By Stephen Weir
Andre Newell doesn’t mind if you slam him. In fact the Toronto entertainment and events promoter says he has a stage you can stand on while you give him your best shot!
For the past 8-years Andre and his cousin, actress Oluniké Adeliyi, have been staging Monologue Slams here in Toronto, across Canada and in Jamaica. The pair is getting ready to present the final Slam of 2019 and they promise the December 1st event is going to be the Grandest Slam of them all. The evening Monologue Slam Canada Finale will be held at the Bad Dog Theatre. (875 Bloor St West).
“A Monologue Slam is an acting competition where actors perform on stage in front of a panel of experts, who provide feedback and select a winner, with the audience watching on (and voting too) ” explained Newell. “ The essence of the event is to give actors a space to play, let them work on their material and build a stronger entertainment industry.”
Each and every month, the hottest up-and-coming actors get on stage to deliver 3 minutes performances of their choice. Some choose scenes from movies, others from plays and TV shows. It is up to them.
Judged by an expert panel of the industry’s top agents, teachers, directors, casting directors, producers and actors, the field of 12 competitors is whittled down to three who are then brought back after intermission for the final round. The winner receives $100 cash, prizes and the honour of defending their title at the next slam. At the end of the year the monthly winners are brought back for the Finale.
“We had heard about Slams being held in other countries and thought we could do it here”, Andre Newell told the Camera. “We started small – in a Toronto Church with a youth group – since then it has taken off. We have grown and taken the show downtown! We are now Canada wide, with our Slams taking place in Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver too.”
“We have had some big names take part in the Slams,” he continued, “and our TIFF Slam is one of the hottest tickets of the year. Because our judges are an integral part of the TV and movie industry; actors like to come out and show their stuff to people that can help their career.”
For the final event the judges are actors Shakier Anderson and his brother, Golden Globe nominee Stephan James. There are 12 contestants including film actor Emidio Lopes (Age of the Living Dead (2018), Heart Strings (2019), and Silent (2019).