One Moment with Monifah.
By: Dr. Tameka "Doc" Wright
Hello, and welcome to another issue of Secdum Magazine. We have a special interview for you today. Some may know her from back in the day as working with the late Heavy D on her first album “Moods…Moments” Which had the hit single “I Miss You (Come Back Home)” which was featured on the hit TV show “New York Undercover” soundtrack. Others my know her as staring on the record-breaking, docu-series, R&B Diva: Atlanta. I know her as being an icon. Who am I talking about you may ask? I am talking about no other than Monifah.
How are you doing today, Monifah?
Monifah: I am doing absolutely great today, thank you.
That is great! It is great speaking with you, and thank you for allowing us to interview you today. Tell us about the early days of your career, how you got started in the entertainment business.
Monifah: I've been in this business since I was 7 years old. I've been doing it professionally since the 2nd grade, doing commercials, auditioning for commercials and off Broadway productions. My first manager was my 2nd grade teacher, Michelle Donné, with whom I was very close. She was like an aunt/second mom to me. That's where it all started.
We know you as an actress and a singer. Which one do you love the most and why?
Monifah: I am known as an actress and a singer and I love both. But, the gift that has most forwarded my dreams and goals, the one that I think touches people and is the most reciprocal gift, is my voice at this point. I wouldn't say that I have a favorite, but it's being a singer. Being a vocalist is an entirely different connection. It's a more reciprocal act. I would have to say that singing is my first love. Acting is definitely a close, close second.
You have been in the entertainment business for a long time. There are many that have come before you and many have followed after you, but you still are in the industry and stay relevant. How do you stay in the industry and keep yourself relevant?
Monifah: I would have to say it's not about keeping yourself relevant. It's about how you decide or what you deem success to be in your life. My version of success is not just being on everybody's lips everyday or on the TV every week. My definition of success is being able to give something back, to still be able to do what I love to make a way to feed my family. It just so happens that the platform as afforded for this resurgence that I have had in the 2nd part of my career with R&B Divas was just what it was – a reality show. It came on every week and it afforded me an incredible platform that I took seriously. I feel very proud that I utilized it in a way that represents me and my family in the way that I was raised, what my foundational goals are, and what I believe are my fundamentals. I used that platform to represent and forge the things I believe in. I'm not so much about staying relevant. That would be putting myself at the mercy of the fickle, short-attention-spanned society that cares about you one day and the next day they don't. I'm more into the people who have followed me, supported me and grown up with me. That's who I focus on, just being my most authentic self. That's all I can really do. I don't get into gimmicks. I see how things work for other people. I can't be a character other than me and fortunately I'm pretty ok. I'm pretty cool, authentic and unique, as we all are. These things work for me. So I don't really have to put on a face or do gimmick to stay relevant. I just do what I love and do it in my time.
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