Video Tip – Read the Whole Play

Today we offer a video tip to actors from Craig.

You’re always being told to “Read the whole play” when preparing a monologue or scene for auditions or competitions. Here’s why.


Craig: Welcome to our Video Tip series. Today, I want to talk to you about monologue and scene books. Now, books like these are awesome resources if you’re looking for material for auditions or competitions. The material’s all edit it down. It’s laid out for you nice and neat. How wonderful. But, if you really want to stand out from the crowd—and who doesn’t—then I can offer you this one piece of advice: Read the whole play.

Read the whole play. And you hear that all the time. Everyone’s always telling you to read the whole play. Now, why is that? Well, for me it’s two reasons. Number one, research. Research is everything. You know, it’s really difficult to perform a monologue in isolation. And when you read the whole play, you learn what happens to the character before the monologue, how the character transitions during the monologue, and what happens to the character after the monologue’s over, and that gives you a richness to your performance.

Now, the second reason—and this is my favorite one—is other material. Yeah. If you’re identifying with some writing and a character in a monologue, well, chances are that there’s other writing, other characters, other pieces in that same play, pieces that aren’t in monologue and scene books, as in pieces that not everyone else is doing. Remember, you’re using these pieces to stand out from the crowd, and a surefire way to stay in the crowd is to do the same thing as everyone else is. So be different. And that’s my tip.

About the author

Craig Mason