Actor and casting director Mike Kimmel pens a collection of monologues for today’s aspiring young adult actors. Created for the audition process, Kimmel’s original pieces offer a refreshing variety of contemporary voices engaged in lively inner dialogue and self-reflection.
Written with performance in mind, the relatable, timely monologues bring a story of each speaker to life. Kimmel specifically designs each piece, whether serious or humorous, to appeal to various personalities. Topics include modern issues confronting today’s youth, such as body image, self-esteem, competition, and love relationships. Other speeches regard memorable people, family, or moving on from lessons learned. Often monologues open with engaging questions: “Have we met?”; “Can I share a secret?”; “Can I ask you a very personal question?”
Kimmel invites performers to modify material, if desired, to make their storytelling “resonate deeply.” The pieces are skillfully written as gender-neutral and inclusive, allowing flexible, adaptable customization for performers.
In his Introduction, Kimmel also offers hopeful actors performance tips, suggesting they avoid argumentative, mean-spirited monologues and consider the people for whom they are auditioning: What would they like to hear? He advises slowing down to “give people you’re reading for enough time to listen, absorb, and react” and avoiding talking too much during the audition process. In addition, when getting into character, he tells readers to imagine the monologue as part of a full-length script and ask what led to this particular moment.
Kimmel’s book is a refreshing addition to the compendium of dramatic monologues and helpful in its focus on what young adult actors can expect in the profession and the importance of perseverance in the face of rejection. While each monologue would benefit from a short introduction or suggested approaches to performing it, drama students can count on hard-headed yet encouraging advice in this enjoyable compilation.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.