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Chicago Actress Is TNT’s Dramatic Winner

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 10, 2006 4:08PM

As were were going through our Tivo’ed episodes of Law and Order last week, we noticed that TNT had found a winner in its “Dramatic Auditions” contest: Chicago stage actress Monifa Days.

2006_01_monif.jpgTNT’s “Dramatic Auditions” contest is a nationwide casting call to find the country’s best aspiring actors. It’s also a way for TNT to promote itself as “the first and only network dedicated to drama.” The description seems apropos considering they broadcast NYPD Blue and ER, but tenuous when you consider they also show Las Vegas and Charmed and downright dunderheaded when an announcer intones “Coming up on TNT…the drama of NASCAR!”. Auditionees were asked to read a monologue from one of TNT’s New Classics, including Jerry Maguire, The Matrix, and The American President.

Days is no Jenny-come-lately. She’s been a Chicago actress of some reknown for the past few years as a member of the Congo Square Theatre Company. The Tribune singled out her performance in Toni Morrison’s “Layla’s Dream” for particular praise noting that she “has dramatic instincts heading all the right ways, in the direction of quiet revelation and vivid introspection.” Also? Get a load of the guns on her in the audition! (video file) We’ve got nothing but great things to say about Monifa as we’re pretty sure she could kick our ass.

Days will receive $50,000 cash, a furnished L.A. apartment for one year, a year-long car lease, acting classes, and a publicist. She’ll also document her attempts to break into the biz in a video diary posted to TNT’s website.