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..”
1-Sentence Summary: A frustrated video store employee who just quit her job at Galaxy Video begs for it back.
Appreciated: Love the journey she takes, from struggling with the fact that she hates people (especially video store customers who ask dumb questions and put videos back in the wrong sections), looking inward to find out why (she can do that, look inward, because she "takes Yoga"), going to her and therapist to explore deeper, to realize it's because she's a talented stick figure artist. She draws stick figures!
Age Range 20's to 30's.
Character's gender is female.
Monologue genre is comedic.
Find this monologue on page 44 of "222 Comedy Monologues: 2 Minutes and Under."
Monologue Writing 101 Elements (0 = Not Used. 1 = Used. 2 = Strong Usage)
1. Strong Want - 1
2. High Stakes - 0.5
3. Tactical Variety - 0
4. Hook Opener - 0.5
5. Button Finish - 1
6. Sensory - 0.5
7. Internal Obstacles - 2
8. Past/Present Balance - 2
9. Discovery - 1
10. Restraint - 1
TOTAL "ELEMENT USAGE WEIGHT": 9.5
Loved this monologue!
Tags: Comedic female monologues, Comedic monologues for women, Womens monologues, Audition monologues for women, Contemporary monologues, Modern monologues, Monologues from published plays, comedy monologues, comedic monologues, funny monologues, humorous monologues, 2 minute monologues.
David Ives is the master of the short form play in our lifetime. No one in the short form is as widely produced or as well known even outside the world of theatre people. His published plays can be found in nearly every drama school library. His writing is light like a souffle, witty, warm and wise. And yes, he's a Yale MFA grad like Durang perhaps the other darker more emotionally raw short form genius who also holds a Pulitzer. But this post is about Ives. If Durang is deep, painful cathartic comedy, Ives is the light brilliant uplifting counterpoint. In any event, both write comedy, a thing perhaps too little celebrated in a life that is made infinitely better by the presence of laughter.
Alright then, the actual topic of this post, David Ives "The Green Hill." It' a short play about a man, Jake, who everyday imagines himself if only for a few minutes atop a green hill. The hill is a place where he is perfectly happy and at peace. He is obsessed with finding the actual green hill. He knows it is not just in his mind. He goes on a journey perhaps leaving the love of his life, Sandy, behind to chase down the hill. He discovers the hill is real when he finds a picture of it at a travel agency. He gets the name of the late photographer and asks the photographer's wife, where is this hill? She doesn't know! The photographer spent his life taking pictures of green hills and didn't label where any of them were located! However, there was a lot of everywhere he'd travelled. So our hero Jake sets out to go to every place this photographer went in search of the hill.
The peak of dramatic tension and the cathartic moment of realization by Jake that he no longer needs to find the hill. He is ready to go home. At that moment when his dream is lost, he discovers the hill. This is the best suited moment to derive a monologue. You will have to make some cuts to make it work, but the derived monologue works and gives you a sense of defeat and then elation to play. And the entire play is short, a ten minute play, so read the entire thing to understand where Jake is emotionally at this moment.
Start the monologue with the line "Hill 16,973. Every American I meet I ask for Sandy." Skip right to "I figure Sandy's long married .. " and after "as flat as a starched bedsheet" jump to "Suddenly I can't remember what the hill I'm looking for looks like ... " and after "I'm nowhere inside my head or out of it" jump to "It's time to go home" and then to "Help a guy out?" and continue with text as-is all the way until the final line you'll end on "I've never felt so free in my life."
Get the play The Green Hill by David Ives here. The monologue is derived from pages 198-200.
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 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.
This monologue for a a man in his twenties is about a guy (named Grrl) who has a roommate who eats her feelings. When she gets upset and eats her feelings it keeps him from relaxing in his apartment. He's sort of stuck taking care of and managing her toxic emotions. In this monologue he tells us how she progresses through different junk foods based on her level of distress.
This is a very inventive funny monologue. It has to be assembled by removing the various interjections and interactions between the characters. What you're left with is just the character Grrl's lines which are delivered in direct address to the audience. The monologue starts with "I can gauge her mood by what she's eating" and ends with "he's actually been texting me all *** day"
Get this monologue from pages 469 to 471 from the book "Humana Festival 2012: The Complete Plays"
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.
Comedic monologue for a woman in her 40's from the one-act play "Cuthbert's Last Stand" by Andrew Biss, which won the 5th Annual National One-Act Play Competition in Los Angeles. Character is a woman in her 40's named Mrs. Pennington-South.
You can find this funny female monologue, highest scoring this week on the laugh-o-meter, on page 33 of 222 Comedy Monologues 2 Minutes and Under Volume 4.
Few reasons I luuuurrrve this one per my Monologue Writing 101:
However, as the great LeVar Burton said "You don't have to take my word for it, read it for yourself." Get the one act play "Cuthbert's Last Stand" by Andrew Biss here.
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."
Find audition and competition monologues here. Peruse by category or date.