Actors and directors only: "Just because an actor delivers a great monologue doesn't mean their great actors" Do you agree with this?

I apologize if this sounds like a really bizarre question but I only ask out of curiosity because this is what our local theatre director told the students during our ZOOM auditions. He mentioned that "A monologue is a tool to get the role and has very little to do with acting and that "acting is about making the scene about the other person". He also says that teaching someone to audition and do monologues is different from teaching someone to act once they get role. But what about Shakespeare soliloquies/monologues? I'm sure that takes strong acting capabilities. What do you think of his viewpoint and what can you say about this?  

Update:

"Just because an actor delivers a great monologue doesn't mean they're great actors" Do you agree with this? 

Sorry had to change "Their" to "They're". Thank you for the correction

6 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    A monologue is just a tool to show a director that you have acting talent and the ability to memorize and repeat a  performance.

    I disagree acting is about making the situation real for everyone involved, your fellow actors and the audience.

    Any actor who makes every performance just about themselves is not a great actor.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I know this was published a month ago, but I wanted to answer lol

    I agree. Just because you can deliver a good monologue does not mean you're good at acting. Your monologue is just a snippet and most generally is something you're good at. It doesn't show how you act when a scene doesn't go your way. And when you choose your monologue and you're good at portraying one emotion, some people aren't good at anything but that one emotion. So if you have a character that's really sweet and friendly but has a bad blow out at the end of the movie, if their monologue is an angry one, it will not show your sweet side.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes, I agree.  An actor may well be able to rehearse a single monologue until it's pretty much perfect - but be very weak at all other aspects of acting.  

    Yes, delivering a great soliloquy takes excellent acting talent and skills, but the actor has to be able to perform the rest of the play equally well!

    This is why, at many auditions, an actor is asked to perform part of a script rather than a monologue, and take direction to perform it in several other ways.Many times, my daughter, who is a professional actor, has been asked to repeat a chunk of dialogue in different ways, with different emotions, different attitudes, etc.  For example, one director told her to act a scene flat on her back, facing into a corner,  sounding sarcastic, sounding regretful, sounding insane and sounding totally emotionless.  

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    “Just because you can deliver a great monologue doesn’t mean you can act”

    I disagree with that. A monologue isn’t just a tool for the audition. It’s a method to get inside a character’s thoughts into the audience’s consciousness. It’s got everything to do with acting and should be delivered with the same emotion and intensity as any other line.

    “Acting is about making the scene about other character”

    I also have to disagree with that too because the way he describes dialogue, it seems that the other actor is using the first actor as a sounding board and that only one actor is acting. 

    Acting is building a fully fleshed character, not making the scene about the other person. IMO, it seems like he is implying that at any given time one actor should be acting which is pretty absurd. That kind of arrangement would make for an unspeakably boring and half-baked play. 

    If those two viewpoints that he mentioned above were true, then the CD would be crazy for using monologues as tools. Yes I agree that monologues do not showcase an actor’s ability to interact with other actors, but it is very helpful when it comes demonstrating their basic skills such as the ability to project, articulate, parse the speech and connect emotionally to the material. 

    Let’s not forget that many, if not, most plays contain monologues/soliloquys. Many are quite long, and while delivering them, the actor/performer is commanding attention/carrying the play without the aid of a scene partner/co-star but this is not to say that his tips aren’t helpful or useful in this video. He shares some pretty good tips

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  • 2 months ago

    I'm not an actor or a director, but a sometime playwright, and I agree.

    Unlike screenwriters, playwrights sometimes have input on who is cast, and in my very limited exposure, there are actors who have a great monologue they're rehearsed a thousand times, but are not as good as those whose monologue was only so-so.

    It's what an actor can bring to *this* role, not the monologue. The monologue is one way to narrow the field.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    They’re = they are

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