Spotlight on Monique ‘Coach Mon’ Warren

Spotlight on Monique ‘Coach Mon’ Warren
March 22, 2023 AGC

Meet Monique Warren – performing artist, educator and sometimes clown! Monique is an AGC Alumni and ASPA Tutor, about to make her writing debut for her solo show ‘Coach Mon’ as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Monique shares with us how she went from AGC chorister to comedic actor, and reveals surprising insight into how her role with ASPA helped shape ‘Coach Mon’.

Where it all began…

For twelve years, Monique spent much of her spare time singing and performing with the Australian Girls Choir. During her time in the choir, Monique excelled as chorister, and relished the opportunity to spend time with friends, especially on jam-packed concert days. Looking back on her time in the choir, Monique remembers a TV appearance on the ABC Kids show Prank Patrol as one of her personal highlights, which is fitting considering her current interest in clowning and comedy!

From chorister to ASPA staff member

Despite graduating from the choir, AGC and ASPA never left Monique’s side. After beginning a Bachelor of Arts, Monique realised her passion for performing was not going to subside, so she enrolled in a full time dance course before being accepted into the renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts to study Music Theatre. In between her studies, Monique worked as an AGC Tutor in Perth, and has worked with ASPA ever since – 11 years to be exact! Not many staff can say that they have worked with every level of the choir, in addition to facilitating workshops with ASPA Education on a regular basis, yet Monique has achieved both of these milestones in her career, and attributes this to the team she gets to work with.

“What’s been wonderful about my ASPA career has been the opportunity to work with so many creative and passionate musicians/performers and educators! The staff team is a big reason I have stayed with the organisation for so long.”

Admittedly, Monique reveals balancing her career as an actor with her career at ASPA and other performing arts organisations isn’t always easy. However, “exercise and spending time with friends and family” are the things that keep Monique grounded. Always eager to grow and learn, Monique also ensures she makes time for classes and workshops.

Getting to any sort of class semi regularly helps my motivation and inspiration as an actor and tutor”.

Pursuing a career in performing arts and finding ‘Coach Mon’

After a string of performance highlights including The Anchor Theatre Company’s international award winning play ‘Pillow Fight’, Immersive Cinema’s touring production of ‘Dirty Dancing’ and commercials for Vicks VapoDrops and Toyota, Monique is trying her hand at writing for the first time with her debut season of ‘Coach Mon’ at Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF). On how the idea of Coach Mon originated, she says

“The Coach Mon character came to me during lockdown when I was teaching on zoom. I was running out of class ideas so I quickly grabbed a cap, a whistle and some classical music such as The William Tell Overture and together the students and I had our own little Zoom Olympic Games – it was a hoot!”

From here, Monique tried the character in various contexts, including at Performing Choir Music School where she ran the morning exercise session as Coach Mon. The “ridiculousness was well received” and from here, the idea began to evolve into the skeleton of a show.

Writing a comedy show for children is quite a specific genre, however Monique’s experience working with young people has allowed her to fine tune the art of making them laugh. Selecting fellow AGC Alumni and ASPA colleague, Laura Aldous, as the director for Coach Mon was a natural decision for Monique, as the two have “fostered a lovely shared language of what works well when working with kids”.

Having Laura as my sounding board has been a magnificent support and very fun!”

For any AGC choristers hoping to follow the same career path, Monique recommends you

“Stay curious and support other artists! Trying new things and learning from other performers has helped me build a community of wonderful, kind and creative people.”

 See Monique in action as Coach Mon!

Come to The Comedy Games with Coach Mon, presented by La MamaKids for an hour of frivolous fun, marvellous music and magnificent mayhem. This wacky kids clown show during the April school holidays is designed to put a smile on your dial AND you’ll walk away with your very own Comedy Games medal. This sports extravaganza is an interactive event for the whole family to enjoy! Book now – April 6-15

Beyond MICF, Monique hopes there is a future for Coach Mon, and would love for you to check out the show’s Instagram @coachmon_sports and Facebook.