It’s on trend in these times to portray the music industry on television, and quite honestly, it is one of the biggest sources of real life drama next to Hollywood shenanigans. But of all the music biz shows currently on air, there are none more honest and potent than ABC’s Nashville. Now in its third season, the contemporary country drama has dominated Wednesday nights with every bit of soap opera spirit, wrought with cheating, lying, backstabbing and all that good stuff, but most importantly, a fantastic stream of original music.
When it comes to Nashville‘s non-stop drama, actress Moniqua Plante is about to stir the pot even more. Her character Natasha, a high-priced call girl who had a fling with sexy business mogul-turned-politician Teddy Conrad (played by Eric Close) a few months back, will re-appear just when things have already gotten worse for Teddy.
So what does this mean for Moniqua? Obviously the love of the Nashville fan base is phenomenal, and it is giving this bright multi-talent some new platforms. She already had a hand in the award-winning short film Pillow Talk as both producer and star, and has her eyes on more production opportunities. She is also delving into the world of life-coaching, and is spreading her positive energy graciously with each step.
Fortunately, Moniqua Plante found some time in her crazy schedule to share some of her tips for staying focused in UrbLife’s ‘On Point’ segment. Read on to find out more about her work, how she overcomes her personal and career challenges, and what we can expect from her in the upcoming scandals on Nashville.
Your career is growing by leaps and bounds now. How excited are you for the fans of Nashville to see you on a regular basis?
Moniqua Plante: Well, I’m definitely more excited than anyone! It has been such an amazing experience. It started out as three episodes and now we’re going on nine, and I couldn’t ask to be working with a better guy than Eric Close. He’s a really generous actor and has made my job easy. Luckily, Natasha and Teddy have some pretty good chemistry too!
Your character on Nashville has caused quite a bit of trouble without even trying… without giving any spoilers, will she become more vested in causing trouble this season?
MP: Natasha is strong, smart, can clearly hold her own with powerful men and has done well in keeping herself out of trouble. Unfortunately, a relationship between the Mayor and a high paid escort is all sorts of doomed from the beginning, and trouble just finds them like a heat seeking missile. It’s just good drama!
Aside from acting, you also do a lot of behind the scenes work in production. What do you like most about being on the creative and organizational end of a project?
MP: Producing and acting in Pillow Talk, a short action drama, was such a labor of love. I really wanted to show the world a different aspect of myself as an actor, and fortunately it did just that. I had this idea for a story about two spies in love, a slight cross between Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Soderbergh’s Out of Sight came to mind.
The incredible director/writer, John Wynn just took it to the next level with his fantastic script. It was so incredibly gratifying to see a project from start to finish, and become this awesome little film. And to have won so many awards, well that was just icing on the cake.
What is one main goal that you set for yourself in the last five years that you have been able to achieve?
MP: The biggie was to be working consistently as an actor, to be doing what I love most. I moved to L.A. about eight years ago, and it definitely takes some time. You’ve heard the age old saying “This is not a race, but a marathon.” My success has been slow and steady, and it makes sense because I am so much more prepared for it than I ever have been.
It’s lovely and amazing how things work themselves out. Keeping the faith and trusting in the process, learning to be good to myself, to love myself and knowing that no matter what, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
What is the biggest or most important challenge that you’ve had in your life or career?
MP: Fear, of course! We all have it, we all deal with it on a daily basis. Fear that your dreams won’t manifest, that somehow you’re not good enough; all those silly stories we tell ourselves. Learning to overcome, well it’s a lifelong process. It really all comes down to love…loving and accepting yourself wholly and completely. That’s a life long process too.
You have also been making the move into health and lifestyle coaching. Why is it important for you to help others? What do you like most about the process?
MP: I have always been passionate about food and living an organic/green lifestyle as much as possible. More than anything though, I really want to be of service in an interesting way to people. It’s taken me a long time to learn what works best for me in terms of nutrition and lifestyle, and I’m still learning! If I can help guide someone, finding their way to loving their body and what they put in it, then I’ll be a happy camper.
Can you give us some tips on how we can stay organized, focused and positive each day, based upon your philosophies?
MP: 1. Really feed your body
Eat real, whole foods and stay away from processed foods. And yes, this means packaged foods and any foods high in preservatives. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!
2. Nurture Yourself
Self-care is so so important, and probably the one thing most people neglect. Take some time to pamper yourself, take a bath, get a massage, go to the spa. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do, how much more energy you will have when you love your body.
3. Move Your Body
Every day, do something. Take the stairs, park a little further away, go to yoga, take a hike or a walk in the park. You will process everything better from your food, to stress, to emotions.
4. On the flip side, meditate
Be still for 20 minutes, or work in smaller increments so you can reach 20 minutes. Still your mind. This is one of the most potent and powerful practices that will serve you for the rest of your life. Meditation will help you clear stress, calm your nervous system and help you connect to your inner self and guidance.
5. Speak your truth
One of the best bits of advice I ever received is to “trust yourself to be yourself in every situation”. When you communicate with authenticity and honesty you are always in your power and can avoid conflict and drama. Be clear with yourself, so you can be clear with others.
6. Love yourself from the inside out
Practice extreme self love. The more you accept and love who you are, how you look and all that goes with it, you will shine so much brighter and be a magnet for the life you truly desire.
7. Surround yourself with good people
Studies show that you are most like the main five people you hang out with. Do you love and respect your friends? Do they love and support you?
What can we expect from you next in either your acting career or production? Any particular goals in mind for the next couple of years?
MP: I have a comedy feature script I’m writing with my fabulous writing partner that I’m very excited about. And hopefully more Nashville! Definitely more TV work, it’s been such a blast. You’ll be seeing more of me if all goes according to my master no-plan-plan.
What do you want people to know most about you at this stage of your life and career?
MP: I just feel really grateful – so thanks for reading!
Tune in to Nashville on ABC Wednesdays at 10:00pm (9pm CST) and follow the official account on Twitter @Nashville_ABC
Watch the teaser for Pillow Talk