It was an amazing weekend over at the Comfort Inn with amazing talent from both actors and poets alike. Hosted by JP Rapozo, and co-coordinated with Vanessa Velasco, the two enlisted the help of fellow HMTC staff, board, and volunteers to make this event happen. Three judges were pre-selected, an English instructor from Hanford West High School, a veteran actor, and a local filmmaker; the other two judges: two lucky audience members. The competition was influenced by typical poetry slams with a twist addition of acting performances rather than just pure poetry. Any performer could use their stage however they wanted, and they certainly did!
This passed Saturday, 21 performers took the stage to see who would win the grand prize and claim the title as the 2nd Hanford Monologue Slam Champion. The theme, Actors vs Poets, was inspired by the entrance of several poets who took the stage last year at the first slam competition. These two, Michael Jasso and Brooke Mateus, returned once again, with Jasso attempting to defend his spot has top 3 performers of the slam. There were other returning performers, like Mickey Adams who placed 4th at last year's slam, while the rest of the performers were new to the stage.
The competition heated up, starting from a performance by Cory Janca, a young fellow who represented the Creative Center and performed an original poem with the help of the co-coordinator, JP Rapozo. Performances continued to fire up as actors and poets took the stage. Several of them sassy, like the acting performance by Micheal Barker, who performed a piece from the "Torch Song Trilogy" by Harvey Fierstein. Dragged up and ready to show up, it was a tough competition. Sharing the stage, each performer battled their hearts out but one took the grand prize and won the hearts of the audience while one team won overall! Here are the winners:
Congratulations to our top 5:
1st Place: Elisabeth Vela (Actor); Original Monologue, "Sincerely Unproductive"
2nd Place: Adrian Hughes (Actor); Film Monologue, "Denzel Washington's Rendition", Malcom X
3rd Place: Jay Noel (Jacqueline White) (Poet); Original Poem
4th Place: Brooke Mateus (Poet); Original Poem
5th Place: Omar Pimentel (Actor); Film Monologue, Edge of Seventeen
It was a tough battle between the teams overall, with team poets barely winning by a few decimals! Elisabeth Vela, the 2nd Hanford Monologue Slam Champion, was in complete and utter shock upon hearing that she took 1st prize. It was a tough battle, with the audience breaking the tying score between her and Adrian Hughes. Elisabeth had this to say, "Guys, I took the bread!"
HMTC would like to thank our performers, judges, volunteers, coordinators, and supporters! We hope that those of you who attended our performance-based fundraiser enjoyed and look forward to the next Hanford Monologue Slam!