By: Stacy M. Brown / NNPA
Amerrah Garrison, also known as A.G. Oktoberose, has won Char’Actors Michigan’s Great “AGON” Ultimate Monologue Slam.
A performance or competition known as a “Monologue Slam” is quite comparable to the more well-known “Poetry Slam.”
In this version, however, actors gather, and each perform their own prepared monologue.
The event, which took place during Black History Month in Detroit, brought together actors, comedians, and poets to compete in front of a critical audience.
Despite being her first time participating in a monologue slam, Garrison emerged victorious.
In an interview with NNPA Newswire, the Detroit native talked about her excitement, saying, “It was my first monologue slam, and I was very nervous and anxious. But it was the best of Michigan.”
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Garrison had to dig deep into her feelings to prepare for the competition so she could play a pregnant young woman with HIV.
“I was wrapped in emotion,” the excited thespian exclaimed.
“I had to portray a pregnant young woman who contracted HIV and whose husband had died.
It was intense. To prepare for my monologue, I researched all I could on living with HIV and AIDS. In the end, I learned so much, and I know that’s what really helped me.”
Her intense performance impressed the judges, earning her the coveted title of winner.
Garrison, who is also an actress, model, writer, and singer, has over 15 years of experience in the industry.
She is an inducted member of the International Thespian Society and a former MIFA Forensic theatre league regional champion.
Additionally, she has graced several runways and stages across Michigan, earning recognition as a published model and stylist in The Native Detroiter, Walk Magazine, Metro Mix, and Malvie Noir France.
In an interview after the event, Garrison credited her coach and mentor, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, for pushing her to the next level.
She posted a monologue on Instagram for critique, and he saw it.
He congratulated her and said, “Yes, you can act, now let me show you how to take it to the next level.”
Mahmud-Bey invited her to his class, and everything changed.
She said she learned to look at scripts differently and can now tell if someone is acting or if they’re committed to the role.
“Shiek brings out that rawness. He pushed me from the day I met him,” Garrison asserted.
Garrison’s passion for acting has been with her since childhood.
She said, “I grew up doing theater but started taking it seriously in high school. It was always a creative process.
“You see films and act them out. I read books like Swiss Family Robinson as a 10-year-old and tried to act them out and have my siblings join,” she noted.
“Actually,” Garrison added, “this was a way to have a career and not get in trouble for it. This is what I want to do.”
Mahmud-Bey said Garrison’s win at the monologue slam is a testament to her talent and hard work.
He said that her commitment to her craft and her desire to give her characters depth and emotion would help her stand out in the business.
“I’ve always been fascinated with people stories,” Garrison insisted.
“I always seek to find what’s beneath the surface with people. There is no dream role, I like to work, but people inspire me.”