Mona Garcea is a Television Producer known for Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and Disjointed on Netflix starring Kathy Bates. Please scroll down to read this interview.
"MATTER OF FACT" FACTOR by Arlen J
Arlen J: I was privileged to witness the art and beauty of your ability to manifest many years ago. Throughout the years, we’ve discussed the process of manifesting as well as how there is a very ‘matter of fact’ ease and quality to successfully bringing what you want into your life. I personally saw that quality in you years ago and I feel as if it has been a pretty fluid process for you to get to where you are today as a TV producer. You used to say "I want my own show" with such ease that if felt factual long before the path to the goal even made itself known to you. Have you been consciously aware of any other times in your journey where this matter of fact process was present?
Mona: Well, I think the biggest one was that I always wanted to have my own show, but it was very specific to sitcoms. I have been obsessed with sitcoms since I was little. I was in Romania and didn’t speak English, so I would watch I Love Lucy and all of these shows that really translate well into any language. I was fascinated by that, so when I said I wanted my own show, it was really directed toward sitcoms. Then, I somehow ended up working for the biggest sitcom creator there is right now, which is Chuck Lorre. So, I think that's one of those internal things that I manifested. My sister actually pointed it out. She said “it’s really funny that out of all the people you could end up working for, it’s Chuck Lorre!" He’s the guy who created the biggest sitcoms of our time. It would be like working for Norman Lear if I was trying to make it in the 70s, so I think it was definitely manifested by my desire and it was very specific. I don’t have my own show yet, but, if I will, it’ll probably be a sitcom and it will be with Chuck. It’s kind of a no brainer. When that happens, it will just be part of the journey.
Arlen J: That’s pretty powerful.
Mona: Yeah, I guess it is. It's like going back to us talking about the matter of fact element because it does feel like it was just that. There’s an ease to it that I never really worried about. I worry about money and my personal life. Anything that I really worry about and try to control doesn’t have that beautiful journey that my career has had up to this point. It’s like the way Chuck found me. I faxed my resume and, three months later, it happened to be on his fax machine. Three months later is when he was looking for an assistant. So, this resume sat on his fax machine for three months, which is so wild to me.
Arlen J: What? Really?
Mona: You didn’t know that?
Arlen J: No, I didn’t know that. So, okay, so....
Mona: So, I was working on this show, back when you and I started hanging out. I was working on this show Beautiful People that got cancelled and my boss at the time asked “What do you want to do?” I said “I want to work on a sitcom.” He said “go ahead and fax every sitcom there is. Fax them your resume.” At the time, fax machines were big, right? You didn’t email, you faxed your resume. So, I went ahead and faxed every TV show there was. I had a list of probably over 150 of them. Then, I was unemployed for a couple of months. I didn’t hear anything back from anybody. About three months later, I got a call from Chuck’s office saying “Hey! We found your resume on our fax machine and he happens to be looking for an assistant. Would you be interested in coming in?” I thought it was a joke because I’d been following his career since I moved to the United States. I was in awe of this guy who created all of these sitcoms. I had my interview and, again, I didn’t take it seriously because what are the chances that I was going to work for Chuck Lorre. I just thought it was kind of ridiculous. So, I went in and there was a line of people, about 20 people lined up to interview with him. I was very kind of casual about it, you know. Everybody was wearing suits and I think I wore jeans and a nice shirt. I didn’t think I had a shot at all of getting the job. I was just excited to meet the guy. So, my interview with him consisted of me going “oh my gosh, I’m your biggest fan! Do you know how great you are? Let’s talk about you!” I guess at the end of it, he said “I’ve never met anyone this excited about me, so let’s give you a shot.” I got the job over all of those people who were in their suits and had their resumes and it was just crazy because I didn’t have any business being there. I didn’t have the experience. I really just went in because I thought it would be great to meet him. Now, I’ve been working for him for 13 years, going on 13 years.
Arlen J: Ok, rewind, you’re a kid and you followed him. Do you know at what age you might have become aware that he was the creator of these shows that you watched?
Mona: Um, probably on Rosanne. I saw his name in the credits for Rosanne - I did like that show. Then, he did Dharma & Greg, so, I don’t know, maybe I was 16 or 17. I mean, in Romania, I didn’t see his shows because all we had were I Love Lucy, Carol Burnett Show, that type of stuff. Everything was like 20 to 30 years-old. We didn’t get the recent shows in Romania, but, once I moved here, that’s when I saw his name and I would see his name on all of these shows that I loved. So, I was like “one day, I’m going to meet him. I will meet this guy and say hello!” I guess that’s the matter of fact part of it. There wasn’t any part of me that tried to push meeting him at all. In the end, it was just the fact that my resume was on his fax machine for so long...
Arlen J: Three months...
Mona: Three months. Which is so crazy! That part I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how and why I got the job. I didn’t belong there in that world. I didn’t have any business getting hired because I had no experience really, not a lot anyway. That's
still a little bit of a struggle - that feeling of not belonging somewhere or not feeling worthy of something. However as I get older and grow spiritually, I see that it’s not about belonging but more about where God needs you to be at that appointed time.
Arlen J: So, you’re aware that there was focus on your part. There’s focus, there’s what you’re passionate about, and what you want. There’s an ease to it. You’re going to meet him. You don’t know or put an emphasis on what the end result is, but you are just looking for the chance to connect with the guy.
Mona: Right, yeah.
Arlen J: And it’s how you actually handle it too, an openness of yourself perhaps...
Mona: Right, with no heavy agenda. I just wanted to tell him that he’s amazing and he’s changed my life on so many levels by watching his shows, and that’s really it. I couldn’t even believe that I had gotten into the building.
Arlen J: That’s amazing. You talked about your Dad to me and how he kind of got you to focus more on your career and having a relationship later. From what you explained, I would say that he most likely programmed you in some sort of way that also allowed for the alignment of meeting and working with Chuck Lorre.
Mona: Right. True, yes. I think for many years I was sort of a little resentful that I wasn’t pushed like other girls were encouraged and pushed to be married and have kids and do all the stuff that girls should do. My Dad never emphasized that. He just didn’t think that it was that important. I think he just thought “well, that’s just part of life. It’ll come or not, who cares." However, he always emphasized having a career and being accomplished. So, that’s one of those things that, now, as I get older, I’m really looking at. There is a programming to it, which is beautiful and great, but, on the other side, as I'm looking at it as an adult, I wonder at what level do you program your child in the right or wrong direction? Now, I don’t think I was programmed in the right or wrong direction. I think I was programmed in the way I was supposed to be, but it is something to really look at.
Arlen J: And, in a sense, because you were so passionate about sitcoms and how that changed your life that programming from him also very much lined you up. Like you said, you were programmed the way you were supposed to be. There’s quite a bit of destiny there.
Arlen J: Had he programmed you toward relationships and settling down, you would have had a completely different story. You wouldn't have spoken the words “I just want to meet this person and this person completely changed my life!” into existence.
Mona: Right! That’s true. Actually, now that we talk about it, it’s interesting because it makes me think that my dad and I would watch I Love Lucy and Carol Burnett Show and all of these shows that translated well in other languages. We didn’t speak English and that’s how we bonded. We would laugh so much at these shows, so I think there was something about it that really drew me to comedy, that you bond with someone over something that transcends languages. It’s funny in any language and I think it sort of guided me in the direction of sitcoms instead of drama or... There’s something to that, my bond with my dad has really kind of created my path toward sitcoms.
Arlen J: You get to play ball with some interesting people. What are some of the successful qualities you see in all of them? Whether they’re actors, producers, directors, or writers, what makes them powerful and someone to learn from?
Mona: I think, it feels like the successful creators, writers, actors, there’s an ease to their art, there’s no forcing it. I’ve watched it and always wondered “is that just an instinctual thing, like you’re born with it and you’re just an amazing actor because you are? Or, is there an ease because they have trained so much?” I feel like it is more instinctual. It’s something that goes through you and you’re not controlling. It’s not something that’s yours to grab onto; you’re letting something flow through you. Anytime you see an actor or a writer, any sort of creative being trying to control the creativity, it gets stifled and it’s not funny and it doesn’t work. There’s some belief, I mean for me, that it’s God living through you, but it can be any powerful energy that’s trying to live through you because we all have a purpose here on Earth and I think, sometimes, me included, you stifle it. Because you have what your brain/ego wants and then you have what the Universe, what God, wants you to do and, sometimes, there's a fight. The time that you use your brain and you try to do what you want, it’s not as powerful as when you let God channel in. So, I think that's the through line I’ve seen; there is an ease to it.
Arlen J: Well, with that being said, it takes a lot of commitment to line yourself up as that vessel, to be that vessel, the vessel of this channeling. Do you think that they do that consciously or subconsciously? How are they aligned with it; what do you see?
Mona: I work with a lot of comedy writers and stand-up comedians and, most of the time, there’s not a conscious alignment. I think there's a, I don’t know what the word is, but it’s youthful, like a child. Everything just kind of flows and it's fun. This is fun, this is exciting, this is funny! It’s almost like they live from the point-of-view of a child, not an adult. Not immature, but in a place of being very carefree when it comes to that part, the creative part. They can be controlling in other ways and, sometimes, you know, crazy and all those things people say about actors and comedians, but I think the part that they channel is very childlike. It’s very free and open. You never see them trying, yet it comes through. So, it has to be unconscious or subconscious.
Arlen J: So, is there a flip-side to that? What do you see holding some people back?
Mona: Controlling things, having a set outcome, controlling the outcome… really, it's just all about having control. Control is the main thing that makes you conflicted. Don’t you agree?
Arlen J: Yeah, I do. I absolutely do agree. So, without being controlling, when it comes down to a routine or structure, what are some of your things? Do you engage in any self-talk, affirmations, or mantra? What are some of the things that you feel are important in that way?
Mona: For me, being spiritually connected is important and it hasn’t always been. There's been a disconnect from it through the years, but I think, in the last five years, I’ve been very connected. I go to a church that I love, but it’s not about the church, it’s about the message. It’s about being spiritually connected to something more powerful than you. For me, I call that God. Some people call it the Universe. I like to start my mornings by praying, which is also meditating. I’m asking God to guide me through the day, to make the right decisions. That's really the only routine I have, or I’ve had in the last, probably, five years. Otherwise, I don’t know. I meet people who are very structured and there is a rigidity to it. I think being that structured makes you a little rigid. I’m a very clean person, so, sometimes, I take that to the next level in that I’m very organized and neat. I like to organize things and I like to go to the container store. I like boxes for boxes. Then, I catch myself and I’m like “yup, there I go. That’s a bit much." I don’t think that's healthy.
Arlen J: We all come to plateaus in our journeys regardless of the work we put in. We all get to those spots where we have to ‘find it’ again. We have to look for our passion or our why. Things like that. So, right now, for you, what's been inspiring for you… What’s your thing?
Mona: I'm inspired by Pilates. I’ve done it for a really long time, 16 years. There’s something about it that’s very fascinating to me because, just like yoga, you can’t practice Pilates and not injure yourself without engaging your mind, so it’s a mind-body connection and I love that. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you really can get injured. You have to be in the moment and the moment that you’re not, you let go and you’re thinking about laundry or whatever, you’re done! However, I really get inspired by people like you who take it to the next level. I think I’m really inspired by people who really look beyond just the day-to-day, the nine-to-five, and I’m striving for that. Having a nine-to-five or nine-to-nine job, makes it kind of hard because there is so much structure and there is so much sameness to it. I like people who live and think differently.
Arlen J: Some people jump out of planes and, for some, that brings them into the present moment in a way that they might not have achieved through self-discipline. The adrenaline rush pulls them in. Not that that's who you are, but it sounds like you need just a little bit more to wrangle you in.
Mona: Yeah, well it’s funny that you say that because there is a type of Pilates called mat Pilates, which is where you do it on the floor, using your own body. You don’t have a machine to work against. I hate it more than anything in the world. My friends have asked “why do you hate it?” I respond “because I have nothing to fight against.” So, one of my friends who is kind of enlightened, was like “hmmm, that says a lot about you actually.”
Arlen J: That does say a lot. If you think about your soul, you know, your soul journey, coming to the United States and the struggle you had to get here...
Arlen J: Just constant evolving. It’s like “are you really looking for comfortability on a soul level?
Mona: Right! Would I really have been born in a communist country and have gone through all the things I went through, I had to fight to get here, yeah. It kind of applies to my relationships, too. I find that the relationships that really feed me are the ones that are hard work with really difficult personalities. Anytime I see an easy relationship, I’m like “well, that’s not something I believe in.” Like, I don’t trust that because it’s too easy. There has to be a struggle, right?
Arlen J: In regard to your beliefs in health, beliefs in taking care of yourself, where are you at?
Mona: Um, interesting.
Arlen J: What do you see in other people's approaches and how might that look different from what you believe in? What’s your stance?
Mona: Well, I guess that’s where the matter of fact comes in. I do feel like people who really worry about their health and those things, to me, it kind of works against you. I’m from a very healthy family, so it’s tricky. Where I come from, we live to be 97 and climb mountains. My dad is 81 and he drinks, works out two hours a day, drinks probably just as much, and has every intent on living to be 100. So, that’s where I come from. It's just kind of a given that he, probably, will be 100-years-old. I’ll also probably be 100 and kicking. There is an ease to it that I don’t worry about, but, again, I also haven’t gone through problems.
Arlen J: Health-wise, you mean?
Arlen J: I mean, there's a lot to be said for that perspective because I, too, am always healthy and believe it’s mostly because I completely believe that it’s my choice to be. I consciously set a vibration toward that.
Mona: Interesting, yeah. You just don’t worry about it. You're not like “oh, I'm going to have this or this is going to happen.”
Arlen J: No, I’m always going to be fine.
Mona: Do you ever go to the doctor?
Arlen J: No.
Mona: Yeah, me neither. The yearly check ups, I’m like “what am I checking for? There’s nothing to check for.”
Arlen J: I feel it's like you said, when people are concentrating on it, then you’re going to create a reason for it. So...
Mona: You’re going to find problems, but you come from healthy stock, too, so I don’t know. We could be biased is all I’m saying.
Arlen J: Potentially, yes. So, tell me a little bit about the show. What are you excited about with this show? What’s something new this time around?
Mona: Oh, for the one I work on now? Disjointed? It took me by surprise. It’s a show about a dispensary and I’m not a pot smoker. If it were a show about alcohol, I’d be your person, but I don’t smoke pot. So, when I got hired on it, I just felt so blessed to be there, but I couldn’t relate to it. I can’t relate to the world. How is this going to be funny? It just took me by surprise because it really shocked me how beautiful it became. It’s really a show about relationships. So, at the end of the day, the point is that it’s not about what you do, if you work in an office or whatever, the comedy comes from the relationship. That’s really at the core of all of the successful shows that I’ve seen, that Chuck has created, and that I watch. The core of it is the relationship. That’s what makes or breaks it. I think a lot of people who try to create shows focus on the thing: Oh, they’re people who work at the mall and hilarity ensues at the mall. Nobody cares about the mall. Nobody cares about a dispensary unless you’re watching these six to eight individuals relate to each other in that environment. I think it took me by surprise. I was very shocked that it became so beautiful and so funny.
Arlen J: Ok. My next question: How inspired are you now to partake in some dispensary bud? No pot brownies?
Mona: No, no pot brownies.
Arlen J: It’s funny, I remember back in the day you asking me “are you a pot head?”
Mona: I did?
Arlen J: I remember you saying it in such a way, in such a pitch, too.
Mona: Like judgy?
Arlen J: No, no, you weren’t judgy at all. You were just like “are you one of those?” I was definitely smoking.
Mona: That’s right, you were smoking. That’s right and, here we are, now I work on a pot show.
Arlen J: Manifestation... what does it mean for you?
Mona: I have realized that when I am very specific about my thoughts, it affects my energy and the energy that I put out into the world. It’s been on and off throughout the years, but there’s something about the last six months of my life, I’m very conscious of the energy I put out. This is a little off topic because it’s more of a woman thing, but, as a woman, especially in a place like L.A, it can really affect you. You know, your perceived value goes down somehow as you get older. And... I felt it for a hot second when I turned 40. I was reading these articles and all these women were like “40s are when you lose it. Nobody wants you. Nobody this and that... and it was a good couple of days where I was affected by it. In my 30s, I felt so cool, sexy, and powerful as a woman and, then, at 40, I was like “these women are saying that, at 40, you’re done.” After I did that for a couple of days, I woke up one morning and I was like “nope, not believing it.” I knew it in my heart of hearts that it didn’t resonate with me. Maybe it resonates with the people who wrote it, but it doesn’t sit well with me because I don’t feel that.” I don’t feel like now things are changing. I feel more attractive and more powerful... So, I made a conscious decision to go “I’m not reading that anymore and I’m not listening to that anymore. I have to go with how I feel.” To me, getting older is so sexy. I don’t know where it’s coming from. I think, maybe, its just a matter of not listening to the stuff or, maybe, it’s just an internal thing, but that happened lately. That’s a little off topic, but it’s a personal thing I’ve experienced.
Arlen J: No, no. It’s a part of the energy we’re discussing. See, you’re pretty conscious about your energy and you're seeing how that’s affecting your environment...
Mona: My environment, yeah... and it’s a very attractive energy because I’m not trying for that. I just feel it and I see it in other women...
Arlen J: Matter of fact factor?
Mona: Matter of fact! I see it in other women and I’m like “oh, that is so hot” and they don’t have the plastic surgery, they don’t have this thing or that thing, and there’s something very sexy about it. So, that's something that has happened as I’ve gotten older.
Arlen J: We talked a little about the Bible before meeting for this and you mentioned reading it for a second time. What kind of power does it hold for you?
Mona: I find it to be the greatest love story ever told. There’s a beautiful energy in how things fit together. You can be reading the Bible and come across a terrible event, but then you cut to 50 pages later and you’re thinking “well, of course, that awful thing had to take place for this amazing thing to happen.” I’m very general about it because there's so many specific stories, but, I mean, Christ alone, the love of this man who was just pure heart and then was destroyed by us and our egos; there's a reason it's still relevant 2,000 years later. It’s still the most popular book ever written. There’s so much power and love in the fact that it has survived all these years. It's also powerful the way it speaks to me. I’ll read a passage in the morning and it will guide my entire day. Then, I’ll read the same passage weeks or years later and I’m like “oh, this is new” because it’s meant for you in that moment. It’s not a book that you just read and memorize. A lot of Christians just memorize it and they’ll spew it out. It means nothing. Then, it’s just a book. However, if you can read it with an open heart, it speaks to what you need in that moment. That, to me, is love because it’s something so powerful speaking to you for that day. Who else does that, you know? Just my perspective. I think you should read it. I think you’d be blown away by it.
Arlen J: I feel like I should.
Mona: I feel like you should. People get so stuck on the ‘Christian Thing’ and that, really, is kind of upsetting because there are so many levels to it that are so deep and beautiful and you can’t just treat it like “oh, you’re Christian, you’re this, you’re that.” You don’t want to put a label on the Bible. You don’t want to put a label on someone who believes in something. Just let it flow. Let it be.
Arlen J: In regard to what we’ve touched on, is there anything else that comes to your mind?
Mona: I’m really inspired by you and the way you look at life and I’ve thought about that a lot. Every time we talk, I think about it for weeks because I’m still the type of person who gets stuck on the “two plus two is four.” You seem to be able to look beyond the day to day stuff and have such a great big picture perspective. That’s something I’m aiming for. Back to the power of intentional thoughts, I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle to. We’re still human beings stuck in a body and stuck with egos, but, at some point, you have to make the conscious decision that “I’m not going to read this thing that’s feeding me something negative or I’m not going to make these choices because they’re bad for me. I’m working on that still. I’d love to be at that point where you are at like “alright, nope, we’re not going down that road.”
Arlen J: Yeah, well, you know, I’m also probably not in any other place than what you just described...
Mona: It doesn’t feel like a struggle to you though. That’s interesting.
Arlen J: No, it is. I mean, I wouldn't call it a struggle, but I consciously do the same thing. I have to consciously make decisions all the time.
Mona: Oh, ok. So, there is a battle...
Arlen J: Yes, and that has to do with old programming.
Mona: Ok, not so much your ego or your body, but more....
Arlen J: No, I’m always dealing with old programming. I feel like, if you’ve gotten really strong, negative programming from your childhood, then that programming will potentially, not always, remain on the sidelines waiting for you to falter. There will always be some sort of digress. If you’re not looking forward, then all you have is looking back, to feel backward, and to think backward. If you’re not conscious, in the moment, emphasizing that with constant practice, like your Pilates brings you into the moment, then, yeah, you can potentially go backward easier than you can go forward.
Mona: Right, yeah, that makes sense.
Arlen J: So, you know, I’m just committed to being hyperfocused toward growth.
Mona: Well, there it is. That’s my, I guess, my goal… to be hyper focused on growth. My ultimate goal is to try to get there a little bit faster.
Stay connected with Mona Garcea on Instagram: @monagarcea