Thousands of NYC drama high school candidates act their hearts out each year to secure one of the coveted slots at a top program. For many applicants, years of training go into this two-minute audition. That’s a lot of pressure for two 60-second monologues (the yearly requirement.)
Take the pressure off with these four steps;
How to Pick the Perfect Monologue for NYC High School Drama Auditions :
1.) Find Your Essence
Your number one job isn’t to find the deepest monologue, the most dramatic, or the fieriest text. It is to find out who you are. As an actor, you must get to the essence of what you bring into the room. Define that, and you will be ready for step two.
2.) Find Monologues that Bring Out Who You Are
Programs are looking for who you are; show them! Once you’ve done the hard work defining the qualities you bring into an audition room, find monologues highlighting those qualities. i.e., if you convey a passionate “woke” energy into the room, try playing a monologue from Pocatello.
3.) Select an Active Monologue
An active monologue is a speech wherein the character pursues a clear goal. These kinds of monologues aid young actors in making clear choices that bring them to life. Seek a speech where your character has a strong objective they actively pursue. Stay away from inactive monologues such as story monologues. Be an actor, not a spectator!
4.) Seek a Monologue with a Journey
Look for a piece with a progression: think beginning, middle, and end. You want to grow as a character and shape your relationships. Find a monologue that enables you to go on this ride. This progression will allow you to show your range as an actor.
5.) Find Contrasting Range
This fifth note is a bonus! Remember, you need to select two monologues. When you go through the first four steps a second time, look for a monologue that shows another side of your essence than the first. That is what contrasting means. Many beginners confuse contrasting monologues for one dramatic and one comedic. No. Show the different sides of who you are and your emotional range.
There you have it! Four, well five, steps to picking the perfect monologues for NYC high school drama auditions. Break a leg!
Remember: you are enough.
Contributed by Danny Greenberg, director of The Danny Greenberg Studio.
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The Danny Greenberg Studio is a professional performing arts studio for children aged 5 to 18 in New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan!) and online, focusing on vocal and acting training.
Our students star annually in numerous Broadway shows, national tours, and feature films. Our studio welcomes students of all levels between 6 and 18 to foster their love of performing. Once they’re ready, we also help connect students to top agents and casting directors.
Since our debut, we have focused on three values: children, crafts, and community. Our students develop professional techniques and valuable skills they use inside and outside the studio. We help prepare our students for professional success and make personal impacts through charity cabarets and fundraisers.
We provide private lessons in-person and online in singing, acting, audition coaching, industry professional workshops, showcases, musical theater classes, and admissions prep with curriculums tailored to each child’s needs so they can build their self-confidence. Each year, we coach students for DOE High School auditions, and they consistently get into Laguirdia, Frank Sinatra, and PPAS. We teach acting, singing, and dancing lessons in midtown Manhattan, Greenpoint, and Park Slope Brooklyn. Zoom lessons are also available. Contact us for more information on the admissions process.