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New Web Series Showcases Actors Of Color Performing Monologues From Oscar Films

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 6, 2013 1:12 PM
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From creator/director/producer Masha Dowelland producers Nicolle M. Whalen, and Ashunda Norris, comes a new web series, titled Oscar Watch Us

Oscar Watch Us is a weekly series that showcases 10 actors of color as they perform monologues from the 2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences best actor/actress nominee/winner list. The mission of the project, according to the Dowell, is to "allow the world to see that casting should be classless, race-less, and fun."

Featured talent includes: Andrew Tyree, Scott Williams, Kareem Ferguson, Rachae Thomas, Renee-Marie Brewster, Tobie Windham, Jon Gentry, Masha Dowell, Donzaleigh Abernathy, and Faith Imafidon

Hosting the series are Yazmin Monet Watkins and Chidi Ajufo.

In the current episode - episode 2, actor, poet Andrew Tyree performs a sequence from Les Misérables.

More about Tyree:

He is the youngest person and the only African American to tour with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and to receive a scholarship to the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music. He was the 2004 Slam Bush Champion, the 2005 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion, ranked 12th in the 2005 Individual World Poetry Championships and 6th at the 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam. Also appearing on HBO'S Def Poetry Jam, his titles include the 2009 Slam Charlotte Grand Slam Champion and member of the 2009 Slam Charlotte Team. He's currently touring with FIVOLOGY as they open up for Grammy award winning singer Jill Scott. 

You can learn more about Oscar Watch Us at:

Watch Tyree perform below:

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  • CT | August 6, 2013 8:44 PMReply

    Good concept, but all the deference to the Academy dont make any sense and the production is all wrong, lose the host, couldnt hear a thing and camear angle didnt work for me. Fair try but this thing needs better production or better producers to really stand strong as a series otherwise its just an actors showreel series and for me that aint gonna get a big audience. Just saying..

  • CC | August 6, 2013 3:56 PMReply

    Great idea but I have to agree with nun, move out of the way and let the actors shine.

    On another note, this concept reminded me of Twinkie Byrd's Monologue Slam.

    "The 2013 Hollywood Black Film Festival and Twinkie’s Monologue Slam is looking to give actors the chance to get in front of the entertainment industry’s top casting directors, agents, producers, and celebrity judges to showcase their talents. The Monologue Slam which is described as an uninterrupted speech by one actor in a play or movie, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast program."

    Now, going back to Masha's production and Andrew Tyree's performance, I am again reminded of something Twinkie said, "[submit] a two minute or less video submission of a monologue from a film that is "your type". Well, watching Andrew's sequence from Les Misérables, I understand her concerns.

  • nun | August 6, 2013 3:29 PMReply

    Neat idea. But dude, an entire third of the clip is opening credits, pomp and circumstance. A suggestion - ditch the opening sequence and go right into the monologue. Nobody needs a host. Get us in, get us out, and if the monologue is great people will stick around for the end credits to see who created this masterpiece. Pleasantries.

  • PhredG | August 6, 2013 7:44 PM

    I agree, SHORTEN THE OPENING CREDS! Perhaps a quick montage with a slow dissolve to 'this show's artist' or something like it. A 'This is a series featuring ten actors each doing a monologue…' could be said over the music. A host may be optional. I DO appreciate the Chidi LOOKED DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA. Not off the the right/left/top/bottom where the teleprompter is.

  • Micheal | August 6, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    Great concept.

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