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Geaux Celebrate the Artistry of Tonya Pinkins: A Journey Through Talent, Passion, and Impact

Updated: 1 day ago

Enter the captivating world of Tonya Pinkins, a multifaceted force of talent whose illustrious career spans Broadway, film, television, and beyond. From her Tony Award-winning performance in 'Caroline, or Change' to her thought-provoking essays and acclaimed roles in film and television, Tonya's artistic journey is as diverse as it is inspiring. With a repertoire that includes nine Broadway shows, a celebrated memoir, and an award-winning film, she continues to captivate audiences with her depth, versatility, and unwavering commitment to storytelling. In this exclusive interview with Geaux Queen magazine, Tonya shares insights into her career, passions, and the profound impact of her work. Join us as we embark on a journey through the remarkable life and artistry of Tonya Pinkins.

"Dive into the extraordinary career of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins. From Broadway to film, discover her journey, accomplishments, and impact on the entertainment industry.
Legendary Actress Tonya Pinkins
Thank you, Tonya, for taking the time to grace us with this interview. Your presence and insights are truly appreciated as we delve into your remarkable career and the impactful themes you explore in your work. We're honored to have you share your experiences, perspectives, and wisdom with our readers. Congratulations on your role in Tyler Perry's "Sistas"! What attracted you to this project, and what do you enjoy most about portraying the character “Miss Marie”?

I was at a lunch with the Black women expats in Panama when the call with an offer to play Mrs. Marie came in. And the first thing that came to my mind was Ed Bullins Play “The Fabulous Ms. Marie” which I played opposite Roscoe Orman and Woody King’s theater in New York

Can you tell us about your experience working on "Women of the Movement" and portraying Alma Carthan, Emmett Till’s grandmother? How did you prepare for such a significant role?

We shot "Women of the Movement" in Mississippi during the Pandemic in 2021. The material does not require any preparation. Marisa Cerar wrote the hell out of it.  The cast was stellar. And we were there where the land and the trees know the story. That time spent in Mississippi cemented my decision to move outside of the country. The people in Mississippi do not live in the same “America” as me.

Dive into the extraordinary career of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins. From Broadway to film, discover her journey, accomplishments, and impact on the entertainment industry.
Tonya Pinkins
You have an extensive career having appeared in a wide range of films, stage plays as well as television shows over a span of decades, such as “All My Children” to "Scandal" to "Gotham" and now “Sistas.” How do you approach portraying diverse characters across different genres and platforms? What has been your key to longevity within the industry?

Longevity? Luck? Fate? Every year I think I may never be hired again. That is why I began writing, producing and directing plays and films. It’s too precarious to wait around hoping to be picked. I used to average booking one in sixty auditions. Now there are way less auditions and I book even fewer of them. 

There has been a huge conversation regarding the pay discrepancies for female actresses of color. Can you share your perspective on this subject and how can creatives receive fair compensation for their work and talent within the industry?

If you recall Chris Rock saying that he was rich but the person who writes his check is Wealthy.  It has been my experience that people are paid according to the pay scale of the person who holds their leash. Certain agents and managers are connected in such a way that their clients command more but that is also more for the agent or manager. I always look to the rep to determine what people get paid. And the other part, you get what you ask for. Too many people think that their reps are handling it for them. You have to tell your rep what to go for, what you want. And if they don’t even ask then you have to consider how to change your status.

I was offered the original "Ruined" and my agent Richard Fisher did not even ask for what I told him I wanted and was accustomed to getting. He just told them I wasn’t available. So, you also have to be on the lookout for when a rep has brought you on to undermine your work.

What advice do you have for aspiring actors, writers, and artists who are navigating the entertainment industry today?

Stop being so entitled! No one owes you anything. Stop interpreting other people’s interpretations. Go and find original source material events and experiences. Be an original! 

Dive into the extraordinary career of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins. From Broadway to film, discover her journey, accomplishments, and impact on the entertainment industry.
Switching gears to lifestyle topics, self-love and self-care are increasingly emphasized in today's society. How do you prioritize self-care amidst your busy schedule, and what practices have you found most beneficial for nurturing yourself?

I love a spa. I have regular massages. I’ve also tried tantric massage because I have not been “partnered “ for 6 years. I prioritize my joy and right now that is travel. I travel at least 2-3 months a year. I’m at 81 countries so far and plan to see them all. I have always put life over career. And it’s why I have had a big, rich, full life, 3 husbands, 2 baby daddies, 4 home births, 9 Broadway shows, 2 soaps, concerts, podcasts, books, essays, films. I am living.

Mental health awareness has become a significant conversation in recent years. How do you personally approach mental wellness, and what advice would you offer to others navigating their own mental health journey?

I am constitutionally very strong. I don’t know what to tell other people besides do what you can handle. I will say that you can handle more than the world says you can. And there is an effort to infantize people which is disempowering and serves the elite.  I have days when I lay in bed and wallow. I don’t try to change my feelings, good or bad. I cherish and allow myself to indulge in them fully. Gratitude in the last 24 hours. Undermining in the last 24 hours. That would prohibit us from our forward movement. Visioning that lasts all into the future be welcomed.

Dive into the extraordinary career of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins. From Broadway to film, discover her journey, accomplishments, and impact on the entertainment industry.
Aging gracefully is a concern for many individuals, especially in industries that prioritize youth. How do you embrace the process of aging while maintaining confidence within yourself?

Well, after the first three babies the body whipped back. After number four, not so much. I’m getting thicker with every year so I buy or have custom clothes made so I can look and feel beautiful. I get the hair colored, a little Botox, lashes, nails. But that is for work. At home, I lay around naked or in some clothes I can paint in.

In your past memoir "Red Pill Unmasked," you share deeply personal reflections on life. I also just recently came across your TikTok account where you have shared deep insight into your life experiences. How does sharing your story influence your own journey of self-discovery and self-love?

I really like TikTok. I miss being with people. Since the pandemic and with self-taping, running into people is so rare. So I’ve embraced the social media “connections.” Also I get to tell my own story my way.

I recently saw one of your latest videos on TikTok where you talked about how women can gather and form a Mastermind Revolution! I love your transparency as well as your motivation to your followers and fans. How can we, as women, join forces to start a women’s mastermind group revolution to hold women’s circles to grow, build, empower and disrupt the norm together?

I have hosted and or participated in “Womyn’s Circles” in NY, Russia, India, China, Norway. That’s a great way to find some partners in believing. There is an exercise my friend named, The Queen’s Jewel. You and a friend tell one another what you are releasing and what you are grateful for and what you are envisioning until your envisioning becomes your gratitude. 

Dive into the extraordinary career of Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins. From Broadway to film, discover her journey, accomplishments, and impact on the entertainment industry.
Thank you so much for your time, Tonya. At Geaux Queen Media, we celebrate giving flowers to legendary women who have entertained as well as represented us in cinematic media over the years. We are proud to celebrate you! 
As we conclude our conversation, Tonya, could you leave our readers with some uplifting affirmations or words of encouragement that have personally inspired you on your journey?

Don’t let your present Good become the enemy of your Better. Brilliance Lies in the moment that might not work. Trust your instincts because they are always right for you.

As our conversation with Tonya Pinkins concludes, we're inspired by her remarkable journey and impactful contributions to entertainment. Her dedication, insights, and passion for storytelling resonate deeply. We thank Tonya for sharing her experiences and wisdom with Geaux Queen magazine. Her story is a testament to resilience, creativity, and the transformative power of the arts. Stay tuned for more from this extraordinary talent as she continues to break new ground and geaux beyond excellence. Copyright (c) 2024. S. Armstrong. Geaux Queen Media. All rights reserved.

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