If you’re a theatre fanatic, then you definitely know who Audra McDonald is.
The Essence Magazine April Cover Star, Audra has won multiple awards and accolades for her excellent portrayal of music legend Billie Holiday. Since Broadway revived Shuffle Along, McDonald has been spending most of her time there. Of late, we’ve also heard that she’s expecting a baby, which led to this summer’s postponing of London’s Lady Day performance at West End. But in addition to all these details that are scattered all over news platform and the entertainment web, we look deep into her life and resurface the interesting things that you might not have known about this superstar.
- Her childhood drama – McDonald’s career started revealing itself when she was a small kid, she mostly feared rain and she would cry at any sight of it .Her parents realized that she was very dramatic and they channeled that energy into arts and it definitely worked out.
- Attendance at Julliard where she didn’t fit in – Her passion for the stage made her apply at Julliard where she came to realize that it was not her place since they emphasized on opera music programs while her passion was on Broadway. At Julliard, she met Viola Davis who was studying acting at that time and they became good friends. She felt that the opera program she was undertaking was a waste of time for she was no good at it.
- Her attempt to commit suicide – The experience at Julliard and the feeling that that’s not what she really wanted to do frustrated her and after two years at the Julliard art school she felt that she couldn’t bear it any longer and she attempted suicide. The Black student affairs director was the one who came to her aid by recommending a psychiatrist for her. She took a year off from school and joined a touring company, she later went back to Julliard to get her degree.
- Her victory at Tony Awards – Despite the feeling that Julliard was not her place it still played a major role in her career for she won her first Tony award one year after college for her role in Carousel.
- Her latest history-making Broadway project – Shuffle Along which starred Josephine Baker and Paul Robinson, is based on 1921 musical and it made history as one of the first African-American musicals to be ever performed on stage. This musical is yet to make history again as the first Broadway musical written and performed by African-American. It’s going to be a great hit this time.
- Her six Tony awards do not define her – Audra is an actress who many people emulate, she has a strong will and does what no actress has done before and she continues to work harder and she says that the Tony awards do not slow her performance rather she gets motivated to do more.
- Her desire to make her 15-year-old daughter proud – Audra lives for her daughter and she is proud of her for she is aware of the problems related with racialism and she is active in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Just like many parents are proud of their children, she also feels the same and all she wants is to leave behind a legacy for her daughter and to make her proud.
Certainly, Audra has got something great going, but it all didn’t come easy. She’s had to work hard and channel a lot of energy into her talent, and that’s precisely why she’s the successful actress we know today!