Hey there, thanks for stopping by! And don’t let the spelling scare you, it’s pronounced like Monica, not Shaniqua. I act, produce, narrate, and create. Depending on the day, I can be a ray of sunshine on the subway, a weather girl who makes the hurricane sound like fun, or an ass-kicking assassin for hire.
I was born & raised in San Francisco and started performing at an early age. I left the city by the bay to earn my degree in Literature from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where my parents will be happy to learn, I mainly honed my snowboarding skills.
After studying at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, I moved to Los Angeles. Most recently, you can catch me on The CW's fan fav, Dynasty, or in the Indy film, LOW LOW (also with Elaine Hendrix :)
Or on the Emmy-nominated series NASHVILLE as “Natasha”, the sexy love interest to the series lead, Eric Close (Mayor Teddy Conrad). NASHVILLE is replaying on both NETFLIX and HULU. I’ve been so fortunate to work with so many extraordinarily talented people like Eric Close & the brilliant creator, Callie Khouri (I mean, can we give a shout out to "Thelma & Lousie" please?); the comedic geniuses Molly Shannon & John Michael Higgins on NBC’s KATH & KIM; and alongside the uber-talented Michael Cudlitz & Benjamin McKenzie on John Wells’ SOUTHLAND. If you’re an HBO/Cinemax fan, you can find me on Alan Ball’s original series BANSHEE & the sexy anthology series FEMME FATALES.
And it keeps getting better! I'm so fortunate that my first series regular role came from the brilliant duo, Susie Lohse and César Gamiño. Check out our comedy series, DIRTY CUES on AMAZON PRIME now —and get yourself a good giggle!
The last year has been exciting — shooting the lead in a TV Movie for Lifetime in Vancouver was a career highlight, working in Atlanta on The CW's fan favorite, DYNASTY, and my last film, LOW LOW, won a whole lot of festival love, and can now be seen on Amazon Prime.
I produced my 1st feature film with Punching Bees Productions, “Beyond the Mat” released in 2014, it’s surely en route to an Oscar. Wink wink. But I have to confess that I’m most proud of my last two short films, BUTTONS IN THE GROUND & PILLOW TALK, which I also produced. These films allowed me to shine as an actor in ways I hadn’t experienced before and reminded me why I love acting. Together they have garnered over 19 nominations, winning 12 awards including four Best Actress Awards and Breakout Action Star for me. Check out PILLOW TALK on iTunes here! http://bit.ly/1DjrFyF
I love what I do. I feel so lucky. It’s my job to show people as they live and storytelling shines a light on life experiences. No matter what role I play, from a heartbroken assassin or a young mother struggling to keep hope alive, I get to give the audience a chance to feel inspired and shine a little more brightly in their own lives.
A MOTHER'S RIGHT | LEAD | Lifetime TV | Reel One, Champlain Media Productions; Alex Caulfield , dir.
DYNASTY | Guest Star | The CW Network | Richard & Esther Shapiro Entertainment; Brandi Bradburn, Director
GROOMZILLA (MOW) | Supporting | Hallmark Ch. | Larry Levinson, Prod; Bradford May, Director
NASHVILLE | Recurring Guest (TOS 10+ Eps) | ABC & Lionsgate | Callie Khouri + Multi Directors
DIRTY CUES | Series Lead | Amazon Prime | César Gamiño, Director
DROP DEAD DIVA | Guest Star | Lifetime TV | Robert J. Wilson, Director
BANSHEE | Guest Star | HBO-Cinemax | Alan Ball, Prod; Ole Christian Madsen, Director
FEMME FATALES | Guest Star | HBO-Cinemax | Mark Altman, Prod; Darin Scott, Director
SOUTHLAND | Recurring | NBC Universal | John Wells, Prod; Nelson McCormick, Director
THE GHOST WHISPERER | Co-Star | CBS Paramount | Ian Sander, Director
KATH & KIM | Co-Star | NBC Universal | Jason Ensler, Director
GILMORE GIRLS | Co-Star | Warner Brother | Ken Wittingham, Director
GIRLFRIENDS | Co-Star | UPN-Paramount | Salim Akil, Director
HALF & HALF | Co-Star | UPN-Paramount | Ellen Gittelsohn, Director
LOW, LOW | Lead | Halfway Crooks Entertainment | Nick Richey, Director
AMERICAN NIGHTMARES | Supporting | HBO | Michael Mendelsohn, Jim Steele; Darin Scott, Dir.
THE BURNING DEAD | Lead | Millman Productions | Rene Perez, Director
BUTTONS IN THE GROUND*** | Lead | Trenton Waterson, Ben Long Prod. | Andrew Fisher, Dir.
PILLOW TALK** | Lead | Punching Bees Productions | John Wynn, Director
THE ABSENT | Lead | Last Night Productions | Sage Bannick, Director
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA | LEAD (voice match) | Walt Disney Studios | Raja Gosnell, Dir.
A SCROOGE MEETS CINDERELLA STORY | Lead | Amuse Entertainment | Andria Litto, Dir.
UP THE MAN* | Lead | Talkin' Trash & Fancy Films Productions | Abe Levy, Director
*** BUTTONS IN THE GROUND
WINNER Idyllwild Intn'l Film Festival, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Score;
WINNER HollyShorts Film Fest
** PILLOW TALK
WINNER New York Intn'l Film Fest, Best Actress, Best Action Short, Best Director;
WINNER Action on Film Intn'l Fest Best Actress, Breakout Action Star;
WINNER HollyShorts Film Festival Audience Choice Award, Best Actress, Honorable Mention for Best Short Film;
WINNER Santa Cruz Intn'l Film Fest, Best Action Short
WINNER Indie Fest Best Actress; WINNER Best Shorts Competition, Best Short Film
* UP THE MAN
WINNER Best Comedy Short, Reno Intn’l Film Festival; Official selection Los Angeles International Short Festival
BODY TALK: BOOBS, BUTTS & THIGHS | Lead | The Elephant Asylum Theatre | Buffy Charlet, dir.
COMPANY MEMBER: STREET SCHOOL ARTISTS COLLECTIVE (Selected)
WAKE UP DEAD MAN | Lead | The Elephant Asylum Theatre | Vince Riverside, dir.
TABLE FOR TWO | Lead | The Elephant Asylum Theatre | Josh Brolin, dir.
DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP | Lead | The McCadden Theatre | Vince Riverside, Josh Brolin, dir.
SIBLING RIVALRY | Lead | The Eureka Theatre, San Francisco | Vince Riverside, dir.
HELLCAB | Lead | The Complex, Ruby Theatre | Vince Riverside, dir.
BEFORE IT’S DONNE | Lead | The Complex, Ruby Theatre | Vince Riverside, dir.
SAVAGE IN LIMBO | Lead | 6470 Theatre | Vince Riverside, dir.
COMMERCIALS & HOSTING
CREDITS & CONFLICTS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO | Bachelor of Arts | Literature & Drama
STAN KIRSCH STUDIO | Scene Study & Audition | Stan Kirsch
CHAD MCCORD STUDIO | Scene Study & Audition | Chad McCord
LESLY KAHN & COMPANY | Scene Study & Audition | Lesly Kahn
CAMERON THOR STUDIOS | Scene Study & Audition | Cameron Thor & Alice Carter
IVANA CHUBBUCK STUDIOS | Scene Study & Audition | Ivana Chubbuck
AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATRE | Scene Study, Audition, Improv | Multiple
FULL CIRCLE PRODUCTIONS | Master Class | John Howard Swain & Marsha Mercant
BAY AREA THEATRE SPORTS | Improv | Multiple Teachers
UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE | Improv Workshops | Multiple Teachers
GROUNDLINGS | Improv Workshops | Multiple Teachers
Languages - Scripted Spanish, Scripted French, Standard British, American Southern, New York
Dance - Ballet, Modern
Sports - Snowboarding, Mtn Biking, In-Line & Ice Skating, Yoga, Swimming, Surfing, Running, Golf, Volleyball
Singing - Jazz, Blues, Singer/Songwriter
Stunts - Stage Fighting, Weapons