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.
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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