Shy Magazine

Top Models

From DMV to NYC – Monique Pridgeon’s Journey to Pursuing Her Dreams

Monique |
Photos: Cover -Beverli Alford // Portfolio - Beverli Alford, Annette Navarro, Roy Cox |
In March of 2007, Monique Pridgeon decided to leave her regular 9 to 5 job and pursue her dream to become an actress and model.

| by Lucy Coutinho | Dec. 09 |

This has been a passion that has never escaped her and she always knew who she was intended to become. Although most of her time is spent in New York, Maryland is where she calls home. Find out why her story will motivate, encourage, and inspire one’s journey.

SHY: You have done what most people are afraid to do-step out of your comfort zone and pursue your dreams. Were you ever afraid to do so?

Monique: No.  That’s not to say fear hasn’t crept up on me at times, but my faith in God has sustained me through those moments.  ‘How am I going to pay the mortgage? Will I succeed?’ I pray and meditate, and I always receive peace and re-assurance, so I shake those moments and keep moving.
 SHY: What were the risk factors for you? 
Monique: The only risk for me was not to do it.
SHY: Were people encouraging and supportive of your decision?

Monique: Yes, everyone! Friends, family, and even strangers. It was like they were relieved I made the decision to quit my job and really take being a model seriously.  My dad was like,  ‘About time! Now you can really do this!’   The support has been amazing and has also helped me to keep going.

Monique Pridgeon |
Monique Pridgeon |

SHY: Describe yourself both professionally and personally?

Monique: I am ambitious, passionate, aggressive, honest, hard working and a team player, just to name a few, but certainly not perfect. Each day I try to be a better person to myself, my family and friends–to people period!
SHY: How do you deal with rejection and handle the competition?

Monique: Dealing with rejection used to be a little hard when I first started.  But eventually, I realized that clients already know what they are looking for when setting up castings or auditions. Maybe you aren’t as tall as they would like, or your hair isn’t as long, or your skin tone isn’t quite what they want. It can be disappointing but that’s the reality.  It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough or have what it takes.

For me, I don’t look at other models/actors as competition.  I feel if a job is meant for me, then it will be. Until then, I continue to work on my craft.  I keep shooting, updating my portfolio, taking acting classes, and surrounding myself with people who are just as ambitious as I am. 
SHY: What inspires you in life and in your career?

Monique: Faith in knowing that no matter the challenges or obstacles that cross my path, that I can do whatever I put my mind to. ?  

SHY: What have been your greatest accomplishments to date?
Monique: That I’ve been able to continue to provide for myself doing what I love.
SHY: Where do you see your career taking you and where would you want it to take you?

Monique: It has already taken me to another level spiritually. You have to be grounded, persistent and un-wavering, almost extraordinary to pursue a dream and stick with it. I feel I can conquer anything. My actor friends that do films and sitcoms seem to think I should go that route as well. I’m not totally there yet. I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism so that has paved the way for hosting and interviewing positions. So I’d like to do more of that under the entertainment or sports realm such as Entertainment Tonight or Sports Center. ‘Go SKINS!’ ??Additionally, I have a consulting company. I assist clients with image challenges, helping them with personal shopping, styling for shoots, personal fitness and how to start a career in modeling or acting. ?  

SHY: What type of modeling do you do?

Monique: I do print ads, beauty, editorial, promotional, showroom and commercials.
SHY: What advice would you give to those that are also trying to realize their dreams?

Monique: Be passionate. If not, you won’t get through the tough times. Everyone has different talents but there may be one that really captures your heart and may seem like the most difficult to win. It’s not hard to start your journey. You just have to do it. The only thing that keeps you from fulfilling your dreams is, you!
SHY: How have you not allowed your age to play a factor in your success?

Monique: It just doesn’t. I don’t think about it at all. It helps that I get complimented enough that I don’t look my age either (chuckling). If you put limits on yourself because of your age, race, height, or whatever your hang up is, you might as well lock yourself in a closet! Learn how you can maintain longevity. Good genes coupled with working out, eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, along with the grace of God, has helped me to do pretty good for myself!

I want to thank all my family and friends for their continued support that makes this journey all well worth it. And to all my peeps in New York that have looked out on a regular basis, I love you guys. ??

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33 replies on “From DMV to NYC – Monique Pridgeon’s Journey to Pursuing Her Dreams”

You are so “beautiful”. I’m glad that you and jess are still friends.  “I made a big mistake!” You know what i mean? You better not ever give up! It was good to c u in b’more

Since I too am in the acting/modeling business I feel I am uniquely qualified to say that I have never met a harder working, more determined and talented woman than Monique. Having worked with her I can tell you that Monique defines the “It” factor with every fiber of her being. Monique is beautiful both inside and out and I know that she will succeed. I wish her all the best.

James Lewis

I read this article and though to myself, I went to high school with you. Then when I read the reply from Jessica, I knew it was you. I asked my father did he remember your father and he said the police officer. Congrats to you girl, I wish your nothing but the best of luck! Buffy

Great article! Having worked with Monique, I can attest to her professional hard-working approach to her craft and the photos speak for themselves. Keep pushing and great things are ahead for you. All the best to you.

Mo, I’m so proud of you for going after and sticking to your dream. If we don’t have dreams, we don’t have anything, and you have it all, because you are pursuing yours. I can only imagine that the best is yet to come for you. Keep up the good work. Much love, peace & blessings.

The article was great,as I always say,”Keep it Going”,push yourself to the highest level,you look so beautiful!

I am so proud of Monique!!! She is so beautiful inside and out! May God continue to bless her in all that she does. Love, Keeon

Nikki, I have been so proud of you for many years. I love your self confidence, ambition and determination to make your dreams a reality. Keep on keeping on!! Love you…

Hey everyone..That is my mom(Lucy Coutinho)
She inspires me to write everyday with her articles…I am only 11 years old and I already won 2 poetry contests and 5 writing contests!!
7 Contests in all!!
I love the article!!
Keeep it up Monique!!!

Mo…having been BF’s since 9th grade and to see you on the cover of a magazine pursuing your DREAM is AWESOME…I get teary eyed and everything!!! You are a role model to your peers and I am sooooo honored to know you! You are a beautiful person on the inside and on the outside!

I went on like two go sees with her dis stuff is HARD…but..WELL WORTH IT!

Love you so much,
Jessica :o)

Inspiring Article! I met Monique at a casting and she had a very positive attitude , and a wonderful spirit that she seems to share with others! This is what I believe you need to achieve your dreams! Keep that fantastic attitude and spirit Monique; and keep inspiring others!

Monique is a true beauty – on the inside and out. I am happy that you are stepping out on faith and using everything God gave you in which to do so. Capricorns rule!!!! See you in the winner’s circle!

Monique, Happy New Year! I am glad to hear that you are doing well and doing your thing! Keep up the good work!

CONGRATULATIONS MO-NEEE!!! I’m ultra-inspired right now and hope that 2010 will hold something like this in store for me! I’m so glad to have someone so inspiring and fun in my life. Whenever I have doubts, I will most definitely pull out this article girl. You’re an inspiration. muah!

Monique – I am so proud of you and reading this article reminds me of when we first met many years ago. I knew there was some reason we were meant to be friends and I remember hearing you speak of your dream of being a model. It is great to see you doing your thing.

So so proud of you!!! No one works harder and has a better outlook on life. Monique is the best and so very deserving of all her accomplishments!!!

Monique, I am so proud of you, to have watched you grow over the years it is amazing how far you have come, never letting anyone, or anything keep you from pursuing you dreams. God bless you in all your future endeavours. Love You!

Monique, more than being proud of you, I’m happy for you.  I’m happy you had the guts to leave your job to follow your dreams, and that things are going so well.  Also, the faith and spirituality that you’ve shown throughout this process is inspiring and encouraging.  When the going gets tough, you don’t let it get you down.  You are intelligent enough to know that, no one else can get what is meant for you. Keep it up!!  I know there is more, bigger and better in store for you.

I know Monique Professionally–she has taken our business way past expectations not just because of her beauty–but her grace, professionalism, strong spirit, sharp mind and your faith! Thanks for being a part of my team and I only see bigger and better opportunities for you in 2010!

Monique, I”m so proud of you. Praying that 2010 brings your more than you ever imagined….NATALIAAAAAAA! Luv U!

What a wonderful article!!! Reading it gave me even more respect and admiration for you for doing what a lot of people are afraid to do. You know you have my support & I know great things will continue to happen to you!!! Luv ya!

Keep doing your thing Mo. You’ll have my support and love from here on out. Keep me posted on everything so I can follow you to the top.


Beautiful article for a beautiful person! You know you will always have my support. Love ya!

I’m so proud of you. Continue to keep God as your foundation and he will lead and guide you. You are a beautiful person inside and out. The spirit of God is with you, trust him in for all things. You bring integrity to your business.


What an honest article! Monique has always been a beautiful person both inside and out. Her friends and family continue to cheer her on as she climbs the ladder of success! Way to go Mo!

This article is inspirational and encouraging with a dose of reality. Monique is giving back to others WHILE she is getting her own. Wow! It’s all about progression and I pray for her continued and sustained success.

Mo….my girl, friend, neighbor and sister in Christ…..FABULOUS!!! You know I am your #1 cheerleader. Great article and pictures…Love ya !!!

I am so proud of U, girl….I knew you could do it….Remember our talks about becoming models and personal stylists…..omg …so funny…..Love u much….keep it going……Chanda

This is a great article for such a beautiful and positive young woman. Monique you keep climbing the ladder, see you at the top!


I don’t think i have ever meet any Hard working model like Monique , she Works VERY HARD and she’s always one the road and even with all of that she still makes time for her friends and Family when we need her. I wish her all the BEST and the Best is yet to come My love BUG (thats what we call each other LOL)

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