Kenneth Monroe has taken the love from his hometown of East Chicago, Indiana to Los Angeles, California. Monroe is so passionate about his community that he produced a documentary titled Crosstown that was screened privately in his hometown.
Tell us your title, job description and company.
I am an entertainment entrepreneur. I have experience in multiple areas under the entertainment umbrella. These areas include producer, director, writer, actor, music, events, marketing and campaigns.
What inspired you to get into the entertainment business?
The entertainment industry is something that has always caught my attention. I wanted to do something with my life that challenged my creativity. The 9-to-5 world was too conservative for me. I am a natural leader, so it would’ve been hard for me to listen to someone everyday. I’m independent, so I left college, followed my dreams and I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities.
What was it like for you growing up in East Chicago, IN?
I had both parents in the household, which made a big impact on my upbringing. They are still married today and they taught me how to set goals, become someone important and don’t let your surroundings dictate who you will become. I grew up in the hood on the outskirts of Chicago in a city called East Chicago, which is actually in Indiana. My dad is a big sports figure and politician. My mom had a great job my whole life, so even though I’m from the hood my childhood was beautiful. I’ve lost many friends to murder, jail and other life changing events. For me to become who I wanted to become, I had to leave home and go pursue bigger things.
Tell us about the premier of your documentary, Crosstown.
The Premiere of Crosstown was a historic night for the city. It was at the top venue in the city, many heavy hitters in the city were there and the audience said the film was unbelievable. Guests were even crying during parts of the film. I received a standing ovation and politicians stated that this might be the biggest impact that the city has had. The media showed a lot of love with front page articles, reviews, radio exposure, etc. The film is controversial and it is about gang violence, corruption in politics and sports in the inner-city. It will come out to the public at the end of the year. To give my city exposure outside of the region and state is an accomplishment within itself. The editor from TV shows “Gangland”, “American Greed” and CNBC’s “Titans: Steve Jobs” put Crosstown together.
What other projects are you currently working on?
In the winter, I have my premiere for a documentary about the pinup movement. That is going to be a big crossover project as that is one of the biggest movements in entertainment history. I have some of the top names from that world featured in the documentary. Names such as Bettie Page (we have the rights to her final unheard interview before she died) and Dita Von Teese are highlighted with other important figures including top behind-the-scenes figures. The title is Beyond The Centerfold, and my business partner on the project is Emmy winner Devin Devasquez. The story is about that world from the pinup’s perspective. We have premieres in LA and Miami coming up. I also have an award show that I’m producing this fall in LA about women’s empowerment. We will be honoring many successful women from different industries throughout the country.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself continuing to be a boss, continuing to be independent, continuing to give other people opportunities and continuing to live by my own rules.