This month BOLD is feature 5 Black Women Who Are Using Their Artistry for Freedom.
We talked to the hilarious Natonia Monét who has been using laughter as a form of resistance by writing and producing two new web-series during the quarantine! Check out our interview and follow this BOLDIE @natoniamonet
Q: What are some ways you have you been reclaiming your creative voice during this time of both the Pandemic, and over the past few weeks, watching the Uprising of Black People across the country?
A: As far as the Pandemic, I've been trying to create comedy about the whole situation. Whether it is through a one minute laugh of how I'm trying to learn French at this time, or a whole actual coo-koo webseries. I actually can't believe I wrote a web-series through this trauma. Boombaclaaaat. This isn't the first time I've done a web-series. (The Great Black Way, #UNBOOKED) But it is the first time I've written an actual scripted one, letting each character have their own voice and mannerisms. Tell Issa Rae to slide in my DMs.
As far as watching the Uprising of Black People, I've been mostly listening to music. I haven't really come up with anything funny about this. I just can't believe this is happening. Like the groundhog came from underground and is really seeing it's shadow and telling it, "Your silence speaks volumes" and confronting it about microagressions, not being an ally, not having my color nude LaDucas and talking to it's cousin the beaver about building dams and redlining. They are cousins right? Chopping down trees- We learned violence from you Beaver. Dis Tew Much.
Q: What are you reading, watching, listening to that has contributed to your creative freedom?
What am I reading? Ughhhh Tweets. I know I should be reading books but my brain can't focus that long right now. Booooo. So Yes, I'm reading tweets, and most of them have gifs, which makes it easier & funnier. Who doesn't love Hip Hop Harry encouraging the kids under a 280 character tweet. "Go, Go, Go, Go, What's Next?
What am I watching? Insecure. I watched The LAST DANCE Documentary, I watch celebrities do Instagram Live, I just started watching Dear White People Again. Btw, they have a lot of sex on there so if you are single during this Pandemic, watching that will remind you that your sex life is oppressed. Oh and that goes for Insecure too. Give US FREE! CIVIL RIGHTS!
I just realized I'm listening to Marvin Gaye a lot. And this wasn't even a bit, but I guess subconsciously 'What's going On' definitely tracks.
Q: Has there ever been a moment in your life where you felt as if you were breaking free from something?
Maybe breaking free from being timid. I'm always shy about my talent, not wanting to post a lot because I'm private or worried about if something will be funny... But I've learned so far through this Pandemic, comedy is subjective and being cooped up for so long, has made me realize, I gotta be gangsta with my ish. Ya'll GON' KNOW ABOUT ME! One trick Pony where???
Q: If you had a gigantic, lit up billboard in Times Square- an avenue to get a message to millions of people- what would it say? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (It can also be someone else’s quote, something you live by.)
"ARREST THE COPS WHO KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR!"
Q: What advice would you give to a young, driven student graduating today about the industry? What advice should they ignore?
See y'all said 7 questions and y'all fit 56.987654 questions in one. LMAO.
Advice: Go after what you want, whether it be a job, a love interest or a cinnabon. Speak what you want into existence. Ignore people who say, "It takes time". What you focus on grows; so if you believe it will take a while then it will. Set your goals and put them in the microwave. Believe to See.
Q: What have you become better at saying no to? What are some boundaries that have helped you feel free?
I'm better at saying NOPE to family. I've learned to Reclaim my time. Sometimes that means not answering the phone. Even though my screen time is up like 6%. Boundaries that help me to feel free: Leaving Group Texts. Defund the Police & Deactivate Group Texts.
Q: When you feel overwhelmed, unfocused, or even in despair, what do you do?
Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm still figuring this out. Despair-wise, I'm trying to learn to cry more. One time I hadn't cried in so long I had to watch the season finale of The Originals (Spin off of Vampire Diaries) to make myself cry. The two vampire brothers hugged and staked each other at the same time. I was in f*ckin shambles- my nose was stopped up, I had the hiccups. But the release felt so good. I’m also learning that I try to get SUPER productive when I'm like this, to take my mind off the hurt and maybe that is why I'm creating soooo much during this Pandemic Revolution.
Unfocused-wise, I think I work out. I have a calorie counting jump rope that hones in on my mild OCD. And I get back on track.
Overwhelmed-wise, I make a to do list and lay down. Yayyyy. I also water and talk to my plants. Which is nice because they are growing like crazy but who is the plug for the black owned plant pots? The new growth is astounding. Shout out to Priyah, Parfait, Pose, Paisley & Peace; I love my plants.