Today I wrote out the monologue and read it aloud several times to find the beats, or the rhythm to the piece.
My approach to analyzing a text is to start with where I naturally need to take a breath when I’m reading the text aloud. Then I group the lines together based on if the thoughts are associated.
After I find the breaks I can start to visually gather together the little stories within a story. Well written pieces are comprised of these little vignettes that are woven together to give the audience the bigger picture of what happened to the character. Finding and grouping the little stories together helps to build the logic of why the character presents the information in this particular way. It also becomes essential when I start to memorize the text so that its not just a wall of words. Instead it will be a set of neatly connected story points.
Along the way, I start a list of questions I want to ask this character, things that are not covered by what she is saying in the text but specifics that will be important for me to decide as details so that I’m presenting a whole character.
This is just my approach, it works for me. Actors have all sorts of unique ways to look at a text for character development. Much more work to do – for now the breakdown is done!