How to Memorize a Monologue

Monologues are extended dialogues delivered by a single character, meant to reflect that particular character’s mental state and inner workings. In addition to making the delivery perfect (in monologues, a single character has to carry the whole scene), it is also important to memorize a monologue to perfection, as there is no room for error during the delivery.

Things Required:

– A monologue
– Tape recorder

Instructions

  • 1

    Begin by reading the entire monologue several times. Familiarise yourself with the meaning of what is being said, as well as how it is being said – the content is just as important as noting the rises and falls in the piece, and the rhythm of the monologue. Empathise with the character so you can fill her/his shoes – once you attach your feelings to the piece, you will be able to remember it better.

  • 2

    Break the monologue down into small, specific parts. Since monologues tend to be long, there are often natural breaks in the piece, when the speaker shifts from one train of thought to another. Make marks in your copy with a pencil to signify the breaks, and then tackle one small chunk at a time.

  • 3

    If the play your monologue is from has been made into a movie, you could record the scene on DVD and watch it several times. This will help your memory along in a big way. You can also download the audio clip of the monologue from the movie, and store it on your cell phone or laptop. Listen to it repeatedly in your free time.

  • 4

    When you deliver the monologue, tape yourself with a tape recorder – then play the recording back repeatedly. This will not only help you recall, it will aid you in highlighting problem areas, and the parts where you tend to mess up.

  • 5

    Deliver the monologue out loud – this works best if you are standing in front of a mirror. Speaking the words out loud will help your memory along auditorily (hearing it), visually (reading it), and even sensually (feeling the vibration of the words in your throat). In addition to delivering it out loud, you can also write the monologue down by hand on a piece of paper – this will also help the words become ingrained in your mind.

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