Ep 84 – Steve and Laura Monarque
tom Harris with, it’s all greek to me and today we are going to have a special program of music and testimony and we have steve monarch and his lovely wife right here, Laura. And they have just had a four month old beautiful baby Cassidy rose. And uh, so, but we’re gonna get to find out who these wonderful people are and they’re gonna do a song for us as well. So you met at the Village Gate. So let’s, let’s, let’s take it from there. It was kind of an interesting night, Some great things happen, you know, divine appointments took place, go for it. Yeah, we were uh, we met, we were cast in a rock musical together, uh part of the new york Fringe Festival. And so that was performing a venue called Poisson rouge, which is the whole village gate. Um this was now about 11 years ago when we first met. Um and it was, it was quite a ride, you know, downtown theater with music and rock and roll. So we were just playing music together and um sort of getting to know who each other, who each other were. I mean, I didn’t quite know what to make of each other at the time, I think. Yeah. So tell me a little bit about yourself, laura, you, you grew up where in your music, your musician, you play keyboards, you’re saying? Oh sure, yeah, I grew up outside of Portland Oregon. Um and just always grew up listening in love and folk music and real classic rock, like stuff that was um really not my generation, but so I think I have a bit of a soul of some bygone music eras. Um, and steve has the same stuff when we look at each other and go, gosh, I wish we were born in that, in that same generation. So we always, we always connected musically. These are sixties and fifties wannabes. This is what you didn’t have to call it wannabes. No, they love the dew wop, they love rock, they love folk, they love their musicians. Well, we have a, we have a saying, there’s the Beatles and then there’s everyone else. That’s great. So you, you started playing and you started writing. So you’re a singer songwriter as well. Yeah, a little bit more of the writer of the family. But we both, we both just love creative expression with, we both have a background in theater and film and, and so we really connected on that level. Um, yeah, so we did this, we did this play and it was sort of like you’re saying a divine appointment, you know, in the audience was jerry stiller who was watching our show and came backstage and, and uh, you know, wanted to say how much he enjoyed what we were doing. And I had this short script that I was shopping around that. Uh, I was looking for someone to play the part. Uh, I got to talking to him and some of his people and he read it and his wife read it and next thing you know, they both did it. They built this thing called. It’s called simpler times, simpler times times. It’s on amazon. Um it’s a comedy with Stiller and Mirror, the famous comedy duo. I was watching them when I was five years old and the Ed Sullivan show. So for me it was like, wow, I’m getting it right after we do this. I wouldn’t get it real sweet story and the both of them um, you know, just so embodied the sweet family like kind of message that steve wanted to portray just like where has the simplicity gone? Is the man just wants his newspaper. You’ve got a couple of things going on for you got you got acting, music, uh, this, this production you’re doing then you got this attraction going on and and you know you, you saw you met her that night I met her. Um, well it was a rehearsal period so there were several performances and so we worked pretty closely together for several months and it was, you know, it started as a friendship. Okay. I mean in your mind anyway, well listen the story goes is that you know, it took laura long time to uh for me to grow on her a great way to say it. I mean there you go. I mean, yeah, it was it was, it was interesting but here we are 11 years now we have a baby who’s four months old and we have, well, I’ll talk seriously about it though, I mean, I didn’t know what to make of steve and we were in this world of like playing music and goofing around um and he shared his faith openly and was not, he was still a cool guy and I was like, I didn’t, I didn’t really know any christian people, I didn’t really know any people who talked about their faith in a way that like made sense in my mind, it was something that was very out out in another world to me and so I had no idea what it even anything was about, you know, and to steve was sort of the first like real person example that I met that I could see, you know faith in action and see it transform his life testimony from her, A real follower of christ, she’s in contact with a real disciple talk about divine appointment, it’s like that’s really what the slow build was about, it wasn’t about like the goofy goofy stuff that we had going on between us in the beginning. And and it took me quite a long time to realize that, but ever since that’s been the articulated goal about who we are and what we do together, um so how long in that, in that relationship before you were impacted with the gospel with jesus christ with his faith? How I mean, did you have questions where they’re, you know discussions and how long did it take for you to come to a point where you’re, you’re observing his being a follower of jesus christ and believing the bible, his faith all of a sudden you started thinking about yourself, um it took longer than I’m proud to say, but you know, it went from a journey of like really rejecting it and pushing it away. So I had a long way to go and I still feel that I have a long way to go, but all of us have, we’re not perfect even close. Yeah, I guess, I guess. But you have put your faith in jesus christ Yeah, without a doubt, I mean, it’s too it’s too it’s too scary to think about life without it now, you know, it just is to the alternatives that the that the world has to offer us that, you know, that we’ve been a part of for so long and get so accustomed to I can’t imagine you’re in new york scene, you’re in the new york scene down at the village gate, you’re doing theater, you’re doing, you’re producing stuff now, but your musicians, I’d love to hear one of your pieces that, would you like, would you, could we hear it? Let’s do it. Is this a good time. Yeah, this microphone. Sure, yeah. This is from our album called In Your Love and Your love. Um and it’s a can we get that on the website? Sure. You can get it at, tell us where we can get it. Yeah, here’s the website right behind us, the monarchs dot com. It’s gonna give you up to date about the album. You can stream it for free, or if you want to buy a cd and that would be very cool too. And shows where we’re gonna be playing over the next couple of months to if you happen to be around the area, come check us out. Love is patient. Love is kind, not proud. I will, wow man. What full sound? That was a full sound with two voices, Harmony and a taylor guitar. All live right here in my in my study, which is our studio, it just blew my mind. I’m thinking my listening to Peter paul and mary and my listening to Simon and Garfunkel, who am I listening to here, You know? So just real great harmonies and and just really smooth. Not only the harmonies, but smooth scripture, and how you laid it out first, Corinthians 13, you know, on the love chapter. Just it can’t get any better than that. It cannot get any better than that, you know, it’s it’s tough. It’s really it’s a hard business to be in because obviously, you know, the Hollywood, the secular world, it’s all about what they want to write about what they want to present to us in the society, you know, and I’ve kind of like turned my life around with what I’m writing when I’m, when I’m, you know, trying to put out there for the bridge between the secular world and the christian world with good content when it comes to entertainment. Um musically films, I’ve got like four films right now that they’re shopping around, I’ve gotta play that Laura can tell you a little bit about a story and what we got going on with that is sure we’re developing the steve’s play. I mean, it’s got a real great deep spiritual message kind of couched in a story of rock and roll. Um and so the, the ultimate message of spiritual redemption comes through, but the story is accessible and the story is relatable for everyday people with everyday struggle. So I think that’s what we’re trying to takes place in 1985 and there’s a suicidal down and out rock and roller, like a bon Jovi meets his guardian angel through a karaoke machine, like a nat king cole. And this this, this character basically has a let’s say a born again experience in front of an audience and comes to understanding what uh true love, real, real love, real love. Yeah, we got 14 songs that’s fantastic. You know, I wish you and pray for you, you’re gonna be on the top of my prayer list. God will give you favor with the right connections and the right people and anything I could do. I’m gonna, I’m just gonna start praying for you guys that you’re gonna be able to find God’s direction in this whole thing. You know because you have to be patient Sometimes you plant the seed and you don’t you don’t see something until years later. Look at Paul 14 years, 14 years. I couldn’t do that. Yeah. But even like you know a tree that that you plant uh and you have to wait for years to get the fruit. It’s not like you’re not gonna get the fruit next day. Even if you plant tomatoes, you know you plant tomatoes, you gotta wait some months before the tomatoes. I remember I did this one time up here where I was living in Yonkers and we had and I and the things grew everywhere. I didn’t realize they grow so much, you know? And then you never you never realize how far I can go and how much it can produce. Because you know, you plant the seed and you get fruit and then you plant the seed from the fruit. So this is what’s going on. Now. I was gonna say something about love and first Corinthians gives you that love is more than what I say, love is more than what I know. You know mysteries love is more than what I give and do love is really what I am. And that’s what in verse four it begins to talk about what true love is. You know, and you just you put it together in a song in such a wonderful way. And I just really enjoy that. I mean I’m even willing to hear another song, but I’ll just, I’ll just go ahead and let you guys share your vision. So where do you want to go? What are the next steps and what is the vision for the, for the future? Well, I like how you talk about planting a seed and the weight because I think, you know, one of our favorite things to keep reminding each other is the proverbs that many are the plans in a man’s heart and the Lord is what he’s the one who’s going to give you what you need. So we we talk all the time about what kind of plans and what kind of vision we’d like to have. But really I think we just want to be able to love each other, love our family. Be able to use the gifts that God has given us to just to just uh thank God we can play and sing together and share it with our with our new daughter who now just just today looked at the guitar and touched it and went, so, you know when you speak about love, it’s my wife, we share a very designed love. Uh that is uh that is no, like not like any other love. Uh and we are one together. Um we do have a daughter that we have to be responsible for. Um we do love that that little girl. But the love that we have, it surpasses, you know, um anything else on this earth. And then there’s the love that we have for christ, that is something that is in our hearts every day. Um and it’s it’s a um it’s an interesting interesting journey because it’s, you know, you watch all around you people, you know that even family that don’t understand that um I have a lot of people in my life, most of the people in my life, I don’t understand. And uh you know, the future for for that is the future of having family or having people in my life is getting further and further and maybe God’s bringing me away from that to for the next what the next step is. You didn’t grow up in a christian home. No, I grew up in a catholic home in the catholic home. There’s a distinction, there is a total difference. But no, there was, there was, you know, let’s just say that the the beer keg was the center of our existence. And uh I grew up with a lot of people who still till this day are involved with with that. I don’t want to simplify it. My my wife was catholic, I was greek orthodox, but that’s that’s a religion, that’s a religious experience. There’s a lot of uh you know atmosphere. I was an altar boy that, you know, you go in, there’s the ambience of purity and and really serenity and all of that. But the relationship for me was missing and I think that’s the way I would define one being a religious experience, the other being a personal experience, a relational experience. And so you have come to that point, can you talk a little bit about that, how you came to that journey where you trusted christ, where he became real to you? You know, I was like really at the height of my career in Hollywood and I was working a lot and I was involved in the world and I was involved in the way of the world and the things that come with the world and and you know, my whole life, I always felt God was sort of just there, but I always felt like God was just waiting for me to get off myself, let’s say. And then 11 day I had a real real Pentecostal experience where you know the rush of the wind and being up for three days and running on the beach and screaming that the Lord is the spirit where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and I haven’t turned back since That was one, how long ago it had 25 years ago, maybe a little longer. 25, years ago. That’s great. Yeah. And and now it’s like a daily occurrence. It’s like I wake up and you know, the the calvary is always on my mind. That sounds like a song that if it isn’t right, that one, but it just seems that way. It’s like, you know, it’s just this whole supernatural, you know, existence of a man who was all God. You know, it just blows my mind. So how do you fit that now into your, you know, not just the personal relationship with christ, the reality of that, with your with your livelihood, with your job, with what you’re trying to do and how do you, how do you do that? It’s you just gotta, you have some guidelines. You have principles. Are you, Is it hidden? Miss? What are you using? What are you, how are you doing? I’m just using all the faith. I can, I can, I can muster all the faith I can practice. Because the truth of the matter is that maybe nothing’s gonna happen and that God’s not going to use me for anything. That it’s like, honestly, I tell my wife all the time, I feel like moses. I’m not, I’m not allowed to go into that 40 years in the desert. Yeah. No, you’re not God is obviously he has his hands on the two of you. Not only do you have a unified love for one another? You have a unified harmony? It’s so sweet. You hear it right away. You know, when you begin to sing together, it’s like, oh, and it’s the kind of harmony that I’ve heard in the groups that I mentioned before, it’s real and you know, and some some smart people out there, some talented and people that know music a lot better than I do are gonna say, well, you know what, this is really, really vintage and beautiful and we want to hear more of it. I do, I want to thank you. Yeah, So what about yourself, your experience with jesus? Can you talk a little bit more about that, or even music or even your daughter than you just got? Well, that’s talk about a miracle. I mean, gosh, I know, I think every first time parent, secular, religious, whatever, whatever belief you may or may not have, um I think every first time parent goes through some sort of miraculous experience when they, when they realize what bringing a child into the world is all about. So, um I think that hasn’t, that’s just enhanced the focus and and for me having um you know, having really steve be my first introduction into the gospel and um, you know, I’m still on a journey of learning the word and being as close, you know, not relying on him so much, but developing my relationship being as close as I can be, and and thinking about how to share that with our daughter and and I think, you know, the best gift that that steve gave to me was his witness. And so I think that in the work that we’re trying to do, it doesn’t have to be super explicit if no, if somebody was sitting here and they’re just like you, they’re musicians and what would you tell them? How would you bring them? You know, like jesus brought that woman at the well, you know, right to himself, he says, oh if you knew who it was you were talking to, you’d asked me and I would give you water that you’ll never thirst again, you know? So what would you say to somebody as we as we wind this up? How would they come to christ there into the rock scene there? Into the dramas? They’re actors or there or maybe they don’t have anything to do with it, but how would you bring them to jesus? Do you want to answer that one? Do I want to answer how you would do it? I know you can answer, how would I do that. I mean listen, you can’t do anything. All you can do is just be present and let the spirit of truth do it because that’s all that matters. You know God, this is this is this is the journey I’m on right now where I’m having a little bit of an issue with, I don’t want to keep saying, hey man, I saw you last week, you remember I told you about God, I already said it, you don’t ever have to say I have to just be it and let just God work because because people are written in the tree of life or they’re not there, they’re either not so that makes people thirsty. Exactly. So let me let me just uh just let you know that we talked a lot about different things, but there’s a couple that had their divine appointment and journey with God with jesus christ with the gospel and from a world of entertainment, from a world of acting, from a world of music and to the place where they can speak up and say you know God is real, jesus christ is real. He died for me on the cross. He was buried, he arose again from the dead. I believe it, I don’t even know why, but I believe it And you may be listening to this story and you say you know what I want that I want that it’s so simple to just reach up to God and just say God father God, thank you, thank you for this story that I just heard, thank you for loving me and thank you for sending Jesus Christ 2000 years ago to bleed and die on the cross for the world even for me and I believe he rose again from the dead. Would you please come into my heart and forgive me. I confess with my mouth that I’m a sinner, I believe in my heart that God that you are real and that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. Please come into my life and saved me and changed me. You know, I did that when I was so screwed up on drugs. Uh 19 years old man. It’s been a long time. I won’t even tell you how long, but here we are today, telling the same story and how it touched these beautiful people that I’ve just interviewed. Uh and come on back and listen to another story. And you never know when you hear another one like this one. So God bless you until next time when it’s all greek to me.