Master Class

Instructor: Aaron Speiser

As artists we must seen beneath the lines of the script – beneath the real world and what people tell us. We have to make independent decisions about the world and how things truly are.

Monologue #1: A girl gets dumped by her boyfriend whom leaves her for a morbidly obese woman. Why? She wants him back. What becomes her tactics to fulfill this objective?

  • Pretend she doesn’t care because she can’t let us know that she is hurt. The fat girl isn’t a threat to her anyways.
  • Jokes are funny when we don’t see them coming. Always play the opposites. When there is love, there is hate. When there is humor there is sadness.


Monologue #2: About a guy who has a nervous breakdown

  • He yells at his wife, but it is all just rage. Just as an actor can bring rage and defense, vulnerability is incredibly interesting. We are all vulnerable and it is so important to be able to hide it yet show it.
  • Find pain not through yelling. There is a lot more than this, so always remember to play these opposites.
  • You do not make a choice to be explosive in real life, so don’t do it in acting.


What is a nervous breakdown?

  • Losing complete control and committing to it.
  • The most out of control you have ever been in your entire life while not choosing it. These breakdowns are connected to the most intense pain.


Three ways to win an academy award (and roles that A-list actors choose on purpose because they know this.)

  • Half retard (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Rainman)
  • Biography (Ray)
  • Nervous Breakdowns (Many many)


Scene #3: A scene from the play, Beyond Therapy

  • Excellent job… once you have the character down, everything else comes easily. Just listen and react. Your background work will handle the rest.


Monologue #3: About a bouncer watching a girl get raped and describing the intense pleasure he received from this experience.

  • The real question is what does the story mean to you?
  • “Was the most excited I’ve been in my life” — RED FLAG. What does he mean by this? He is a bouncer and his role is to protect yet he describes this as the most excited he has been in his entire life. The realization that he is exactly what he is supposed to be the opposite of. Learning something incredibly disturbing about oneself.
  • Objective: To confess and cleanse his soul.


Monologue #4: A scene where a girl has a fetish with sweaters that her dates wear.

  • Watching the most private moment of one’s life (she masturbates with the sweater.)
  • We say all things for a reason.


Monologue #5: A scene about a star football player and a girl who tutors him.

  • A layer of sexual tension must be added to any scene that has two young, attractive people of opposite sexes.
  • This tension is expressed through game-playing and trying to one-up the other.
  • If the audience is waiting on the one-upper, then we are done and out of the scene. We need to be on our toes with the constant back and forth verbal sparring by the characters.
  • Attraction comes through when you start playing games with each other.



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