Technique: Inner Monologues

Instructor: Susan Rumor

You know you’re in your head when you feel like you’re watching yourself act. Then you are not truly in the moment.


  • You’re either there or not there
  • Think about specific thoughts and the more specific the better. This is different from normal thinking because you are preoccupied with something.
  • You are so preoccupied with something that you are not thinking about other shit. Just thinking to yourself.
  • The simpler the better.

What is a good time for an inner monologue?

  • When you’re alone.
  • When you’re in a scene, and someone is talking to you.
  • Really be thinking and make it natural and real. Our thoughts are often a roller-coaster.
  • Be sure to know your inner monologue before you enter the set!


  • The meaning beneath your words. In life, people ask us how we are, and we say, “Good”. Does this really mean we are doing well? Or does how we say it and our body language demonstrate how we really feel. It is the same in a script. When you are reading dialogue and it says, “I’m doing well” but given your previous circumstances you can’t just assume that you are actually ‘doing well’. That is up to your interpretation.
  • In another example, we often say something nice to someone,  but it isn’t too difficult to detect the true meaning beneath the words. Don’t fall for this in a script either.

The Power of Helplessness

  • Never play a mood. You cannot go into a scene saying, I’m going to be sad now. Do you do that in real life? It isn’t real. In fact, when we are sad or depressed we try even harder to surpress these feelings and pretend that everything is OK. However, what happens when we do this close to someone that knows us well? They aren’t fooled…they detect the subtext immediately.
  • Be in the moment, and let thoughts affect us.

Tension & Nervousness

  • It blocks our thoughts and is our enemy.
  • Let things affect you.
  • Don’t think of too many things. Instead in your inner monologue, let it be specific and repeat the same things over and over again. The more specific thoughts the more specific the behavior.
  • Example: Recap the first time you lost your virginity –> What should the inner monologue be? You should be thinking very specifically — where you were, what you felt, recreating even the specific music that was playing (for me it was a Justin Timberlake album). The more specific the better because the audience can see your inner monologue.



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