How to Determine if an Audition Monologue is Right for You

Herb Parker is an associate professor at East Tennessee State University and the author of “A Monologue Is an Outrageous Situation! How to Survive the 60-Second Audition.” Teaching students to act is Parker’s passion after a decades-long career onstage.
What brought you to teaching? As my career [progressed], I was working in various theater companies with younger actors. I was asked to coach them on monologues, and I discovered I liked it. I enjoyed helping young actors in the same way that older actors had [with me, taking] me aside to give me tips and help me out.
Why write a book? This book came out of several years of watching young, fledgling actors do their auditions and their scenes. I discovered I needed to find a more targeted way to help them make bigger choices. They’re rather squeamish about doing something wrong; they’re scared they’ll be made to look foolish, but that’s all students. I’d been looking for a way to give students a language to go for it and make big, risky choices to see if they can make a discovery in the material and in themselves. The action of the play between characters is based on conflict, but that term, “conflict,” wasn’t

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