We recently caught up with writer/actor Monique Carmona about her delicate episode Try Again.
Welcome to the fold Monique. I believe you are the first Actor/Writer we’ve had take part in the series. So congrats. What brought you to FSC?
I think it’s a gift when you can find a vehicle (no pun intended;) for your writing. It’s an even bigger gift when the director you’re collaborating with is someone you completely trust.
I knew I wanted Allen to direct, day one. I’m just glad he said yes. I’ve always been a fan of Allen’s work but more importantly we relate to one another on a regular day-to-day basis about real s&%t. See, he’s looking out for your episode because it’s his, because as show creator along with Josh he’s not just directing one episode he is driving the vehicle, washing the vehicle and taking you on an ongoing deep ride… hopefully to a better place. Bottom line these guys have integrity – the whole team… and that’s a blessing when you’re not only writing but acting as well. This after all is their baby… I’m just babysitting for an episode:)
What can you tell us about the motivation for this scene?
Actually this scene originated a few years back. I had the pleasure of working with writer David Milch right around the time of “Deadwood“and “John From Cincinnati.”
It was an exciting time where I really immersed myself in a particular type of process that he created/encouraged where everything in a scene is stripped away but the relationship.
No location, no names, no direction… just the characters telling the story. There are no devices to fall back on and in time, with consistency and trust what needs to be said will be. So this episode was born in that process. That process similar to the very nature of Front Seat Chronicles is to keep things right where the conversation opens something up, ready to be exposed. When we discussed my writing an episode for Front Seat, I took a look back into my archives and found this couple who eventually became Iris and John smack in the middle of their struggle. After a few rewrites and with Allen’s suggestion for adding the element of outside forces – aka, the family on the onset – we were ready to shoot.
The roller coaster of infertility is something I see with so many people. Loved ones, strangers, you name it. It hits home for so many couples. There are so many variables. And when reproduction is literally a way of life, the way of life… when that flow, for whatever reason, is interrupted, deep core needs are agitated and understandably so.
How we define ourselves inside this fundamental need is what I hope the episode among other things brings up for discussion.
So as actor/writer was there a challenge to wearing both hats?
A a lot of people might see acting and/or writing as a challenge. For me it’s joy and a passion for storytelling that’s at the heart of that choice. Creating your own content and stepping into the roles you want to play and stories you want to tell is something I aim to continue doing. Sometimes I just write and sometimes I just act. This time I did both and was very, very grateful for the opportunity.