Thespian Festival Day One

It’s day one at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After a day of watching monologues, Lindsay shares two tips for monologue performers – both have to do with your feet!


Hello! Welcome to the International Thespian Festival.

It is Day One and Day One is always individual event day and that means that students who, from across the country, have competed in events – monologue, duet acting, group acting, mime, musical – at their state level, if you get a certain superior numbers, number of superiors, you can come and compete at this level.

And I adjudicated this morning. I adjudicated monologues – a breakthrough for monologues. Here is my number one tip.

If you are preparing a monologue and you are doing some character development, you want to make sure that what you’re doing with your upper body, not just what you’re doing with your lower body, because I saw a lot of this today where the emoting was happening, and the hands were moving, and everything was going like this, and their feet looked like this. Complete, intense, emotional here, and complete casual, relaxed on the bottom. Everything going right up top, nothing going right on the bottom.

So, when you’re creating a character, you want to make sure that you are involving the full physical body – head, shoulders, hands, your torso, your knees, and your feet. You don’t want to forget what’s going on below if you are so caught up in your gestures and what’s coming out of your mouth and you’re not focusing on the full physical body to create your character. And this doesn’t mean, if you’re doing something that’s, like, you know, the very animated character here that you’re doing this like, go down, right? That’s not what I mean. You have to have, make sure that your character development is going on here, it’s also going on down there.

And I thought of one more thing. So, ten girls in the morning session of monologues came in in high heels like that. So, when they stood and they walked, they were really impeded by their shoes because there’s only so much, you know, there’s really only so much moving around that you can do. And if what you are wearing is not helping your character then you are not helping your character and you’re not bringing the character to life as fully as it could, you know? And, in a lot of these cases, there is no costume in these competitions so it’s supposed to be you embodying the character. So, the high heel shoes aren’t helping your character, and if they’re not helping your character, and if you’ve got a really physical character and the shoes are making it impossible to move around then they’re not helping you.

So, always think about that when you are preparing what it is you’re going to wear when you are competing and making sure that it is loose, you can move around so that you can express yourself physically, and that it’s going to showcase you to the best that you can do.

All right, that’s it for Day One. Thanks!

About the author

Craig Mason