Stop the audition panel in their tracks
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
5M ago
Right from the start of your self-tape   Do you know how to start your self-tape off with a bang?  Do you find it easy to drop straight into the action, even when you have to achieve a big emotion, or do you find yourself ‘warming up’ over the course of your monologue or scene?   I’ve heard so many coaches talk about finding a monologue or scene that has a powerful start, so you can win over the panel from your very first word of your self tape. But the truth is - most monologues and scenes have the potential for a strong start, and what is usually going wrong is to do with the ..read more
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The Best Books on Acting Shakespeare
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
1y ago
When I was nine, I told my mum that I’d been hiding a terrible secret. I was truly wracked with guilt. When I finally mustered up the nerve to tell her, I sobbed my way through the confession: “I’ve been - SOB - reading - SOB - in the dark!” SOB SOB SOB. Yes, my unforgivable transgression was that I had been creeping up to the edge of my bed each night after bed time, where a little crack of light came through from the hallway, and reading Alice in Wonderland. I truly was a terrible child. In all seriousness, I’ve always loved books, and my love of books has helped me learn a lot about Shakesp ..read more
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An Actor’s Guide to Antony’s “If you have tears” monologue
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
The Monologue “If you have tears, prepare to shed them now” - Mark Antony, Act 3, Scene 2. This monologue, from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, is a great alternative to the better-known (ahem - OVERDONE) monologue from the same scene, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”. In it, Mark Antony inspires the Roman public to revenge Caesar’s death by showing them the stab wounds on Caesar’s body and reminding them of all the wonderful things Caesar did for them, and how much Brutus (one of his assassins) loved him. It has some stirring (and slightly manipulative) rhetoric and imagery. The ..read more
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An Actor’s Guide to Prince Hal “Do not think so”
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
The Monologue From Act 3, Scene 2 of Henry IV Part 1, this is Prince Hal/Harry’s “Do not think so, you shall not find it so”. The Character Prince Hal is the son of King Henry IV. His name is actually Henry (Hal is a nickname) and in the next play he becomes King Henry V, after his father dies. You will also see him referred to as Harry (another nickname), and as the Prince of Wales, which is his official title. Occasionally he is referred to as Harry Monmouth. Monmouth is his family name. Hal is kind of the main character of the play. He’s an interesting character, because he’s not always lik ..read more
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Should the audience be able to HEAR iambic pentameter?
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
I had such a wonderful question on my YouTube channel a while back. The question was, in essence. “Should the audience be able to hear iambic pentameter when it’s being performed?” This is a great question to dive into as actors, because it’s linked to a big myth around acting Shakespeare: that we need to “do the iambic pentameter”. Some actors, when they first start with Shakespeare, think they need to make the words SOUND like iambic pentameter. They might have heard that iambic pentameter sounds something like this: dee DUM dee DUM dee DUM dee DUM dee DUM. (That’s the five beats, with a lig ..read more
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 Fantastic Editions and Where to Find Them
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
One of the many things I love to wax lyrical about when it comes to preparing a monologue is getting a decent edition of the play to work from! There is absolutely no point working your butt off on figuring out beats and characterisation if you’ve completely misinterpreted the text. Finding an annotated edition of the play (one with footnotes or end notes explaining the meaning of words and phrases) will prevent misunderstandings. So, which edition should you choose? There are so many! Here’s my detailed rundown on the pros and cons of the most popular editions. Arden Shakespeare. My favourit ..read more
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Tips for performing 1 minute Shakespeare monologues
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
You’d think a one minute monologue would be easier than performing a long monologue, right? Wrong! Apart from the fact that it’s a little less work to understand what it means and memorise your lines, a short monologue is actually trickier to nail than a long one. The reason is that with a  one minute monologue, you need to showcase your abilities and range in very short space of time.     For a one minute monologue, I recommend setting yourself two main goals: Variety. In a short monologue, it’s common for actors to get stuck in one emotion, which does nothing to showcase y ..read more
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Nailing your drama school interview
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
I recently helped a coaching client prepare for her drama school interview. I was gobsmacked by how well prepared she was. I actually said to her, “Marie (not her real name), they would be silly not to take you”. Did she get in? Of course! Actor friend, you want this. You want to be so well prepared for your interview that your answers leave no trace of doubt in the panellists’ minds that YOU SHOULD BE AT THEIR SCHOOL. And the good news is, it’s actually quite simple to do! To prepare, you will need to put a little bit time into research and a bit into formulating your answers. It doesn’t h ..read more
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Where to watch Shakespeare online
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
We are so lucky to have access to a number of good quality theatre productions that have been captured live and shared online. Here are some of the places that you might find a professional version. Marquee TV. This platform has a yearly subscription model that includes most of the productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company, which are my go-to when it comes to current Shakespeare. Occasionally they have sales that make a yearly subscription more affordable than a year of Netflix! The only downside of Marquee TV is that they don’t currently offer single-purchase options if you only want t ..read more
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3 Quick Tips for Handling Shakespeare’s Language
Shakespeare with Sarah
by Sarah Guillot
2y ago
Actors, if you want to get better at acting Shakespeare’s language QUICKLY, here are three things you can do to up-level your verse-speaking in a big way. Watch for repetition! This is such a simple thing that really can help you understand which words and sounds Shakespeare wanted you to highlight. Sometimes it’s as obvious as alliteration or assonance (the repetition of consonants or vowels - e.g. “such a Wagoner as Phaeton Would Whip you to the West”), but sometimes it’s clusters of sounds. I like to encourage my clients to look for clusters of hard consonants (b, p, t, d, etc) or long v ..read more
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