Book Appointment

© Union Dental. All rights reserved. Powered by YOOtheme.

Acting Teacher • Coach • Actor • Director • Writer

Tag: classical monologue coach

How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

by Rita Litton

“As an acting teacher and coach, I often field requests from young actors seeking a good monologue, something distinct, comedic, one-to-two minutes… Can I help?

I usually suggest a private session. I bring in folders with hundreds of age-appropriate monologues and I promise that the student will leave with at least two contrasting pieces they  love, and that suit them. Finding a good monologue is not simply a matter of knowing which new play has a catchy or memorable monologue, selecting the longest paragraph of text in a play, or jumping on the first monologue your drama teacher hands you. Finding the right monologue is a bit like Prince Charming peddling his glass slipper; you want a great fit.

I begin a search session with the student reading several monologues out loud. Actors have a hard time knowing their “type.” I focus on your vocal quality, inflections, and timing (which is key for comedy). Are you at ease or uncomfortable with the material? How smart (street or book) are you? Do you understand complex language? Can you easily identify with the life story/background of the character or are major substitutions going to be necessary? How comfortable are you with your body and how do you use it? Is there anything in your physicality that suggests this is material you can relate to, whether or not you have had these personal experiences? When a piece clicks with an actor, their reaction/response will often make the monologue come alive!

Keep the choice of material within your age range.  When looking for  ‘good contrasting monologues ‘ chose characters that have different rhythms, backgrounds, points of view, attitudes, or conflicts —not ages. Most schools would also prefer to see one comedic and one dramatic selection.

Most students have not seen or read that many plays—the required choice material for most colleges. It’s important to understand the background and exposition of your monologue when the stakes or the subtext may not be obvious in the text. While students know they should read the play, many either don’t take the time to do so, or don’t read it before choosing their selections. Working with a coach with extensive theater experience is invaluable in choosing appropriate material.

Choose monologues that speak to you, that allow you to bring your intelligence, imagination, life experience, empathy, unique type and personality to your performance. Seek opinions from those you trust and allow time to find something wonderful! You’ll also have a more satisfying audition experience performing something you love!”—Rita Litton

(Excerpted from my Backstage Expert article, 2016, by Rita Litton.)

For more information or to make an appointment please contact me

Continue reading

Monologue Prep

Monologue Prep

Rita’s Monologue students write:

“Rita, I wanted to thank you so much for helping me with my monologues and to let you know that I will be going to SUNY Purchase!! I am so excited!! It’s for the ACTING program, 24 out of 1200 got in, and I can’t believe I did !!!!”

Sara M..”


“was accepted early decision to NYU Tisch School of the Arts as a Drama major-I’m so excited! Thank you so much for your help. I am so grateful for everything I learned with you!”

Lauren S.


“Triston felt the audition (SUNY Purchase) went well. They were impressed by the classical piece. They asked where he got that from, he said “his private coach Rita Litton.” This is a small world. The person that auditioned him said “I know her.” She was all smiles after that. He had a call back that same afternoon. Thanks to your great expertise!”

M. Howell


“I wanted to thank you for all you did for Grace in such a short amount of time! Grace auditioned for The Professional Performing Arts School of NYC and was accepted in the advanced Drama Dept. We are thrilled! Thanks again for all your encouragement.”

D. Plimpton


“I just wanted to say thank you so much… I used one of the pieces that you suggested to me, and called upon your direction for my audition. I am so thankful to have been a part of your school and to have the knowledge that I do from you. I feel so incredibly blessed.”

Elizabeth M (Accepted into two of her ‘dream colleges,’ including New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.)


She just found out she was accepted into LaGuardia’s freshman class for drama!! Thank you so much for your help in the selection process and all your fine work with Chloe!”

Stephanie N

Are you planning to audition for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts theater program or acting conservatory?  I have years of experience helping actors gain acceptance to their ‘dream schools.’ The selection of material is one of my specialties. I have hundreds of monologues, comedic or dramatic, of every style and period, from both contemporary and classical plays. As an actress, I’ve performed at classical Shakespeare festivals around the country and I trained classically prior to working in NYC.  If you are anxious about performing the classics I can help you make these passionate and dynamic characters come alive.  I’d love to guide you through this exciting process.

Where have my students been accepted?  NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, Yale, Harvard,  USC, Rutgers Mason Gross, Marymount Manhattan College, University of Miami, Emerson, Drew, Ithaca, Ryder, Fordham at Lincoln Center, Pace, University of Minnesota, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University, Montclair State University and many more.

I also work with actors who need audition monologues as part of their ‘actor portfolio’ or reel. In addition I work with younger actors who hope to attend one of the competitive New York performing arts high schools and need to present a monologue (or two) as part of their application.

To discuss your personal needs and requirements call me and we can plan your best course of action.  Try to alert me well before your scheduled auditions.  To make an appointment and discuss rates please contact me!

More? Read my Backstage Article on Monologue Auditions!

Rita Litton (from the book “How to Be a Working Actor” by Mari Lynn Henry and Lynn Rogers.)

Well-trained actors of any age are never a casting risk. A well-trained actor knows how to find solutions to problems. They are flexible, easy to direct yet not afraid to make choices. They are well spoken, have ensemble skills, confidence and physical grace. I am attempting to train actors who will walk out of my classes employable; who will be cast worthy because they are responsible to the director and the other actors on the set or stage. An actor who understands the big picture, how the whole environment should come together. Youth affords many opportunities, and opens doors. But the door stays open for the wise actor with training.”

Continue reading

Acting Coaching

Acting Coaching

Regarding his private coaching with Rita: “Thank you for all your hard work on shaping up my acting skills and giving me the tools I needed for auditioning and getting me better at my craft!”

Ralph Rodriguez (in featured photo with Rita) See: “Testimonials.”


“Hey Rita! I hope we can still do our coachings together! I have some news! Following my coaching with you for the movie ‘Miles’ I did my self tape at Innovative and received a callback with the director two weeks later! We ended up just talking about the script for 20 minutes but I was still excited to speak with him.”

Tim Boardman

(Follow Up email after Tim booked the leading role) “Rita, I am so excited and wanted to thank you so much for everything! The director said to me he loved how subtle and real my audition tapes were!”

Tim


“I am so grateful to have found Tim at your showcase and have enjoyed every minute of working with him!”

Warm regards, Lauren Singer
Lauren Singer Talent Management


“Thank you for taking the extra time helping Darnell. (He booked CBS-TV’s ‘The Good Wife.’) This would not have happened without your help and dedication and hard work with all your students. Looking forward to your working with him to the next level.“

Dale Dudley


“Good news on the agent front. Lauren sent in those tapes we did with you and Innovative now represents Jackson. Thank you for your help on that!!!! A lot has happened in the past month! We are thrilled and overwhelmed!”

Megan M (mother of JACKSON DUMONT HILL who booked Broadways’ “Finding Neverland.”)


“Rita I just wanted to thank you so much for helping me with my monologues. I also wanted to let you know that I will be going to SUNY Purchase!! I am so excited, and I can’t wait. It’s for the ACTING program, 24 out of 1200 got in, and I can’t believe I did !!!! YAY!!! Thanks so much for everything !!!!”

Sara M.

As a three-time winner of Backstage publication’s Readers’ Choice “Favorite Acting Coach” for young actors, I have coached teen and adult alumni in successfully booking jobs in TV series, sitcoms, films, and on Broadway for over thirty years. I frequently guide actors in their upcoming auditions for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), MFA, or acting conservatory programs. I offer assistance in the selection of their monologue material (I have hundreds of monologues from both contemporary and classical plays) and in their audition presentation and performance. Younger students applying for performing arts high schools in the NYC area or elsewhere also come to me for help. See Monologues.

Overall, I believe in the benefits an actor receives working in a small group class.  Preferably these classes should involve working with other actors of a similar level, meet over several months or more, and be taught by a teacher you respect and who knows you well.  Attending class should help you develop into a technically strong and emotionally in-tune actor. With time you are capable of finding and making your own choices. I am not a teacher diva, or guru, and I would never encourage a student’s over dependency on me.

However there are times when an actor needs special help. Perhaps you are working on a set, or preparing an audition where you need an acting coach as an ‘outside eye.’ Private one-on-one acting coaching is the perfect solution.  I do this in New York, or via ZOOM, and upon request on the set. When I coach an actor for an audition I encourage them to audition with the same sense of discovery and play that I encourage in my classroom.  Imagine every audition as another chance to do what you love–act! I can reduce your stress by making sure you are properly prepared.  I’ve encountered many actors who were blocked in an audition or scene, who could not focus or concentrate clearly and who needed to find a better way to connect with the material. Once we began working together their confidence and creativity returned.

When I work with students on preparing auditions for television, film, or Broadway theater auditions, we break down the audition scenes or ‘sides’ together. I can help you pinpoint the plot or ‘arc’ to the scene and your character’s true objective and progression. My knowledge can be invaluable to an actor not yet familiar with the quantity or style of a writers’ or directors’ body of work.

I have eased the transition for many of my students from young adult, or teen roles (noting the proliferation of Nickelodeon, Disney and other family or comedic shows) to adulthood and the deepening competition they encounter for more mature and larger roles. I treat each actor as an individual, trying to find the ‘hooks’ which resonate within them, the substitutions and situations which will quickly and effectively trigger the emotional life present in the scene at hand. If it’s comedic film or situation comedy then I will also deal with the character’s physical flexibility, comedic timing, improvisational ability and clarity of language. Many directors like to cast performers with improv experience and will add a sudden improvisational adjustment at their auditions. I’m a coach who does not ‘set’ an audition in stone, but who anticipates the various ways that the director may add input.  As an actor you always want to be open and flexible at an audition, so the director feels that there is still much he can add to your performance.

I am available for private coaching in New York City, or currently via online software like ZOOM or Skype. My online coaching sessions have proven very helpful for students when they need help immediately and travel is inconvenient, whether they live in the tri-state area, the west coast, or around the globe. Actors who must tape their own auditions and email them to casting directors in Los Angeles or elsewhere (self-tapes) find it extremely helpful to hear my voice reading opposite them at their sessions. As a professional actress I can provide the give and take, action/reaction so crucial in the audition process. You can tape your own audition while you Zoom with me, recording my voice in the process. I have found this technique excellent for tape success, callbacks, and bookings.

If you are planning to audition for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) theater or acting conservatory I have years of experience assisting actors in gaining acceptance to their ‘dream school.’ I work with middle school actors hoping to attend one of the competitive New York performing arts high schools. The selection of material is one of my specialties, and I have hundreds of choices (See Monologues) from both contemporary and classical plays. Be sure to get in touch well before your scheduled auditions to discuss requirements, deadlines, the potential need for ‘Pre-Screen” monologue submissions. I can advise you on the best course of action.  

I look forward to working with you! Please Contact me to schedule a private acting coaching appointment. My rates are extremely reasonable considering my expertise, experience, and many years as a professional coach.

Rita Litton (from the book “How to Be a Working Actor” by Mari Lynn Henry and Lynn Rogers.)

Well-trained actors of any age are never a casting risk. A well-trained actor knows how to find solutions to problems. They are flexible, easy to direct yet not afraid to make choices. They are well spoken, have ensemble skills, confidence and physical grace. I am attempting to train actors who will walk out of my classes employable; who will be cast worthy because they are responsible to the director and the other actors on the set or stage. An actor who understands the big picture, how the whole environment should come together. Youth affords many opportunities, and opens doors. But the door stays open for the wise actor with training.”

Continue reading

© 2022 Rita Litton | All rights reserved