Tag Archives: Nikita Turk

The Art of the Perfect Monologue

4 Jul

I happen to love performing monologues.

Whenever I’m not in a regular acting class or working on set for a project, I feel like its a great way to keep my acting chops sharp. Plus, its fun.

They can also be very educational. If you need practice on your timing, hitting the different emotions, or understanding your own movements and body,  monologues are a great little exercise for you. They aren’t a substitution for professional training, but they can definitely help you overcome some of your own personal acting challenges.

Want an example? Maybe you haven’t noticed (and if you haven’t, pretend I didn’t say anything) but I have pretty big eyes. While some people things its wonderful, and I’m quite fond of them nowadays too, they were actually a pretty big challenge for me when I first started modeling and then when I shifted into acting. I didn’t know what to do with them, how to focus them, and how to not look like an anime character.

Recording myself and acting at home really helped me get used to them and make them work for me instead of against me.

Now that you’re convinced, lets talk a little more about how to choose a monologue. I’ve performed all kinds, from the really zany to the incredibly deep. Though I do think finding the right monologue is a bit of a learning process, here are a few things that you should keep in mind if you are in the market for a new one:

  1. Keep in mind the characters you are hoping to play- If you need to perform a monologue for an agent or manager, keep in mind the sort of roles they may be sending you out for. If you are a character actor, you should pick a monologue that highlights your range and abilities. Keep the character’s age, look, and attitude in mind when choosing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to push your own limits- Just because you identify as a “comedic actor” does not mean you shouldn’t explore your more dramatic side. The fun part of acting sometimes is pushing your own limits and learning what you are truly capable of doing.
  3.  Choose a monologue with range- You only get a limited amount of time to make your impression on the audience. Choose a monologue that lets you show a bit a range. Perhaps something that starts off more comedic and has your audience laughing, then flips the switch on them and gets a bit deeper in the end.
  4. Don’t be basic- I kind of think this one goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. You want to be memorable. Be that person who no one can stop talking about. So avoid using the same basic monologues that everyone else is using. Be unique. Pick something more original, and do it really well.

Those are my basic tips to get you going.  But as a final thought, remember to honor the requests of the agent/manager you are meeting with. If they ask for a 2 minute contemporary monologue, you’d better pick something contemporary and definitely practice your tail off to keep it under 2 minutes.

Remember that the whole process is supposed to be fun. And you may have to try out a few different monologues before finding one that suits you.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Break bones 😉

The View From the Top

10 Jan

Fun fact…my first week living in LA, I almost died on a mountaintop.

For the first few months, I was sharing a big house in the “Burbs” with a few Craigslist roommates.

Two of us decided to go hiking at Runyon Canyon, which was my first time ever hiking a mountain, hill, or anything else taller than stairs. (#MiamiGal).

So, apparently elevation sickness is a real thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this until I was halfway up the Runyon “stairs.” I started feeling dizzy and light headed. Eventually, I vomited (embarrassing), passed out, and had to be carried down the stairs by two random shirtless Runyon guys. I started regaining consciousness the closer to flat ground we got. By the time we reached the bottom, I was completely fine.

Well, I like to think I’ve gotten a little better at it over the past few years. I can get up and down on my own two legs now and everything. I also learned that its the sudden increase from low elevation to high elevation that caused the sickness. Which is exactly what the stairs at Runyon do. So, now I take the scenic route and work my way up gradually.

If you’re ever in LA and ready to get in a hike, Runyon is the way to go. Its a relatively short hike, you’ll get a nice little work out, and the views from the top are spectacular.

Yes, of all the hiking spots in the city, its by far one of the most touristy. You can expect to struggle to find parking near the Fuller Ave entrance and in the lot at the top of the park pretty much every day of the week. But its definitely worth it and does live up to the hype.

If you go, be sure to bring a lock so you can leave your own little mark on the trail.

The moral of this whole story obviously being, if you are having trouble finding a hot date, vomit and pass out halfway up Runyon Canyon 😉 .

The Little Paper Terrorist

16 Mar

Image

So, for the past several weeks, I’ve been writing my next project. I’ve never worked on one like this before, and its not easy. I think I hate it. Well, actually I love it, but the line between the two is really thin, right? I hate the way it makes me think about it all the time. I hate that friends call me, and instead of calling them back, I sit at my computer and work on this thing. I hate that even in auditions, callbacks, and shoots, its at the back of my mind- nagging at me to finish it.

When I found myself in a major writing slump,  I asked friends for advice. Fellow writers, actors, 9 to 5ers. Ultimately, it was a kid that provided the  simple advice that got me out of my slump and back into a good flow: “Write until its not fun anymore. Anyway, if its not fun, no one will want to read it anyway.” Funny where ideas and inspiration come from.

So I put it away for a couple weeks, focused on the rest of my life,  and am pleased to say I’m more happy with it now than ever before. Stay tuned 🙂