Adrienne Warren is someone who I truly admire, for she is living the dream of every college graduate. While most college graduates face the horrors of unemployment after graduation, Adrienne was one of the few who were lucky enough to not only find a job, but find a job that was in her field of study. To add to that already exciting opportunity was the fact that it was something that was iconic, and had just been an Oscar winning movie which featured an all star cast that included Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, and Beyonce. That’s right, she landed a leading role as one of the Dreams in the National Broadway tour of Dreamgirls, which opened up at the Apollo Theater in New York, which is where it originally opened in 1981 with the original Dreamgirls, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lorretta Divine, and Jennifer Holiday. So how did she land a gig that big? Let’s find out where it all started….
Adrienne began singing at the age of two. Her father discovered her abilities one night when he was sitting at the piano singing one night, and she was sitting at the bottom of the stairs singing along with him, even though she was supposed to be in the bed :). Fascinated by this discovery, he taught her to harmonize with him, and began to work on her with her singing. She later began acting by the age of six in a community theater program, and has since been utilizing both talents. She recalls the moment when she first knew that she wanted to do this for the rest of her life. It was during intermission at the first theatrical production that her parents took her to that she turned around to her mom and stated, “Mom, I’m going to do that one day!” While her mom chuckled and that Adrienne was just joking, Adrienne accomplished that goal, and is now doing just that, which has resulted in two very happy, supportive parents that aid in the managing of Adrienne’s career. Because both of her parents allowed her to follow her dreams as long as she worked diligently at keeping her grades up, it was easy for Adrienne to do what it was that she loved to do.
Adrienne got her first glimpse into the world of theater when she became a member of the Hurrah Players through her community theater group. They were like her family, and she can remember doing her first play, “Aladdin”, and the lights in the theater going out, disrupting the show, and how comforting everyone was to one another. It’s no surprise that she is still connecting to many of them, as they two have established successful theater careers on Broadway. Her passion and fearlessness for theater came from working with them, as they were all so supportive of one another, never discriminative, and very encouraging. Because she know what it’s like to be surrounding by a group of people with similar goals and a similar vision, I asked her what advice she could give to young people regarding that matter, and this is what she had to say;
“Surround yourself with positive people with positive energy, because in this industry, it’s hard to know who to trust and find friends that are always going to love you for who you are and not what you do. One of the questions I hate in this industry is “What show are you in” as if I’m just my show and not a person!”
She also advices people to surround themselves with people that will keep them grounded, as that is also very important. “You don’t want to find yourself trying to be someone you’re not,” she advised. She concluded by saying “Your friends become your family, so it’s very important to have good friends around.”
She clearly had all of the right elements surrounding her. Therefore, when she attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she majored in Theater, and minored in Musical Theater, she was completely prepared for the road that laid ahead. That’s why it’s no surprise that she was able to come right out of college with a dream role as one of the Dreams in “Dreamgirls”. She gives all glory to God for that blessing, and because she’d worked so hard in school, she was prepared when the opportunity came. She toured the nation and Japan with Dreamgirls for a little over a year, and then she left Dreamgirls just a few weeks before it closed, and went to Atlanta to create a role in the first musical run of “Bring It On”. She got to work with real cheerleaders, and do real stunts on stage, and learned so much from her fellow cast mates.
While she was very close to her Dreamgirls family, she understands how the touring life works. She knows that they’ll always be changes taking place, and cherishes those relationships, but understands that she’ll have to keep moving if she wants to have a lasting presence in this industry. With that being said, we have to transition into Adrienne Warren, the artist!
Adrienne was given the opportunity to witness the greatness of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith while she was still in college on a Rock & Roll Tour. He performed as a guest during four of their shows. She worked with a lot of Rock & Roll artists, which resulted in her versatility, and was given the chance to perform for thousands of people every day. She was able to watch and observe Steven Tyler and learn from his technique and presence, and that’s how she was able to bring that versatility to her role as Lorrell in Dreamgirls.
She recently produced a solo showcase for her birthday, which was really amazing. And now, she’s working on a couple of music projects, of which she couldn’t reveal details for. But as soon as they are available, she will give us more info.
Adrienne is definitely a rising star to watch out for. She was recently nominated for a NAACP Theater Award for her role in Dreamgirls, and I’m sure that’s the first of many awards that she’s yet to be nominated for. With her training, expertise, and drive, I’m sure she’ll be on top of the world in no time. Catch her while you can on facebook and follow her on twitter @AdrienneLWarren.
Check out the video below to see Adrienne & her fellow Dreams, Syesha Mercado & Moya Angela singing the National Anthem!