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Life & Work with Monique Henry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Henry.

Monique, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My name is Monique aka Ms. Peacherino, Founder of What We Watch. I’m from Panama and I take pride in my culture. I’m a Civil & Environmental Engineer by trade. After working for over a decade in the business, in November 2020, I began moderating discussions on film & TV on the newer audio app, Clubhouse. By March 2021, those discussions gained so much support on social media, that I created a club to connect moviegoers, artists, and entertainers in the industry. Marketing managers, web developers, screenwriters, and filmmakers were always participating in the discussions and wanted to support my journey to expand the platform. I hired a marketing team to create a website for the club that eventually turned into the only newsletter by a Black Latina that keeps you up to date with what’s hot in film & TV. A few designers chipped in to create logos and websites for me to aid in our online conversations as well. A year later, as one of a select few Twitter Partners and Spaces Hosts, What We Watch became an ongoing space for unique conversations on film & TV hosted by me. We discuss motifs, scores, scripts, cinematography, character development, film editing, production, and more. From the casual fan to the filmmaker or showrunner, these unique discussions include topics that encourage you to appreciate the art of film & TV in its entirety. I’ve interviewed screenwriters, directors, actors, illustrators, and showrunners on Twitter and YouTube for a little over a year. My newsletter provides the best recommendations and highlights the team of artists responsible for the enjoyment of what we watch on screen. Film & TV allows us to experience different stories, ideas, and cultures, and What We Watch brings us all together to uplift each other through art.

I watched Parasite (2019) in a small theater on the west coast and the response from that intimate setting made me realize exactly what I wanted to do. The thing is having a vision means nothing without the resources and the work towards bringing it to fruition. I created a plan and established a timeline, as my engineering brain is programmed to do, and set forth. Keep in mind, that I was financially secure and living an extremely comfortable life, however, I was not mentally or emotionally fulfilled in any way. I decided many things needed to change and I started by figuring out what made me happy: finances, family, friends, everything was fine. Except me. I went to therapy and started watching a ton of films and shows to allow me to fall into different universes that somehow felt safer and even invigorating. I could never sleep, so what better way to spend time than immersing myself in another world someone created for…me. It wasn’t an escape, but a transition. I was still aware of this reality, and in this reality, another dimension existed where I was happy. I started researching the artists of the films and shows I enjoyed and I found myself wanting to write my own stories as well. Storytelling through screenwriting and studying the art of filmmaking lit a fire in my heart.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road to my dreams has never been smooth, but it has been rewarding and highly fulfilling. I’ve had financial struggles, emotional struggles, and relationship struggles. I’ve been plagued with the occasional doubt, discomfort, loneliness, worry, and more. I think these are things we feel as human beings when experiencing extreme transitions and taking significant risks. I am living the furthest I’ve ever been from my immediate family, my foundation, and my core. I am a creative living on my own in Los Angeles, with extremely high rent and hopes and dreams that the next paycheck will solidify my place on the long successful, and sustained path. I saved up money to make this move, but moving in the middle of a pandemic to one of the most expensive cities in the world is a daring and difficult task. I depend on networking, prayer, and hard work to continue on my path to being the most successful screenwriter and producer I can be. I get lonely, I worry about the world as a Black Latina, I miss my family, but most of all, I have faith in my dreams becoming a reality. I’m dedicated to my work and see obstacles as challenges that help me grow and appreciate success.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a screenwriter, producer, and show host. I talk about film & TV with a community I created in November 2020 called What We Watch. I specialize in writing horror and romance films and TV shows. I interview showrunners, directors, actors, comedians, and more to help them honor their journey and their work and open others to the world of the artists behind the work they enjoy. I’m known for my skills in teaching, my appreciation and knowledge of film and TV as art, bringing out the BEST in every interviewee, unlike any other, and highlighting the romance or love in every story ever told. I am known for curating a space where everyone can highlight and appreciate the artists in film and television through my community, What We Watch. I’m known for getting things done and connecting people to get their projects funded, getting people to support their work, and networking laterally so we can all improve in our areas of expertise upwardly. I am most proud of the way I make people feel. I am proud of the recommendations I give people that lead them to understand themselves better and appreciate the cultures and the worlds outside of them. What sets me apart from others is the ability to speak multiple languages both literally and figuratively. I have a keen sense of emotional intelligence and an appreciation for art that creates some of the most important relationships. I prioritize people and their unique experiences, which is evident in my writing, conversations, interviews, and the film & television community I created.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I have a list of everyone that was and still is here during my transition from being a Civil & Environmental Engineer in Dallas, TX to a Screenwriter, Producer, and Show Host in Los Angeles, CA. My marketing team reached out to me because they saw my passion, screenwriters of films you know and love have supported me, entrepreneurs, web designers, people in my What We Watch community, and my lawyer friends helping me with protecting my IP and overall business. My mom, my sisters, and my friends support me behind the scenes and on social media and share my unique community with all my other family and friends, and strangers online. My social media manager prioritizes the growth of the business and myself as a person. Other filmmakers and screenwriters have included me in writer’s rooms, recommended me to people, engaged in my work, and put my name in the right rooms to be considered for interview panels in film festivals, movie reviews, entertainment news, and writer’s rooms. I have never been successful without the team and they support me because I do the work.

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