2007 Entertainer of the Year
Taylor McKessie from Disney's smash hit
"HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL"
Ms. Coleman received this award during our 26th Annual National Finals Gala on July 10, 2007 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World.
Monique Coleman is originally from Columbia, South Carolina where she started acting in theatre and television at a very young age. Her training began at the Workshop Theatre School of Dramatic Arts where she performed in over 15 plays. An acting class taught by a guest teacher actually turned out to be an audition, and resulted in her booking her first commercial.
Now the ball was rolling and Monique began auditioning for anything she could in the Southeast region, landing several local and regional commercials even a few supporting roles in films. Her first lead was in the independent feature entitled Mother of the River which was shot in the historic Charleston, South Carolina. The film won numerous awards at film festivals in Chicago. Two years later, Monique appeared as Young Donna in the Family Channel Movie The Ditchdigger’s Daughters for which she was nominated for a Young Artists Award of Hollywood. During her sophomore year of high school, Monique wrote, directed, produced, and starred in her own one-person play entitled Voices from Within standing-room-only audience numbered in the hundreds. In addition to acting, Monique was very involved in her community and school while attending the Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. She did everything from performing in plays, to competing in forensic tournaments, volunteering with abused children, running track, even cheerleading. After graduating from high school, it was off to Chicago where she obtained her B.F.A. in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University. Education was a priority, and though it was a break from her already established career, she finds her training to be invaluable.
Monique currently resides in Los Angeles where she has accrued an extensive résumé in a short time. She has guest starred on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle , Strong Medicine, 10-8 (playing the daughter of Ernie Hudson and Vanessa Bell Calloway) and Veronica Mars. She also recurred on Gilmore Girls and Boston Public. Currently she can be seen as Mary Margret on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and on The Disney Channel Summer Games. In 2005, Monique had the honor of working opposite one of her heroes, the legendary James Earl Jones, in a Hallmark Movie The Reading Room. She received a 2006 Camie Award for her portrayal of the role Leesha, and represented the film at the NAACP Image Awards.
It has been stated by many that it takes a long time to become an overnight sensation and Monique Coleman is an example of just that. Pursuing and dedicating herself toward her dream for well over ten years, the young actress is on her way thanks to the success of the Disney Channel’s original movie High School Musical which helped to put her on the map. Since the movie’s debut in January, she has appeared on such shows as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Showbiz Tonight and TRL. She is one of Teen People’s 25 hottest stars under 25, and has been featured in Bop, Popstar, Tigerbeat, Cosmogirl, Word Up, Teen Vogue, The New York Times and Newsweek as well as international publications. Monique has signed on as Taylor in the much anticipated sequel to High School Musical, premiering August 2007.
Life is exciting for this very special busy young actress, proving that dedication and hard work pays off. A dream of Monique’s is to become a source of inspiration and encouragement to young people and to always creating value no matter what, looks like that dream is coming true too.
As an addendum Monique finished 4th on DWTS 2006, last woman standing! Followed by the 41 city tour of HSM.
Monique has just completed HSM2 to be released in August, a much anticipated event.
For more information please visit: www.GimmeMonique.com
UPDATE: Since being honored as our 2007 Entertainer of the Year, Monique has completed many other projects, including "High School Musical 2" & "High School Musical 3" We wish her much continued success!