Four years ago, Monique O’Toole was working as a skate instructor at Etnies and had never even considered being a filmer. Now, she’s released the full length skate film “Quit Your Day Job” and is consistently creating content for Girls Skate Network. Her and Eric Sandoval co-created the film, but when she first met Eric, she had no idea they would later be traveling the West Coast with an all star cast of skaters.
Monique: [Eric and I] met on Facebook because we had mutual friends. He was really nice and was like “We should hang out and skate”, so we met up at North Hollywood Park. He told me he had been filming for 16 years. I was working one day, the next day actually, and he was like “Hey, I got an idea – MEOW should have a commercial to boost sales. We should do this for Lisa (the owner of MEOW skateboards) because I know you’ve been close with her for a long time”. I thought it was a good idea and told him I’d run it by Lisa, and when I did she was like I don’t know, who is this guy? He’s going to do this for free? But then she met him at the Combi Classic and she was like yeah okay, he’s legit. But good luck getting these pros to film.
Madeline: So where is exactly did you guys travel?
Monique O’Toole: We went to Arizona, New Mexico, San Francisco, San Diego – nothing international.
Madeline: You guys were driving right? What was it like traveling with everyone?
Monique O’Toole: Oh, it was fun! I love traveling with the crew.
Madeline: What was your favorite spot that you filmed at?
Monique O’Toole: Oh, gosh, that’s a really hard one. I’ll have to think about that one. I guess probably the Compton shoot out rail, that’s a cool spot. It was fun to film.
Madeline: So you generally enjoy filming street over vert, right?
Monique O’Toole: Oh yeah. Like, if I’m at a vert contest I’ll film. I can do both, but usually mostly street.
Madeline: I love the title for the film – how did you come up with that?
Monique O’Toole: Umm, well I…quit my day job to make the video with Eric.
Madeline: Haha, I was hoping you’d say that.
Monique O’Toole: Yeah, and then also, I feel like the girls were sending a message to the industry – like if the guys can make a living skating without needing a “day job”, why can’t the girls?
Monique O’Toole: And then it became more fitting as we were filming because the girls started making money skating and quitting their day jobs.
Madeline: That’s amazing! And how long were you guys filming for?
Monique O’Toole: We had an idea of what we were doing around February 2015. But we didn’t have a full cast until the summer, and then Mariah and Lacey jumped on board. They were the last ones [to join] and that was almost a year later. We finished in September 2017.
Madeline: And so were people traveling back and forth to the West Coast to film? Because it sounds like some people joined you to film a lot later.
Monique O’Toole: Yeah, so with Mariah, she’s from Albuquerque, but then she flew out here and she was filming a lot. She ended up getting a bunch of footage and we were like “Just come back and finish – you’ll have a full part”. That happened with Annie too.
Madeline: That’s awesome!
Monique O’Toole: Yeah! We didnt think Annie was going to be able to have a full part, but then she ended up really wanting it. She had about a minute and a half and was like “I have to come back and finish it” so she drove across the country with her dog.
Madeline: Oh, really?
Monique O’Toole: Yeah, she lives in Montreal and she drove from there.
Madeline: To finish her part?
Monique O’Toole: Yeah, and she did.
Madeline: Did she quit her day job?
Monique O’Toole: You know what, she did! I don’t remember what she was doing but she quit to finish her masters thesis and her part.
Madeline: That’s amazing! I think you have an awesome story, as well as an amazing film.
Monique O’Toole: Thank you!