Here is some help on performing the monologue
"First Words" by D. M. Larson
Step 1: read the entire play the monologue is from (Flowers in the Desert) to learn more about the character of Tina:
Trying breaking the scene down in smaller parts and analyze the emotions she is feeling and explore why she might feel that way.
Below are some examples of emotions she might be feeling and thoughts going through her head.
*(Tina starts out sarcastic, making fun of something she just saw on TV. She thinks she is being funny and playful but it comes out sounding kind of mean as well)
I watch TV and see those happy families with the little baby who's takin' its first steps or saying its first word. Them folks make such a big deal out of those things. They laugh, they cry... all 'cause they love their little hairless baboon.
(Tina smiles ironically and kind of chuckles but then she pauses because the family she saw makes her sad because she never had a family like that and she is jealous)
And I sit there all that time and wonder... who was there when I took my first step? Who was there when I said my first word?
(Tina is quiet because the sadness starts to overwhelm her. She fights to bury the memory. She doesn't believe in crying. She thinks it is a sign of weakness. She is too tough for crying. She remembers to be strong. She is protected by a barrier she build and refuses to show any sadness. She goes back to her sarcastic joking)
I doubt if my first word was mama or papa. I'm sure it was four letters though.
(She chuckles a little, then sighs. She realizes that she is sad and hurting. She feels like she lost something by not having a family like everyone else. Bitterness and anger comes through now)
I don't care about them... And they don't care about me.
(She fights back tears. She tries to be tough again)
But who really cares anyway.
Step 3: Draw from you own experiences and emotions. What are times you felt the same way as her? How did you react? How would you show these emotions to others?
Step 4: Memorize, practice, perfect then perform!
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For tips on memorizing monologues, go to: http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2014/12/tips-for-memorizing-helping-actors.html