Monique Nicole LeClair

Monique Nicole LeClair interview
Author: Jonathan. L, owner - Models Observer
December 2017

1. Monique, could you please introduce yourself to the readers?

Hello everyone! First of all, thank you so much for having me it is an honor! My name is Monique Nicole Leclair I am an actress, fitness model, abstract artist, writer, producer, professional wrestler and television host. I guess you could call me a Renaissance woman! I am also an emergency room registered nurse and a former bikini competitor with the National Physique Committee.

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2. How has your childhood affected your adult life and your career?

I was very much a tomboy growing up! I was always outdoors! Growing up in the country gave me a type of independence and resilience that has helped me through life. I was always somewhere building treehouses or falling off of a skateboard. Also my biological father was an actor and model growing up, he would sometimes take me with him on set. I first met Johnny Depp on the set of Edward Scissorhands as a toddler. I also remember him taking me to a lot of photoshoots as a kid, he always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and passions. My dad was a huge inspiration to me and I was his little princess! He passed away when I was just eleven years old.

3. How do you stay so fit? What is your training routine?

The majority of people will tell you being fit is a lifestyle and it is 80% diet, and I will tell you the exact same coming from experience! However, when competing for me it was 70% diet, 15% training and 15% mental. It required a ton of discipline as most readers probably know. I won first runner up at Europa in the bikini tall class, it was my first show and I had no coach, no trainer and no experience! I rebounded hard and it was devastating. For someone who always loved fitness and exercise it had become a mission more than a lifestyle so I’ve just spent the past couple years making fitness a lifestyle again versus a 12 week cycle. Competing was a huge accomplishment but it took the fun out of fitness for me personally. However I still push the importance of staying healthy and active! It should be an important part of anyone’s goals regardless of age or lifestyle!

I also love to switch up my training routine quite a bit. It keeps my body from plateauing and getting complacent. I love fasting cardio, HIIT training for lower body and drop sets for upper body. I also love to mix cardio in occasionally with my weight training because it keeps my heart rate up and it keeps me burning calories throughout my work out. Sometimes I will superset two exercises and mixed 5 to 10 minutes of cardio in between exercises. I feel that HIIT training and plyometrics keep my lower body toned the best and drop sets when training shoulders helps me to increase size in regards to my upper body. Because I’m naturally a pear shape, I feel this training technique helps to create more symmetry for my body type.

In regards to cardio I feel a long, steady pace in the gym is the most boring thing in the world! I’m lucky enough to live in West Hollywood near Runyon Canyon Park because I love to hike and exercise outdoors!

4. What message, if any, do you try to put into your work as a model? How do you evaluate your impact on others (women and men)?

The message that I try to send out not just as a model but as an artist, is to be unique, be original, and stay true to yourself! There is no one in the world like you, you owe it to yourself to reach your full potential and you cannot do that without individuality and self-love. I would like to think that I am an inspiration to other people. I believe it doesn’t matter what age you are, where you are in your life or what you have- if you have a dream you need to pursue it and give it your all! It is never too late to learn something new or to pick up a new hobby. I want to inspire others to live the best life possible and be the best version of themselves!

FOR SALE. "Surviving the Storm" 24x12 ©2016 acrylic gesso stucco chrome spray paint and crackle paste

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5. When did you first start painting, and how would you describe your style?

My first painting was in 2012 it was a painting of two mermaids, for me at the time I had never considered myself an artist, I just had an overwhelming amount of feelings and emotion that I could not convey through words and art helped me to relay a message at that time. Since then, I have always picked up a paintbrush anytime I felt stressed, overwhelmed or out of sorts. I have somewhat of a modern abstract technique to my art, I like to mix different mediums, different textures, and different material. I like to create art that is three-dimensional, colorful and I really just paint how I feel. There are no rules to art, there are no limitations, there are no boundaries and that is something I love!

6. How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?

Some of the best creations are spontaneous. It could take me anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days to finish a piece, it just depends on how committed I am to the piece, and how I feel at the time.

7. How do you bridge the gap of the business side of art?

I feel like with any type of art whether it be music, painting, singing, acting or writing you need marketing to promote what you are creating and social media is a great way to market yourself as well as your business.

8. I see you are a history and humanities geek, love reading about Medieval Times and ancient crusades. What has not changed since Medieval Times?

Surprisingly enough, there are quite a few things that have not changed since Medieval Times. I like to think chivalry is one of them. I love that my husband is chivalrous and old fashioned, it might be the fact that he’s European- the accent doesn’t hurt either lol I also feel that as a society, our insatiable love for art, style and fashion is still prominent today. Obviously the style of art and fashion has changed a bit but there is so much more variety today than they had back then, things are more accessible now. I also think that the way people worshipped monarchs are the same way society worships the Kardashian‘s today, funny but true if you think about it!

9. According to women from 15 countries around the world, 79% would rather be smart than beautiful, with 84% of U.S. women picking brains over beauty . What do you think?

This is very important to me, I was raised by a group of strong women who taught me that brains overpowered beauty any day of the week. One of my favorite quotes states that “good looks fade, but a good heart keeps you beautiful forever” I don’t think that women should rely on their looks to get them through life. In the end when the looks are gone, all you have is your heart and your experiences. At the end of the day YOU have to be OK with yourself and the decisions and the choices that you have made.

10. Do you learn more about who you are through modeling?

Absolutely I feel like each year I get a little more comfortable in my own skin. Each year I grow as an artist, as a human and as a woman. I feel that as humans we are constantly yearning for more, we are never satisfied and as a result, some of us are consistently working on ourselves. I don’t think I could’ve been successful as an actress or model five or even 10 years ago, I’m not the same person. I was not comfortable with myself, I was still trying to figure out who I was exactly.

11. Does your zodiac sign characteristics fit your personality? How?

Anyone who knows me could answer this one for me. I am a Leo 100%! Leo’s are loving, warm hearted, we love the spotlight, we love sparkly things, but most of all we love taking care of ourselves and others. Leo’s also make good leaders and artists. We are very diplomatic, creative, we speak from the heart and we are ruled by our emotions- sometimes to a fault! Leo’s are very proud and loving creatures.

12. What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?

The most difficult time in my life was right after my father passed away. I was 11 years old, I had just gotten my first period, I lost my dad and my pet bird had died all in the same summer. Talk about bad luck as a kid I was going through so many thoughts and feelings! Writing is what actually helped me through that very difficult time. I have about seven journals from the age of 11 up until now. Every fight, every relationship, every journey is documented in these journals. I hope to save them for my daughter someday.

One of my secret obsessions: I’m a history and humanities geek. I love reading about Medieval Times and ancient crusades. My favorite time was during the early 1700’s when the French Rococo style was born... swipe left to see what I mean ????????

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13. Do you have any amusing anecdotes about your contact with your fans?

There are some silly incidents here and there but the meaningful ones are the most memorable. Once I got a letter from a group of combat soldiers in Iraq who had pictures of me hung all over their post for inspiration and motivation. That meant to much to me I wrote them a ‘thank you’ letter back and this year I hosted the Babes In Toyland 'Support Our Troops' charity fundraiser where we created care packages for troops overseas!

14. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be? Why?

I would be a dolphin only because I have always been fascinated with the ocean and apparently mermaids don't exist lol They are also highly intelligent and loving creatures! Plus Flipper was one of my favorite movies growing up ;)

15. How does a typical day and week of yours look like?

My days vary, my schedule is always changing from day to day depending on work, auditions, events, etc. No matter what, every day always starts with a cup of strong Costa Rican coffee and a little coconut creamer:) While I sip coffee I respond to emails, update my social media and fill in my weekly planner. I also have a diabetic Australian Shepherd Amelia, who requires insulin shots twice a day, I feed her and give her insulin every morning then we take a quick walk. After that, I have some of my powdered BCAA's by Beast Sports Nutrition and head down the street to Runyon Canyon for a late morning hike! I also love early mornings but on days when I have nothing booked, I usually pick up 12 hour shifts in the Emergency Department as a Registered Nurse so sometimes I don't get off until after midnight! On my days off I have acting clasess from 7-10pm. After a fun night in class I head to the gym for a second short workout usually a 30 minute plyo/HIIT routine or heaving lifting (especially if I did cardio the same morning) I love to spend the evenings with my husband we go to the gym together, we cook dinner together and just watch movies at home- we are a very boring couple haha! We don't really go out unless there is a special event or occasion.

16. What do you do for fun?

I love to be outdoors! I am a true tomboy so anything like hiking, off-roading, surfing, skating or just being at the beach is fun to me! I actually love to take the top off of my 4x4 manual Jeep Wrangler and go riding through the canyons!

17. In which direction do you see your career moving in the future?

I see myself continuing to grow and perfect my craft as an actress, I would like to continue to break boundaries and stereotypes by working my way into comedy and screenwriting. I want to be an inspiration to women in entertainment the way I have been inspired by those such as Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep. If I only made it to be a series regular on a major network sitcom that would be okay for me. I also want to continue to create my own projects, I would love if the current pilot I have written and produced would be picked up by a major network or online database. I hope to use my platform as an actress, writer and artist to promote charities for animals with disabilities, pediatric cancer research and psychiatric care for the homeless population in Los Angeles. I would love to open my own art gallery in LA and have a percentage of my commission donated to non profit organizations. I believe in the importance of gratitude and giving back to those who have been less fortunate. I am blessed and regardless of where my career goes I will be happy knowing I have given it my all and I have a loving supporting husband at my side! I appreciate this opportunity to share a little bit about myself I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and happy new year! XOXO

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