When I first started performing my monologue, I believed that it would be a fairly easy assignment. Something I could just breeze by, but boy was I wrong. Performing a monologue takes up lots of time, energy and effort.
You’re constantly changing and improving the character you’re performing as, and discovering new things about the character that can improve your monologue. It truly is a challenge.My monologue had me playing the role of Debbie Jellinsky from The Addams Family Values, directed by Paul Rudnick and based off of characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. I was constantly struggling to become my character, and was performing not as Debbie, but as Phoebe. Debbie Jellinsky is a sly, confident, and slightly psychotic character, so relating to her is hard for me because I struggle with my confidence levels (and being psychotic isn’t exactly a trait I’d use to describe myself either). My ticks and fidgets were persistent and my nervousness tended to get the best of me while performing.
Later, we started learning about channeling our nervousness into our characters and the Uta Hagen acting method. I then began to realize I could shape and mold my characters personality into whatever I wanted to, soon Debbie came to life as a character who felt small and insecure, but is extremely petty and confident at the same time. This changed my feelings about monologues completely, allowing me to go from somebody who thought monologues were easy, to someone who started appreciating the complexity of becoming someone new and creating a scene by just speaking to an audience.When performing Debbie Jellinsky’s monologue, I believe that my diction and use of physicalization was rather good. Looking back at my monologue, my good diction really stuck out to me as a trait that helped create my character.
Using good diction, projecting and enunciating words help people understand a character better, without good diction it is nearly impossible to perform a monologue. Though the physicalization of a character is just as important as diction because it is one of the many tools you can use to tell their story. Imagine if you had good diction while performing your monologue, but you just stood there. No motions, no actions. That would be rather boring wouldn’t it? Therefore, using diction and physicalization is very important to a monologue and I feel that I did rather well in both of these aspects.
In the end, the monologue unit has turned out to be one of my favorite units we learned about this semester. Some things were easy for me learn, like using good diction and working on physicalization. Other things like becoming my character and using the Uta Hagen acting method took much more time and effort. But, I find that if you put even just a little time and effort into your work, you will most definitely be proud of the end result!