ACTING 103 ASSIGNMENT – SIX CHARACTERS SAYING ONE MONOLOGUE

Your assignment for this week is to memorize the short monologue at the bottom of this page

Memorize it so thoroughly that you can perform it as a speed-through. Then practice saying it as each of the characters described below might say it. We’ll perform it as the different characters in class.

The monologue:

“He kept screwing up. I mean, he’d call up a client, and be really nice at first, then start yelling at them.  I was like, “You can’t do that,  Joe.” He was like, “I’ll get better. I promise.”  Then he’d do it again.” (beat) I fired him, finally. He was crying. Begging me not to let him go. I said no. I said, “Clear out your desk and turn in your key on the way out.”

The scenario is: You’re the manager of a local office. You fired an employee (Joe). You’re explaining the reason for the firing to the regional manager (your boss).

At the beginning of the scene,  you’ll walk into the room in character; sit down in character; then tell the story as the character would tell it. Don’t only learn the words, but practice walking, sitting and gesturing as the different characters.

Pay attention to your posture, tone of voice, emotional energy, facial expressions, and other elements that go into finding and creating different characters. When you’ve practiced it a few times, try filming yourself playing the different roles and playing it back when you’re practicing, to get an idea of how to improve it.

THE CHARACTERS:

CHARACTER 1: COMPASSIONATE; SYMPATHETIC. You feel sorry for the man who was fired. You hated firing him but felt you had no choice.

CHARACTER 2: ARROGANT. Your character is arrogant and has no empathy.  From your point of view, the guy you fired was an idiot. It was fun firing him. You actually think it’s kind of funny. Doesn’t everybody?

CHARACTER 3: NERVOUS TYPE. You have a lot of nervous energy. You’re afraid you might be fired yourself, if your boss doesn’t understand why you fired Joe.

CHARACTER 4: LAID BACK – STONER. You’re high on weed. It’s all kind of hazy. You remember firing Joe, but don’t quite remember why. But it’s coming back to you as you talk.

CHARACTER 5: SUPERIOR AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS. Your character always obeys the rules, and thinks everyone should. “The world would be better if we all just did as we’re told.” It’s obvious (from your POV) why you should have fired Joe. You’re a little irritated at having to explain.

CHARACTER 6: ONE OF YOUR OWN. For character 6, choose a character of your own. (It could be one of the ones you came up with in the second class meeting). Perform the monologue as that character would.