Once a week I challenge myself with memorizing a short monologue from a film or show that I enjoy - change up the circumstances a bit - and then film it in one or two takes. I try to give myself just an hour to memorize and then film it and treat it as if it's just an audition - that way I'm not caring if it's "perfect". I also take the opportunity to learn something new with editing. For me, it's just about doing the work.
This one was a bit challenging for me - I was scared out of doing theatre (plays and such) years ago because of one actor who, when I dropped a line in a show, he sighed extremely loud and made a big deal of me dropping the line - in front of the entire audience. Anyway, I thought I'd take a shot at Mr. Elwood Dowd and see what this would look like in my skin. Memorized in an hour and then shot in one take to keep with the messiness of what these monologues are all about for me.
During the COVID-19 quarantine, several casting directors put out a challenge to actors to send in monologues or short scenes. I chose this beautifully written piece and I happened to become a finalist for one of the challenges.
One thing I learned in this one by watching back is I could still take my time a bit more. Not be in such a hurry to say those words.
The original scene is from Boardwalk Empire played BRILLIANTLY by Jack Huston.
Treated this one like an audition. Studied the night before, said it out loud in front of the camera before rolling then rolled one take in hopes for a messy take and nothing like the way Steve Martin did it.
Nothing new editing-wise. Just flipped a light on and stood in the living room. Fake handheld motion and grain in the video on Premiere and used my new Lumix 25mm lens so I could have auto focus for the first time with one of these.
I wanted to do a monologue from my comedy hero but instead I thought there might be one where I was talking to him.. I hadn't seen this film in a good number of years but I knew the scene took place in a car - I normally change up major circumstances so it's easier to "make it my own" but in this instance I just changed locations for me and kept the eagerness as-is.
The challenge here was trying not to picture Terrence Stamp doing it as brilliantly as he did. I also used this opportunity to try a new thing editing-wise to try and add some dust particles and slight movement in the camera with the Deadpool presets... if you pay attention you'll probably notice a few jumps after 25 seconds.. I can't seem to find where to cut it to make longer takes smooth.
This short piece is taken from "The Delicate Delinquent" with Jerry Lewis. Music is taken from Jackie Gleason's Orchestra "I'll Be Seeing You". I also took the opportunity to learn something new with editing by first using the Deadpool Handheld Movement preset but also pushing in the entire scene so the wide now becomes more a medium shot by the end.
This week's challenge was to do something I've probably heard hundreds of times but it popped in my head when thinking of a monologue to do for this week and I thought I'd jump on it. It's one of my favorite moments from one of my absolute favorite Martin & Lewis films.
This week, a short piece from my absolute favorite episode of The Twilight Zone. What an incredible performance by both original actors and written SO well.
This week's challenge was just changing up the entire original purpose and circumstance of this speech into the idea that this guy is leaving this information for the next two who will take his place in Station 3.
I could never do this as brilliantly as Peter Sellers' original in A Shot in the Dark so I gave myself an hour to memorize and shoot this one because it was a chunk and I didn't want to stress over the words. Just treated it almost like an audition. And just like a normal audition, I dropped a line early in the monologue and realized it midway through... important thing is, I kept going.
I tried doing this one as a State of the Union Address since that just happened in real life but letting it be the State of the Union for The Neverending Story. You may notice that I use pieces from the book rather than the film. I also used this opportunity to try a new thing editing-wise to learn how to use the Essential Graphics panel in Adobe Premiere.
Recommended by a friend to do a monologue from a Golden Girls episode. The scene takes place in a restaurant so I shot it in my living room where I could see and hear all the traffic outside... not to mention also doing a scene written for a 60 year old woman, haha.
This short piece was requested by a friend who wanted to see a dramatic take from this "iconic" Muppets Take Manhattan scene. I also used this opportunity to try a new thing editing-wise to learn how to smoothly move with using keyframes. This is by no means a great acting performance but I gotta say... REALLY hard not to do this with Kermit's voice, haha
Here is a piece I took from one of my favorite films, "The Legend of 1900".
This is the monologue that gave me the idea to do this on a weekly basis. It's such a wonderfully written scene. If you haven't seen the film, please do. It's an amazing piece of art.
This week's challenge... imagine getting a description to a character where it says, "you're an old rat who escaped NIMH and you're telling this story of how it happened". Was hard not to use the original voice at first haha... just one take. I could have done this one over and over but I would have been chasing perfection.
Acorn TV has a great 3 part series of "And Then There Were None" - This is a monologue from towards the end of the series that was absolutely incredibly done by Charles Dance so I just wanted to have a crack at just a portion of it (it's LONG).
Minor technical issue - I bought a new 35mm lens to try it out and didn't double check before starting to make sure I was in focus... oof. Posting it here because it's the work and that's what it's about.
Wanted to give myself a shorter monologue w/some action involved in order to truly allow myself to take my time. Changed up tiny bits of the actual "written action" to allow myself something different to play with but goodness... go watch Guy Pearce in this unbelievable adaption of A Christmas Carol (on FX).
Equipment: Panasonic GH2 Lumix - ApocalypseNow v7 Hack with 25mm Panasonic lens to see if the auto focus would work in low light. Light: Hagibis King 10 RGB (Light I travel with).