Mo’Nique will perform Sept. 26 and 27 at the Pittsburgh Improv in Homestead.
The comedian and actress has had a rather diverse career.
Mo’Nique describes herself as a “multimedia powerhouse,” and it would be hard to argue with her. She’s conquered the small and big screens alike.
She launched her career in 1999 on critically acclaimed UPN show, “The Parkers.”
In 2009, she gained mass attention with her Oscar-winning turn in “Precious.”
In playing the troubled and abusive mother Mary Jones, Mo’Nique called upon her own toughest times — as the victim of sexual abuse. “I knew that person,” she says. “It was my brother. So, when the director said, ‘Cut,’ we left that place. I was back to me.”
In addition to “Precious,” Mo’Nique also has appeared in movies like “Soul Plane” and “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins.” She was the first female to host BET’s “Showtime at the Apollo.”
But it’s the stand-up scene where Mo’Nique seems to feel most at home and happy. “It’s invigorating,” she says. “It’s courageous and brave to do what you believe in.
“(Stand-up) comedy is my baby. If you want to really know me, come to my comedy show.
“It’s a conversation. … Every last one of (the audience members) belongs to me, and I belong to them. Let’s have a great time.”
Long known for her larger figure, Mo’Nique recently shed 100 pounds. She says anyone looking to do the same should take it “slow and steady. It’s not a sprint. Everything is a process.”
She tells up-and-coming young comedians to “be honest, be fearless, and don’t ever give up.”
Mo’Nique says she doesn’t hold onto her tougher days. These days, she is calm, driven and comfortable in her own jokes.
Comedy has helped Mo’Nique “get past the pain. … There’s freedom in funny.”
By Matt Wohlfarth