Q & A Monologue Assignment

Q: I found a monologue that I really love, but am unsure if there is a strong enough theme only because unless the audience knows the story, the theme is not necessarily evident. I would like to perform the opening monologue from the movie THE BLINDSIDE…

A: I can’t really “vet” monologues (I wrote a wordpress on this recently) but I would say that if you think the audience NEEDS the story’s context to understand the monologue’s theme then it probably isn’t a very good theme (or you are underestimating your audience). I will say that this monologue is very popular and having heard it a few times I don’t think the audience needs the story to understand the theme. In fact, the monologue appears before the audience even gets any story in the movie. so….?

The more important questions you should ask yourself are a) where does the theme appear, b) do you need all of this monologue or only a piece of it to make your point, c) is the theme any good?, d) are you likely to be the second or third person to deliver this monologue and, if you wind up being that person, can you still deliver effectively?

Hope that helps,

L

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Great Source for Movie Monologues

I came across this yesterday and thought I would share:

http://www.filmsite.org/bestspeeches.html

It’s an inventory from Greatest Films of the Best 700 Film Speeches and Monologues, indexed by year. I CANNOT guarantee that these monologues are doing what I want them to do (strong thematic coherence/central idea) but it’s a great place to start your search. The older you go, the more likely you are to find something of higher quality and that will be unique among your peers.

L

Q & A Monologue Assignment

Q:

Would the monologue from 10 Things I Hate About You be a sufficient monologue for the assignment?

A:

I don’t really vet monologues–some of the assignment is you using the criteria to select a good fit. My thoughts are this, assuming you mean stiles monologue/poem toward the end since you didn’t specify.
That’s a tricky one. It doesn’t have a central idea really; she’s processing out loud the fact that she still has attachment to a person who has not treated her well…so the central idea is like “I hate that I love you” which I can see coming across as complex and interesting in some situations but not on this one as much. It’s more about character development, which is to say that even disappointing emotional attachment has made her more available to herself and others (hence the teacher sending her to the principal for not being a smart ass). But I think that’s something we learn from the movie arc generally that isn’t necessarily clear from that movie specifically.

Self Intro Speech Prep: Personality Test

As you think beyond the monologue toward your two speeches of self introduction (one impromptu or written immediately prior to performance and one extemporaneous or written/revised well in advance) a personality test is a great way to start thinking about many “themes” to which you can attach yourself. This is one of my favorites but most tests will help spur your thinking and the more you take the better! In fact, if you find one you really like, please share it in the comments! (good way to earn participation credit if you aren’t much of a talker in class).

http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

Strategies for Finding a Unique Monologue

  1. Go through your Netflix or DVD collection and look for movies you already know you love. Then try to remember if there’s a monologue in them that might be worth considering. If you’re not sure, search “title of movie” and “monologue” in your browser to see if the internet can point you to one. If it looks good, it’s worth watching the movie to see if the monologue is good for the assignment.
  2. Rather than searching the generic “movie monologues” try searching something like “movie” and “monologue” and , for example, “redemption” or “optimism” and see if you can let a specific theme that interests you guide you toward a monologue-less-traveled.
  3. Go for plays. People tend to be less familiar with plays than movies so it’s less likely someone will choose the same monologue as you if you look at a play. You can combine a search for “plays” with the theme-driven search from #2.
  4. Go for TV dramas not sitcoms. One-hour TV dramas or longer tele-dramas like “Sherlock,” for example, will have a monologue here and there. Shorter TV shows and sitcoms won’t dedicate the air time to a monologue.
  5. Look to movies that are about public speaking, speech making, speech writing, or famous speakers, such as “The Great Debaters,” “Lincoln,” “The King’s Speech,” or “Larry Crowne.” Because of the topics of these movies they tend to include significant—though not necessarily good—monologues (and are also not usually on the popular monologues list because they aren’t blockbuster movies.
  6. Go for older movies. The older the movie the more likely it is to include a significant monologue, especially if it’s a drama such as “Sunset Boulevard” (one of my personal favorites) or “12 Angry Men.”
  7. Look for books that have been adapted as movies as these are likely to contain monologues, especially if they are adaptations of classic works such as “Great Expectations,” “Great Gatsby,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”