Quirky Books: Woman by Susan Pomerance

Monday, March 29, 2010

Woman by Susan Pomerance

This collection of ten monologues for women written in 1988 is full of variety. The full title is, "Woman: Monologues for actresses (Ten One-Act Scenes)." The premise one act scenes with a beginning, middle and end of a story will showcase an actress' talent better than attempting to convey diversity of emotion in a pivotal moment.

Susan Pomerance wrote several books of monologues for teens and women. Each monologue is exceptionally diverse. Whether comedic, dramatic, parental or single a monologue is easily crafted into a moving performance based on creativity. The premises of some monologues are very specific, such as: youthful vixen or athletic woman and I even found a couple one scene acts for me.

One problem is for any given person only one monologue will be beneficial. A monologue featuring Doris entitled "Expectations" is slightly sexual. I imagine it would be better for a younger, college-age, sexy woman. Another entitled "Sweat" ends with the actress revealing they are a fitness instructor. A person would have to be in wonderful shape, if not a bodybuilder to make this part believable.

Regardless, I found "Letting Go," and "a Shirtsleeve Self-Starter" to be identifiable and workable within my age range. As for the intent of the monologue considering I prefer science fiction, horror or comedy, it will take a lot of practice to convey the desired emotion to receive a positive reaction.

Monologues are great. Even if never performing them in front of an audience learning how to interpret a script, memorize lines and convey personality without appearing to be acting is a skill. Practice makes it easier to pick up a script and go into a scene seamlessly. This is what directors want to see. They want to see a finished product, because film costs money. They should be able to get the final cut within five shots, preferably one.

I recommend the book to female actresses. It is orientated to a limited audience; therefore, it is intriguing to a limited number of people unless everyone took women studies. One tip for actors and actresses; avoid sounding like a metronome. People don't say one word every second. Speed it up, slow it down and take a creative pause once in awhile. Acting is best when it isn't noticeable.

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