The narrator and self-taught Monique Mon, 46 years old, has stood out on social networks by sharing hilarious videos in which she plays the grandmother of several characters, such as Neto, Dante, Isadora, Maria Helena, Isabella and Estherzinha. Known as a video narrator, YouTuber and comedian, Monique went viral during the 2020 pandemic by producing funny content from the window of her apartment in Lisbon, where she has lived for 21 years. With her Bahian accent and dialect characteristic of the northeast region of Brazil, she is gaining more and more followers and arouses the public’s curiosity by remaining anonymous, even with her videos being shown on TV programs and shared by artists and politicians.
Despite the success on social networks, Monique has had her moments of uncertainty regarding her artistic career. After losing her social media accounts, she even thought about giving up, but was encouraged by friends, like Michelly X, to continue. She currently resides in Portugal, close to her children Rodrigo and Sophia, and finds inspiration in her family to create her videos. With almost half a million followers on Instagram alone, Monique seeks to remain anonymous while seeking partnerships and sponsors to develop a theatrical show and launch a virtual store, where she can offer products related to the universe of her characters, such as the famous Barraca de Tonha ( @barracadetonha).
With her distinctive humor and talent for storytelling, Monique Mon aspires to take her work all over Brazil and conquer her financial independence through partnerships and online commerce.
How did the idea of creating funny videos with the characters of grandmothers and grandchildren come about?
Since I was a teenager, I imitated people on the street talking, I gathered friends to laugh with the lines I created. At that time there was no internet, so it was enough to have movement on the street for fun to be guaranteed.
How do you develop the characters and dialogues in the videos? Are there any inspirations in your real life?
Yes, there are, the names for example, are of people that I really knew or know from Sítio Novo, my hometown in Bahia. As for the dialogue, the videos show me how and with whom the characters fit best.
How did it feel to go viral on social media during the pandemic? How did it change your life?
It was good and at the same time bad, at first I didn’t want to show it, but it was good to show my face because I was able to help families with the project for Janela Solidária, from which people donated and left food in the window for those who didn’t have anything to eat at home I could go to my window and collect. It was more than two years of campaign, however, there was the bad side, here in Portugal the videos had a negative connotation because I cursed those who were on the street during the quarantine. So, with the Solidarity Campaign exhibition, everyone knew where they lived and I started to suffer some attacks from stoning the window, destruction of food and even physical attacks. With all these wear and tear, I didn’t stop, continuing until the end of the pandemic with the duty done session.
How do you deal with remaining anonymous while your videos are shared by different artists and TV shows?
It’s a privilege, we know how difficult it is to grow on social media and having this projection organically is memorable.
What is it like reconciling life in Portugal with creating content aimed at the Brazilian public?
Here in Portugal, there is not so much strength in creating content for the internet compared to Brazil. There are just over 10 million of us, while in Brazil there are more than 200 million, so I have some advantages, including a very strong link with the Northeastern culture, which is present in my content.
What are your main sources of inspiration when creating videos?
The quality of the video is fundamental, the videos tend to follow a sequence of facts about a family narrated by Dona Dadá, there are several characters: Jorge, Cleiton, Layane, Neto, Dante, Breno, Isabela, Isadora, Maria Helena, Mário Broa , Estherzinha, Alexandre, Alessandro, Dinha, Nega, Angolane …
You mentioned the desire to create a theatrical show. Could you share more details about this project?
Yes, I have a project still in progress with playwright and theatrical director Paulo Atto. My desire is to go back to the theater, but not as an actress, the idea is the following, to narrate live videos with audience participation.
How is the relationship with your children and how do they support your artistic career?
My children, Rodrigo and Sophia are the biggest supporters of my work. They are sensitive and this makes our relationship harmonious, love.
What are your plans for the Barraca de Tonha virtual store? What products do you intend to offer?
The store is in progress, at first I’m working and testing the dropshipping system. The products are varied, from locker room, home, electronics to pets…
You seek partnerships or sponsors for your projects. How do you envision the future of your artistic career?
Yes, mainly for the stand-up projects. The internet is unstable and even though it’s a showcase, it’s good to take advantage of success on the networks to implement how I work outside of it. Thanks to the videos, I was able to participate in a film in Bahia by director Solon Barreto Um Sonho de Cinema, with the cast Zéu Britto, Maria Menezes and Carlos Betão, all from Bahia like me. This is my main role for the future, to make the exodus from the internet to the road of the world.
Follow Monique Mon on Instagram