Q & A with Student: Will You Tell us If Our Monologue is Bad on Rehearsal Day?

Student: Hi Dr. Pierce. If you don’t think what we have chosen is aiming high for this assignment, will you tell us when we meet to practice in class or will we just do our best for the 5 points when we deliver the monologue next week?

Me: Hi _______. That’s an interesting question, which means it is also complicated to answer. When we meet for class on rehearsal day (the day when you are bringing in a hard copy of your script) we will talk a little bit further about what makes for a compelling theme but for the most part we will focus on delivery generally and delivery of the monologues in particular. If, after that discussion, a student is convinced they need to change their monologue I’m not going to object but I also won’t be telling anyone that their monologue should be changed. Generally speaking, I will recommend to everyone that they stick with the monologue they bring to class when we meet to rehearse because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do all of that practicing in class and then switch monologues.

Ultimately if you look at the assignment description this is a small assignment (5%) and everyone who delivers any monologue at all gets at least 2/5. The remaining 3/5 is split equally between delivery and content of the monologue. So ultimately I would rather students did a really excellent job of performing a monologue with a less-than-stellar theme than I would students change their monologues and risk poor delivery, start-overs, and general dissatisfaction with their performance.

 

Q & A Edit Length of Monologue?

Q: I’m working on finding a monologue for our assignment and I think I’ve found a good one. I found a script of it on one of the websites you put in the folder. However, after watching the scene, the script was much shorter than the actual scene. I can fit all of the script into two minutes but can’t pause as much as he does in the actual scene. Is it allowed to cut out parts of the monologue that are unnecessary for understanding the theme?

A:

Hello anonymous student,

I don’t recommend using a script from the internet. I recommend watching the scene and writing the script yourself, especially if you can start out writing it by hand so you remember it better.

Once you’ve done that, if the scene is still too long you can either start it later or end it earlier, trying not to cut out anything important for the central idea. In some instances I’m okay if you take out a chunk from the center but that’s it, only remove one big chunk. Don’t cut and paste. It will make it harder to memorize because it will lose the flow of the script.

With respect to delivery, I don’t recommend significantly altering the delivery of the scene especially if it’s to make the time. However, some slowing down or speeding up isn’t a huge deal. I find that most monologues are actually too fast for me. But in some instances they’re way too slow. Mostly, however, I try to stay within 10 or 20 wpm of the original.

I hope that helps.

Lee

The “Interestingness Hypothesis”

You all should REALLY read this….

Most students, when faced with a similar interview situation, fall back on emphasizing their activities and the traits they signal. “Running my church youth group,” they might say, “is another example of my leadership ability.”Olivia followed a different path. She didn’t emphasize her activities (which, in isolation, weren’t all that impressive) or the qualities they supposedly signaled, instead she let her natural interestingness come through – and her interviewers were entranced. Put another way: she rejected the list quality hypothesis, embraced the interestingness hypothesis, and won a full-ride scholarship for her efforts.

Source: Want to Get into Harvard? Spend More Time Staring at the Clouds: Rethinking the Role of Extracurricular Activities in College Admissions – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

January 12: Welcome

First day of class! Not much to report. We began discussing the upcoming Monologue Speech assignment and the importance of “interestingness” and a strong central idea, which was illustrated using the Cerulean Monologue from the Devil Wears Prada. More information can be found at the course eLC page–>content–>assignment description and samples–>monologue.

Welcome everyone. I hope you have a great semester and please contact me if you have any questions.

This blog is just a place for me to post follow up materials each week as the course progresses – materials that are useful but not required and would clutter up the eLC page. I recommend people follow my WordPress but I don’t require it. Anything that is crucial for everyone I will send by email and/or post to eLC. Everything that is just useful I will put here.

Like all human beings I change my foci hundreds of times a day so the blog is a way to write about something that might be useful or relevant to me (and you) today but that won’t still be on my mind come Thursday.

Do with it what you will.

Lee