Easy Monologues to Memorize

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Photo Source: “Better Call Saul” Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Finding the right monologue to memorize for an audition can be a challenge, especially if you’re just starting out. Monologues come in different lengths and genres, ranging from comedic to dramatic, and finding easy monologues to memorize can get really tricky, really fast. The good news is there’s no shortage of easy monologues for beginners. Despite seeming relatively short or simple, these easy monologues pack a punch and will let you showcase your talent and skills as an actor

Looking for an easy monologue to memorize for your next audition? We’ve got you covered with our list of monologues for beginners.

10 Easy Monologues for Beginners

“Goodbye Charles” by Gabriel Davis: It’s Terrible Being Nice

This comedic monologue shows Cynthia, a young adult woman, talking to a man who is on his knees and holding a little box. The original monologue is a bit longer but can be broken down, as demonstrated below, making it an easy monologue to memorize, even for beginners. 

            CYNTHIA

            Don’t do it! Don’t open that little box one more crack! Don’t ask me to marry you. Don’t say another word. Before I met you, I used to be a raging jerk. Those people I introduced as my friends.  They're not my friends.  They're scared of me. But since being with you, I’ve begun to feel warm inside. Fuzzy. I have urges to donate to charities. To help out in soup kitchens. To hug people. 

            You’re making me NICE! And if you open that box and ask me to marry you and I nicely say ‘yes,’ I’ll be nice for life. The planet already has millions of nice people. It doesn’t need me. I’m begging you – I’m getting down on a knee. Will you please, please not marry me?

“Second Look” by Joseph Arnone: Cher’s monologue 

In this monologue, Cher—described in the script as mid-40s—is talking to a friend about her looks and how she thinks she’s not as attractive as she once was. This is an easy monologue for beginners, because in addition to being brief and having relatively short sentences, it doesn’t have complicated words or phrasing. Also, despite its brevity, the monologue effectively showcases the character’s concerns over her changing appearance.

            CHER

            It hasn’t happened for quite some time. I was thinking about this all day and it must have been years since I’ve ever felt that feeling…you know? When a man looks at you, looks away and then takes that second look. It’s the second look that validates something for me as a woman. I’m not trying to say that I need a man to salivate over me or anything like that…it’s only that I haven’t gotten that second look in quite awhile and I’m beginning to feel a bit inadequate.

            Even on a lousy looking day I used to catch a second look, nowadays I’m lucky I even get a first look.

            Hmmm. Can I ask you something? Have my looks changed? Am I not as attractive as I used to be? Wait! Don’t answer me, don’t answer my question! It’s all just too much, really.

            (she stands up abruptly and grabs her drink)

            I’m alright. I just don’t know. I’m not looking for comfort or consolation. I just want to know if I still appeal to men. Is that so wrong? Not in the sense in a, in a, in an intellectual way but more in an attractive way, you know…that would be nice, to know, if I can still turn a man on. If, in fact, if a man is actually still interested in me that way.

            That’s all…

“Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven” by Reina Hard: Annie’s monologue

Titular character Annie, a 13-year-old genius, pleads with her father, begging to go to Chicago to be with her grandparents. Because of its short length, it’s a simple monologue for kids or teen actors to memorize. Moreover, Annie’s igenius status gives more weight to her dream of being the first human to make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). 

            ANNIE

            No, it’s not that. Daddy, I know what I want to do with my life.

            I want to find E.T.I. I want to be the first human to make contact.

            I mean, SETI’s got everything. Astronomy, physics…It incorporates almost every discipline. And I think I can do it, Daddy. I think it can be me.

            But there’s so much to learn. I have to start right away. I’ll start tonight.

            I’ll come out to the field, and I’ll watch the Perseids, and I’ll sing with you and whoever else shows up. And if it isn’t enough, and the aliens don’t come, well it doesn’t matter. I know we’ll find them eventually. I know it.

“Behind the Eight Ball” by Joseph Arnone: Helena’s monologue

In this monologue, teenager Helena talks to her friend Sally about her life’s struggles. Helena’s monologue is one of the easiest beginner monologues to memorize because it’s made up of simple, short sentences. However, Helena still clearly conveys her struggles, so the monologue maintains power and meaning.

            HELENA  

            Everything is easy for you, Sally. I don’t have parents like yours…I can’t stand my mother and my father always has no more than two nickels to rub together.

            I always feel like I’m behind the eight ball, trying to keep up with you and all the others and I’m on my own…working my stupid job, going to school, in debt, it’s all on me and some days I feel buried alive. Some days I literally don’t want to open my eyes in the morning…I’m like a zombie. I’m turned on but feel like I’m being dragged in every direction I go in and I can’t stop, not for one second because as soon as I stop it will all come crashing down on me because I don’t think I can keep going if I stop.

            I’ve always been trying to keep up and I’m losing. Everyone is getting too far ahead of me in this race and I can barely, just barely see you up ahead but any minute now, I won’t and I’ll be alone, completely alone…

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” by John Gordon, Clark Gesner, and Andrew Lippa: Lucy’s monologue

Here, Lucy Van Pelt tells her brother Linus about their friend Charlie Brown’s “Failure Face.” Her monologue is fairly short—under two minutes—but still allows actors to showcase their comedic chops, making it one of the easiest monologues for beginners to memorize. The sentences are also brief, making it suitable for young actors who prefer to memorize a bit at a time. 

            LUCY

            Now Linus, I want you to take a good look at Charlie Brown’s face. Would you please hold still a minute, Charlie Brown, I want Linus to study your face. Now, this is what you call a Failure Face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it. Study it carefully, Linus.

            You rarely see such a good example. Notice the deep lines, the dull, vacant look in the eyes. Yes, I would say this is one of the finest examples of a Failure Face that you’re liable to see for a long while.

“The American Dream” by Juan Ramirez, Jr.: Efren’s monologue 

Juan Ramirez Jr.’s one-act play “The American Dream is a two-person tale about immigration and survival. Much of Efren’s monologue is short passages, and the rest can be broken down into sections for more efficient memorization. It also lends itself well to being read aloud, making the piece easier to memorize

            EFREN

            I don’t get sleep but when I do, it’s always nightmares. I sit in a pit of an infinite amount of skulls, trying to remember their faces. I’m not scared, sad, angry or happy. Nothing makes sense and yet it doesn’t have to.

            Pain is make-believe, destiny is fulfilled and life is had. I’ve left little memory in this expiring world. What’s so great about life?

            Seriously. Happiness is a fleeting moment. Money? That’s pathetic. Our passions will never change anyone or anything. Love. We have no choice but to abandon them and they’ll return the favor.

            God. He better not exist because I’m raging a war with the others and we’ll break down those gates! And what happens when you die after you die? Maybe god’s god has something better. I got to get myself a delusion.

“The Straw” by Eugene O’Neill: Miss Gilpin’s monologue 

“The Straw” is a three-act play about two main characters who have spent time in a sanatorium. In Miss Gilpin’s monologue, she talks to Stephen about how Eileen felt toward him. This is a fairly short monologue; depending on the delivery, it can clock in at under two minutes. 

            MISS GILPIN

            She saw that you didn’t love her—- any more than you did in the days before you left. Oh, I used to watch you then. I sensed what was going on between you. I would have stopped it then out of pity for her, if I could have, if I didn’t know that any interference would only make matters worse. And then I thought that it might be only a surface affair—that after you were gone it would end for her. You’ll have to forgive me for speaking to you so boldly on a delicate subject. But, don’t you see, it’s for her sake. I love Eileen. We all do. I know how Eileen feels, Mr. Murray. Once—a long time ago—I suffered as she is suffering—from this same mistake. But I had resources to fall back upon that Eileen hasn’t got—a family who loved me and understood—friends— so I pulled through. But it spoiled my life for a long time. So, I feel that perhaps I have a right to speak for Eileen who has no one else.

“Enigma” by Floyd Dell: She’s monologue 

This dramatic monologue from “Enigma shows how the character, named simply She, grapples with her feelings for He. In the original script, He replies, albeit briefly, to She. One of the more accessible beginner monologues, it’s fairly short and can be delivered in around—or even under—two minutes, depending on how the actor delivers the piece. 

            SHE

            No—it happened to me. It didn’t happen to you. You made up your mind and walked in, with the air of a god on a holiday.

            It was I who fell—headlong, dizzy, blind. I didn’t want to love you. It was a force too strong for me. It swept me into your arms.

            I prayed against it. I had to give myself to you, even though I knew you hardly cared. I had to—for my heart was no longer in my own breast.

            It was in your hands, to do what you liked with. You could have thrown it in the dust. It pleased you not to. You put it in your pocket.

            But don’t you realize what it is to feel that another person has absolute power over you? No, for you have never felt that way. 

            You have never been utterly dependent on another person for happiness. I was utterly dependent on you. It humiliated me, angered me.

            I rebelled against it, but it was no use. You see, my dear, I was in love with you. And you were free, and your heart was your own, and nobody could hurt you.

“Better Call Saul” by Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, and Thomas Schnauz: Howard’s monologue 

In Howard’s monologue, he’s talking to Clifford Main, one of the founding partners of the law firm Davis & Main, about how he was conned by Jimmy McGill, also known as Saul Goodman. This short piece lends itself well to beginners because the episode (“Better Call Saul,” season 6, episode 7) is easily accessible via Netflix, so the actor can study how actor Patrick Fabian delivers the monologue, and use this to inform their own understanding of the character. 

            HOWARD

            I’m not crazy, and I’m not on drugs. Please come in. Now, somehow, someway that son of a bitch gave me something that dilated my pupils. I don’t know what, but it’s wearing off already.

            Look, the photos, they were wet with something. My PI, Genidowski, had to be in on it. He must have shown me one set of photos and then switched them after I left the office.

            Three weeks ago, Julie got a call from our detective agency. They wanted to update their contact info, so of course she changed the number in the system, but it turns out it wasn’t them. That was Jimmy. So, when I needed an investigator to follow Jimmy, I called his fake number and his fake man. She just dialed the old number and of course got the actual agency. And, no surprise, no one by the name of Genidowski had ever worked there.

            I hired a con man. I got played every step of the way. I know what it sounds like, but you have to believe me.

“The Destiny of Me” by Larry Kramer: Ned’s monologue

The sequel to Larry Kramer’s immensely popular “The Normal Heart,” “The Destiny of Me” is a play in three acts that tackles love, life, and loneliness. In this powerful monologue, Ned talks about his struggles and why he’s at the National Institutes of Health. Similar to the other monologues for beginners on this list, Ned’s monologue is fairly brief. Despite its short length, this piece allows the actor to showcase skills and range. As always, delivery will affect the length of the monologue; this one will generally run around two minutes. 

            NED

            What do you do when you’re dying from a disease you need not be dying from? What do you do when the only system set up to save you is a pile of sh*t run by idiots and quacks?

            What do you do when your own people won’t unite and fight together to save their own lives?

            What do you do when you’ve tried every tactic you can think of to fight back and none of them has worked and you are now not only completely destitute of new ideas but suddenly more frightened than you’ve been before that your days are finally and at last more numbered and finite and that obit in The New York Times is shortly to be yours?

            “Why, you talk yourself into believing the quack is a genius (Massages his sore ass.) and his latest vat of voodoo is a major scientific breakthrough. And you check yourself in. So, here I am.

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