Acting · Voice

Analyze the Text

When trying to figure out what the author meant when writing the monologue, song, or script that you have to perform, try using these natural skills:


Curiosity: ask questions.  Who what when where why (you know, the homework – ask the questions…  Past, present, future of each) I mean ask the basics.  Who are you?  Does your song give you any hint?  Who do you like?  Dislike?  What are you doing here?  What do you want?  What do you look like?  When does this take place?  When will you get what you want?  Where are you?  Where did you come from and where are you going?  Why are you here?  Why are you doing this monologue or song? 


Deductive Reasoning:  Does the song tell you who you don’t like?  Then this probably tells you something about who you are.  Does the miniature story talk about a topic, and what you think?  Then go with that as helpful hints to who you are supposed to portray.  Is your character telling the truth?  What tactics does the author give you for telling the story?  This should tell you how you operate.


Intuition:  This one is simple.  Once you’ve gone through the first two (curiosity and deductive reasoning), follow your gut.  Your instinct.  What you believe is probably going to be right.



Circle the OPERATIVE word in every line.

– The most important word in the sentence.

– Not a personal pronoun (unless you are patronizing, or selfishly defending)

– Not a conjunction (unless you are reiterating)

– Usually not the last word in the sentence (unless you are proving a point)


Then, Always Always Always, When acting, emphasize that word.  All of a sudden, it tells you how you are supposed to say the line.


The last word in the sentence goes down (in pitch, not volume), unless it’s the operative word, then the last syllable.  This will give you a neutral American sound, making it believable and easy to listen to you talk.  No matter the accent or type of sentence structure, your tone goes down at the end of a sentence, even a question. 


Everything has the urgency of life and death (if its that important to say, then it has that urgency); BUT we have to restrain ourselves because people (in real life) try not to show emotion or urgency.


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