Interview with the multi-talented, JV Mercanti

JV Mercanti is a casting director,  teacher, director.  His first book “In Performance: Contemporary Monologues Late Teens-20’s” was recently published by Applause books.  If you are a young actor, you don’t want to miss out on learning about these monologues he has compiled!


The Playbill Collector (TPC): What did you go to school for?

JV Mercanti (JVM): I went to undergrad at NYU and I double concentrated in english lit and educational theater.  My senior year I worked in a casting office at Roundabout Theatre company and that opened doors for me.

TPC: Did you ever act?

JVM: I acted until my senior year at NYU.  At that point I came to somewhat of a crossroad and chose to start directing.  Currently I am freelance directing and am heading to the University of Miami in January to direct FLOYD COLLINS.


414Og7ue+AL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_TPC: What gave you the idea for the book “In Performance”?

JVM: It fell into my lap.  My colleague at the University of Miami, Bruce Miller asked if I wanted to do it.  The book is monologues for teens to people in their 20’s.  They are all contemporary pieces.   After talking to the editors, I told them I wanted character description, questions and play synopsis  along side the monologues.  That way the actor can know about the show and build their character.


TPC: What was the thought process on picking monologues for people?

JVM: I wanted contemporary and wanted what I considered to be good pieces.  They are playwrights young actors should know and they tell good stories.  Many times actors come in and do terrible material.  I wanted to challenge the actor and change up what we hear behind the table.


TPC: Is there a follow up book?

JVM: Yes, I am working on a late 20’s to 30’s since this one was a younger audience.


TPC: What’s the normal monologue length?

JVM: Many in my book are  two minutes.  However, when casting, we know within thirty seconds if someone is an actor.  Two minutes is sometimes too long for a monologue so I’m working to find shorter pieces for my next book.


TPC: What’s the hardest part of a monologue?

JVM: You forget you are part of a bigger story.  It’s not just the only part of the play.  You are speaking an entire character of an entire journey.  You have to know the whole play and the whole character.


For more information on JV Mercanti, check out his website:

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