Question:

Audition speech for The National Youth Theatre.

by Guest4386  |  earlier

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Hi, my name is Eleanor Overvoorde and I am 15 years old and I am planning to audition for the National Youth Theatre in February but I am having trouble choosing an audition speech. I have some experience of Shakespeare having played Juliet at the age of 14. I got good reviews for these performances but I have been advised against picking something too obvious which discounts all these speeches. I want to do something challenging which the panel will hopefully find impressive but I think it might be better to do something more modern. The speech itself has to last two minutes (no longer or I will be asked to stop) and I could be asked to perform it again in a different style (for example, as if you are in a football pitch, as if your telling a joke etc, to show versatility) I am completely confused! Please help.

 Tags: Audition, National, speech, Theatre, youth

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1 ANSWERS

  1. Guest23268950

    Hi Ele,

    It sounds to me (from your reference to a \"football pitch\") like you are in the UK. I'm based in the USA and I'm not familiar with the National Youth Theatre. Most auditions here, for schools and theatre companies especially, specify whether they want classical or contemporary monologues (audition speeches). It sounds like you are saying that the choice is up to you, and that does make it harder to make a choice.

    In choosing a monologue you should choose one that you really feel comfortable with, that you understand completely and connect to emotionally. It should be appropriate to your age, gender, look, style, sound and type. And it should show off the best of your acting talents.

    It sounds as though all of those things apply to your Juliet pieces. And that you are comfortable and confident with your performance of these speeches. I know that Juliet is often considered \"too obvious\" or \"overdone\", but it isn't often that an actual 14 or 15 year old can do this complex character really well (most professional actresses don't play it until they are considerably older). Most Shakespearean speeches are \"overdone\" since there are really so few of them, especially for women, and yet they are asked for and expected in many circumstances. So \"obvious\" isn't entirely a \"deal-breaker\". If you can really do it well, and add your own personal twist to her speeches, making them more personal, more specific, more than simply a recitation of Shakespeare, but rather really the essence of a young girl in the flush of first love, then you might just catch the auditor's eye.

    If you choose to try something more contemporary, there are hundreds for you to choose from. If you are familiar with a contemporary monologue that really appeals to you and that you connect strongly with, you might want to give that a try. If you can't think of any, you can, of course, read or see plays until you find one, but there are many monologue collections in your local library or bookstore that contain many monologues, often broken down by gender and age, and will save you much time and wasted effort. The only thing to remember is that, once you find a speech that appeals to you, be sure to obtain and read the full script of the play it is from, so that you completely understand the play, the character and the context of the monologue. A director or auditor can tell in a minute if an actor has only read the speech and has no idea what its context is.

    Remember too that you can certainly learn both a contemporary speech as well as choosing one of Juliet's to work on, and then make your choice of which to do closer to the actual audition when you are well-practiced with both. You might want to ask someone, a teacher, coach or director, to help you make that choice, since it is difficult sometimes to judge yourself.

    As I say in my profile, I make it a practice not to suggest specific monologues for anyone I don't know personally, but I'm sure that you will find a piece that will show off your talents to their best advantage. I wish you a great audition!
     

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