Practice Out Loud
I’ve assembled these “Practice Out Loud” monologues, not just to provide you vocal exercises, but also to show you part of why I love acting and how fun it can be to bring words to life!
Reading out loud is part of how I warm up, develop and maintain my VO skills. I find it a great way to hone my vocal control and even expand my range of characters. Reading out loud works vocal stamina, diction, sight reading, acting and best of all, it’s fun. I always have my Kindle on hand loaded with novels, plays and poetry so I’m good to do this anywhere, anytime!
As a stage actor, I’ve never been a fan of monologues, because they don’t really seem like acting to me. They seem isolated and fake. Acting for me is about listening to another and interacting, not just one person emoting in a vacuum, staring off into space.
Acting to me implies interaction not pontification. But voice actors are called upon to perform solo pretty regularly. You deliver a lengthy paragraph, or numerous lines as you stand alone in a booth. You must not only perform your lines, but you must conjure your fellow performers in your mind as well. You must imagine seeing and feeling them reacting to you. You are alone, but you are certainly acting.
So, despite my dislike of stage monologues, I’ve come to see that performing or reading out loud alone can actually be a great way to work the muscles you need to be a voice actor.
I’ve posted below links to various readings and monologues for you to work with. I’ve drawn these from books I’ve been reading recently, as well as from movies I’ve liked and some classics from Shakespeare and others.
Don’t just read these- use them as a springboard to explore more! I also encourage you check out the original performances from the movie monologues or Shakespeare monologues to see how it’s done by the masters!
As you read these aloud, remember a voice actor is an actor–a story teller– so your reading should bring the story or scene to life, honestly and believably.
You can also use these pages to work up new characters or strengthen accents as well (e.g. I often use Shakespeare texts to work on my British accents, but you can read passages in other accents or characters). You don’t have to read it in your normal voice! Play with these and read them in any voice you choose. Remember to be specific and clear with what you are saying.
The meaning cannot suffer or be overwhelmed by your character choice, though! Character choice must serve clarity of story telling.
I hope you have fun reading these and maybe find inspiration to explore further!
Practice Readings: Literature
Practice Monologues: Movies
Practice Monologues: Shakespeare