Alisha Gaddis, author of both Women’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny and Men’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny, was recently interviewed by Rebecca Strassberg of Backstage.com!
“You have an audition. One where you are supposed to be funny. Really funny. They want you to actually make them laugh…in an audition,” writes Alisha Gaddis in the introduction to her book Women’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny.
“But you have to have a comedic monologue, and if you see another person do that tuna fish one one more time, you may gouge y
our eyes out! And wedon’t want that. You need your eyes to see the standing ovation that you will get once you snag the job that one of these monologues helps you land.”And with the help of Applause Theatre & Cinema Books and Hal Leonard, humorist, writer, and performer Gaddis is just beginning to deliver on that promise.
A go-getter by nature, the Indiana native currently stars with her husband on the PBS show “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too”—the music for which won the duo a Latin Grammy—and has been doing standup comedy since her days at NYU. She has acted on and Off-Broadway and has a long list of credits on TV shows, including “Mad Men,” “House,” and others. But Gaddis says she’s always been writing, and she started weekly magazine Say Something Funny…B*tch in 2010.
In conjunction with the magazine, its writers put on Say Something Funny…B*tch live shows until Gaddis saw yet another opportunity.
“Only a select number of people were hearing the words at the shows, and I thought these could really be funny monologues,” she says. “So I wrote the pitch in the middle of the night and sent it to my literary agent.”
Leonard and Applause “thought they were really fresh, really funny, and really current,” she explains.
Since the book’s publication, five more in the series have been ordered, including collections for men and teen boys (both coming in July), teen girls (currently being edited), kids (set for 2016), and the one Gaddis is most excited about: an LGBT version.
“There’s not anything like that right now out there, and I’m, like, ‘Come on, let’s be strong for our community!’
“It’s going to be more all-encompassing, so it’ll be all different ages, different categories,” she adds. “I’m working with one of my friends, the president of Swish [Ally Fund], and he’s going to help me guide it and make sure everything’s sussed out properly.”
With over 60 monologues in each book, Gaddis is establishing a monologue empire—the success of which was unanticipated.
Read the rest of the interview here.
It’s Monologue Monday! This will be the final monologue in our Monologue Monday series from this event. We hope you’ve enjoyed the various monologues featured!
Marla Del Collins performed a monologue at the Applause Books’ Best Monologues Anthology Launch at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe! In the video below, Collins performs her monologue from “The Lovers and Others of Eugene O’Neill.” Check it out!
It’s Monologue Monday!
Annapurna Sriram performed a monologue at the Applause Books’ Best Monologues Anthology Launch at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe! In the video below, Sriram performs a monologue from “Beautiful American Soldier” by Dano Madden. Check it out!
It’s Monologue Monday!
Karen Grenke performed a monologue at the Applause Books’ Best Monologues Anthology Launch at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe! In the video below, Grenke performs a monologue from “The Last Artist in New York City” by Polly Frost and Ray Sawhill. Check it out!
It’s Monologue Monday!
Dee Nelson performed a monologue at the Applause Books’ Best Monologues Anthology Launch at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe! In the video below, Nelson performs a monologue from “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Paul Kuritz. Check it out!
For more than 30 years, Lawrence Harbison (Brooklyn, NY) was in charge of new play acquisition for Samuel French, Inc. He is a now a freelance editor for Smith and Kraus, Inc., for whom he edits annual anthologies of best plays by new playwrights, best ten-minute plays, and best monologues for men and for women, and for Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, for whom he has edited two anthologies of monologues, Best Contemporary Monologues for Men 18–35 and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18–35.
His column “On the Aisle with Larry” is a regular feature at http://www.smithandkraus.com. Harbison was a member of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee for the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 seasons and is a member of the Outer Critics Circle as well as the Drama Desk. He works with individual playwrights to help them develop their plays (see his website: http://www.playfixer.com).
Harbison comments on his experience with helping actors work on their monologues:
“ When I worked at Samuel French, actors would troupe in to our bookstore all day long, looking for monologues and scenes. Often, they’d ask for me, because the word was out that I was glad to help them and knew just about every play ever written. Sometimes they would do the monologues they had in their arsenal and ask me to comment on them. Often, their monologues were stories. The action in them was to relate something that happened in the past. This is what I would say to them:
Would you agree that an audition is a chance to demonstrate your skill for the job? (YES) Are you hoping to get work as a narrator? (NO) Then why would you go into an audition and tell a story? An actor enacts a present tense action; a narrator tells a story about something which happened in the past. I think that the best monologues are, in essence, very short scenes. Only one character is speaking but it’s clear who he’s talking to, enabling the actor to provide some semblance of conflict – which is the essence of the drama. Storytelling. The best monologues are mini-plays, with onstage action, onstage conflict and a beginning, middle and end.”
It’s a whole new week, which means we have a brand new video for Women’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny! Here is Jessica Glassberg reminiscing about the traumatic days of adolescence in her monologue “Always Awkward.”
To see more from Jessica, check out her website.
And don’t forget to follow her on twitter!
Another video of another funny lady! Here is Carla Cackowski, whose monologue “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” can be found in Women’s Comedic Monologues (available now!).
Carla also answered some questions about the book, and why she thinks it will be such an important resource for actresses and comedians:
Q:What makes something funny?
A: Patterns, particulars, and pratfalls. And alliteration.
Q: Write a bit about why you think actors NEED this book.
A: Every actor needs this because “funny” monologue books featuring the likes of O’Neill, Strindberg, and Shaw does not a balanced bookshelf make.
See more from Carla on her website.