by Betina Hershey, director of Garden Players Musical Theater Program for Kids, writer of childrens musicals available at bbbpress, songwriter, band leader, and educator.
Eager for your next big acting moment but stuck at home alone?
We are all writers, and some of us don’t know it yet. If you can talk, you can be an author.
Write your own monologue!
Then perform it. Or give it to someone else to try it out.
Do you struggle with writing things down?
- Record yourself saying your monologue idea.
- Listen back.
- Write down what you said.
See something you want to change?
- Reorder the lines, rewrite, add, take away.
- Record yourself again, listen, and write down more favorite lines.
- Treat this part like a puzzle. Have fun!
Want some help?
- Get an editor. Professional writers have editors. Editors don’t write for you. Editors help you make sense, have correct grammar, and can offer tips and suggestions. A friend or family member can be your editor.
- Get a co-writer. Many musicals and songs are co-written. It’s fun to bounce ideas off of a friend or family member. Writing together can help you feel unstuck and be a way to really have fun together! Try it!
Remember, this is your writing experience. You decide what stays, what goes, and how this monologue will sound. It’s your creative journey. Enjoy!
Want a starting point for writing your monologue? Get to know your character first.
- Answer the character development details below.
- Then write your monologue using the details.
Where the Character Lives:
Character’s Job / Employment:
Character’s Greatest Wish:
Character’s Deepest Fear:
Character’s MIB (Most Important Being, Thing, or Idea):
Character Monologue (using the details from above, create a character monologue talking to someone or something. You could be writing a letter, talking to the stars, talking to your MIB, etc. Use your gesture/behavior)
Character Name: Hofmann
Character’s Place (Habitat): a clearing in a forest on Coco Island
Character’s Home: A small hut in a small village
Character’s Family: Brother, sister, grandmother
Character’s Work (Job, Chore, Task): Taking care of younger brother and sister
Character’s Hobby: Playing the flute and basket weaving
Character’s Greatest Wish: To see the world
Character’s Deepest Fear: Always being stuck in one small village
Character’s MIB (Most Important Being, Thing, or Idea): My dog Perriwinkle
Character’s Gesture/Behavior: Taking a deep breath and looking up at the stars
Character Monologue (using the answers from above)
(talking to the stars) Oh, bright star, how I long to travel where you are! My name is Hofmann. I live in a small hut in a small village in the middle of a forest on Coco Island. Every day I take care of my brother and my sister while my grandmother is meeting with the other grand elders of the village. It is a lot of work keeping them out of trouble but we do love climbing trees. When they take a nap, I get a moment to myself. That’s when I take out my flute and play little melodies I’ve heard the birds singing. Someday I’m going to explore the world. Maybe even visit you up in the sky. I don’t know how. No one has ever left this little village. My dog Perriwinkle is always barking at the trees. I think Perriwinkle wants to see the world, too. Takes a deep breath, looks up at the stars.) Yes, someday I’m going to see the world!
Now get ready to perform and share your monologue!
- come up with a set (it could be as easy as a blank wall, or a picture you draw on big paper)
- a costume (maybe a scarf you drape around yourself, or get out the tin foil or silver masking tape for a sci-fi costume piece, cut some colorful construction paper for dragon wings)
- take a video of your monologue. Don’t be afraid to redo. Professional movie scenes are almost never done in one take, or even 10 takes, so keep perfecting until you have the performance you think works best.
- meet friends or family on Zoom, GoogleMeet, Skype, FaceTime, etc, and read your monologue to them or share the video using screen share
- get others excited about performing it, too… create a monologue video challenge among your friends
- get others excited about writing their own monologues… like a book club, you can create a monologue writing club
Done already? Keep going!
- Create many different characters, each time coming up with completely different details and a completely different monologue.
- Stick with one character and write many different monologues. Write one that focuses on each detail of the character development you filled out. Create a story line and write monologues for the beginning, middle and end moments.
Go where your imagination will take you.
I know I do, and you can, too!