Selecting a monologue

There's always the exception to the rule but most of the time you want an "active" monologue. One where you are not telling a past tense story but one where you are engaged in a really active moment with the other character.

I've sat in on auditions where 80% of the monologues begin with lines like "When I lived in the orphanage..." After about six hours of those monologues it's a relief when someone gets up and is actively involved in "the moment unlike any other day" where they are confront another person or defend themselves, or stand their ground, etc.

If you're asked for two contrasting monologues, having one of your monologues be a story of something that happened in your past is okay as long as it's still a compelling story or you have a compelling reason in the imaginary circumstance for bringing it up but then you definitely want the second monologue to be active.