You've seen her in Breaking Badas a waitress in the episode "Live Free or Die", wherein the main character, Walter White, spells his age, 52, with bacon. She's worked behind the scenes, running lines with Bob Odenkirk, star of the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul(Season 2 premiered 10pm Easternon Feb. 15). Her name is Monique Candelaria, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she's quickly becoming a sought after talent in the TV and indie film businesses.

She's recently beencast in a guest TV series role and in the films Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Shot Caller, and Independence Day 2: Resurgence. This reporter conducted an exclusive e-mail interview with Candelaria Feb. 14.

Candelaria has lived by the maxim "chase your dreams" as she hasimmersed herselfin the world of fine arts whether it has been singing, acting, dancing, modeling or writing. "In each of these art forms I found that I could tell a story and have an emotional connection with my audience.

It’s this human connection that captivates my senses and inspires me to create," she said.

After graduating fromthe University of New Mexico in 2009 with a BA in Fine Arts: Emphasis in Acting, shejumped right into the indie film world and by November 2010, she became SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Eligible when cast in a film entitled, Bless Me, Ultima.

"By October 2011 I joined the Screen Actors Guild when I landed my third union job for a film called the Banshee Chapter. In 2012 I landed my first lead role in an independent film shot in Fergus Falls, Minnesota called, The Control Group", Candelaria added.

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Getting cast in Breaking Bad

Candelaria enjoyed a spectacular 2012. In that year she landed her "first co-star role in the TV series Breaking Bad as the character Lucy [a waitress working in a diner]. This was only the beginning of an amazing roller coaster ride. 2015 was a fantastic year filled with many accomplishments and opportunities. I was able to see Dirty Weekend, The Condemned 2 and an independent film called Cents hit the big screen and become available for the world to see.

This year, 2016, I have landed my first guest star role in a TV series! [She's not at liberty to say which TV series at presstime.]"

As to what skill makes her stand out, Candelaria said if she had a unique "superpower I would say it is the ability to inspire and bring other people's talents to the surface." Her ability to inspire has helped her this year as she begins writing and collaborating with some of New Mexico’s finest talent in front and behind the camera.

Three tips for actors

Candelaria advises aspiring actors to love and practice their craft and find many sources of happiness outside of it. "The [three] tips I would give to anyone wanting to get into the entertainment industry is: number one, love your craft; many people desire fame, fortune or to be anybody besides themselves. If this is your reason, you might want to re-evaluate your goals."

She warns that "this career is not for the faint-hearted, and we get rejected over and over and over again; [tip] number two, practice, review and share your craft.

We can only get better at what we do by doing it and sharing with others to see what inspires your audience."

Candelaria believes actors should have a varied and interesting life outside of the business. Such a life creates a work\life balance and fuels an actor's approach to their craft, she believes. One of her outside interests is building a non-profit organization called the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Coalition.

Candelaria also models. Her primary modeling jobis for the jewelry store Relios."As an artist we need to live in order to understand the world around us and build our creative tool kit...[tip] number three, create balance---your craft shouldn’t be your only source of happiness. Having family, friends, hobbies, jobs and projects that make you happy is important to live a happy and fulfilled life."

Follow Candelaria on Twitter @MoCa369.

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