your father and I don’t want last night to be…. I mean you, you really … you can’t think of me like …"
Element 5: The close of the monologue has a solid "button" ending. It effectively connects the past action from Walt's childhood back to the present action between Walt and Walt Jr. and to the strong character want established at the start of the monologue. By the end of the monologue, Walt's want has more weight and has engaged the empathy of Walt Jr. "That is the only real memory that I have of my father. I don’t want you to think of me the way I was last night. I don’t want that to be the memory you have of me when I’m gone."
Element 6: This is an excellent example of a monologue that engages the senses. Walt remembers the smell in hospital where he visited his father, the "stench of Lysol and bleach." He remembers seeing his father lying in bed "all twisted up." And he remembers the sound of his father breathing like "this rattling sound. Like if you were shaking an empty spray paint can. Like there was nothing in him."
Element 8: Past action is used to drive home the present want of the monologist. Walt uses his memory as a tactic to engage his son's empathy, to persuade his son. The author does a good job keeping past action tied to present action.
Here is one example from the monologue where Walt uses a specific detail from the past as a means to connect to his son in the present: "My mother would tell me so many stories about my father. I mean she would talk about him all the time. I knew about his personality, how he treated people, I even knew how he liked his steaks cooked. Medium rare, just like you."
Comedic male monologue, age range 30's. Character Cosmo Kramer.
Monologue is from the fifth season of Seinfeld, episode 84 entitled "The Fire."
High energy, dynamic and funny. Kramer recounts the Herculean efforts he took to reunite a woman with her Pinky Toe.
The cause and effect of this monologue is awesome. Prior to the monologue Jerry has been booed during his standup act by a lady friend of Kramer's. In retaliation, Jerry goes to the office where she works and boos her. She gets upset and runs out of the office. The monologue begins by telling us what happened next.
Kramer tells Jerry and George how she was so distraught and distracted she stepped into the road and a street sweeper severed her pinkie toe. After the ambulance left, Kramer finds the toe. He packs it in ice in a Cracker Jack box and rushes to the hospital by jumping on a bus and yelling "step on it." On the bus a guy pulls a gun (probably to rob the people on the bus, but the monologue doesn't say) and Kramer has to knock him out to save the toe. In the commotion the bus driver has passed out and the bus is careening out of control. Kramer takes the wheel driving the bus. The robber wakes up and tries to attack Kramer. Kramer fends him off with one hand, while driving the bus with the other and making all the bus' usual stops! In the end, he gets to the hospital in time and his friend's toe is restored.
The high stakes situation, exaggerated action and imagery, the non-hero of Kramer in this heroic situation, the inclusion of incongruous mundane everyday elements (well if you're driving the bus of course you make all the usual stops!) makes this little monologue a mini masterpiece.
Suggest monologists performing this in audition say the lines that George and Jerry interject as if Kramer is hearing and repeating these questions back to them, since some of the questions serve as payoffs and punchlines to the humor embedded in the monologue.
The monologue is on disc 4 of the Seinfeld Season 5 DVD set in the episode entitled "The Fire."
Find audition and competition monologues here. Peruse by category or date.