Oh, Adrienne!

Fiona Patricia S. Escandor spends an afternoon with a woman of many roles.

THE sweetness of her voice and the seeming daintiness of her petite frame are enough to fool one in to believing that she is one tragedy away from becoming the proverbial damsel in distress. A very mistaken assumption I should say, because as she narrated bits and pieces of her life’s tale, I immediately realized she is anything but so.

She was a rocker in her past life, a theatre performer in her present. At the side, she dabbles in minor roles like budding fashion designer, art enthusiast, and fitness buff. Clearly, her life is unlike any script that simply begins when the dashing Prince Charming shows up; this lovely heroine, Adrienne Rose Tenazas-Lee, creates her own story to tell.

“I never was into theatre when I was younger,” she lightly admitted. “I was really shy and my grandmother was very strict.”

Adrienne was already 27-years-old when she auditioned for her first play. It was for Crystal Cavalier’s production of the musical Wicked and she landed the supporting role of Nessarose. The plan changed though and Crystal Cavalier decided to do Wizard of Oz instead and first-timer Adrienne played one of the major leads: Glinda the Good Witch.

Even with no formal background in acting, Adrienne shared that her first experience on stage “seemed so natural”. She said, “When I started with Wizard of Oz, I realized that ‘Oh my God, I’m okay with it!’ I can carry a tune, I don’t really dance, but I know I can act.”

“I get so excited every time I perform,” she beamed.

Since then, Adrienne has actively participated in Crystal Cavalier’s yearly Cebu Contemporary Theatre Festival (CCTF) as well as its production of The Vagina Monologues. Among the roles that she has played are Cinderella in The Glass Slipper and Agnes in Agnes of God. The latter, she said, has been her most challenging role to date.

“Because of my physique I guess, they would usually give me cutesy-cutesy roles like Glinda and Cinderella” she said. “But with Agnes of God, there was nothing cute about it. It was very dark and twisted. It was the first time I got to cry on stage.”

This year, her fourth CCTF, Adrienne will play Gloria in a melodramatic piece The World is an Apple. It is written by Filipino playwright Alberto Florentino.

“I’ll be playing a wife who’s from a poor family, and they have this dilemma because the husband lost his job, and the story goes from there,” she divulged.

The Cebu Contemporary Theatre Festival 2012 will be held __.

Adrienne may have only been a theatre performer for a little over five years, but she is certainly no neophyte when it comes to standing in front of a crowd. During the day, she works as a verbal communication trainer in a call centre, which basically involves talking in front of several agents at one go. She had also worked as a news reporter for Y101 and as a host for Real Cebu Television (RCTV). Adrienne had even dabbled in movie acting for a Bigfoot film project a while back.

But what really started it all was when she became the vocalist of the band ‘Adrienne’ during her college years. She took up medical technology at Cebu Doctors University, but she somehow found herself having more fun writing songs and rocking it out on stage.

“My family wanted me to be a doctor. I also thought I wanted to be a doctor at first, so I went to med school for a while but that didn’t work out because I realized I didn’t want to work in a hospital,” she reasoned with a chuckle.

“I realized I wanted to do art. I wanted to do stuff that I never got to do in school,” she said.

Adrienne (the band) was pretty active back then; they would play regularly at local bars and they also had a few compositions of their own. They even won a band showdown. The band eventually went into hiatus though, and as Adrienne would teasingly put it, “We became adults.”

“Our guitarist had a baby, our drummer became an architect. We got jobs. We’re trying to come together again; it’s just that we’re so busy right now. Hopefully we’ll find time,” she said.

Indeed brimming with artistic spirit, Adrienne is also into painting and fashion designing. She has several art pieces of her own; and just this month, she is working on her first commissioned dress design.

One of her hobbies, she shared, is watching entertainment news and seeing what celebrities are wearing. “I love watching red carpet clothes,” Adrienne said, “but I love seeing movie stars in everyday clothes more. I really love casual, comfortable styles.”

Aside from designing, another new found love of Adrienne’s is running. Just the other week, she joined her second official run. She’ll be doing her first 8k run on the 28th, and hopefully working up to 10k in August.

“I work out everyday to keep myself fit,” Adrienne said. “I have this group of people at work, we work out together everyday and we call ourselves Team H.D.D.P. It stands for hard work, dedication, discipline, and poise. We want to inspire people that it takes the four to succeed.”

With an enthusiastic grin, she added: “We’re actually trying to get more and more people to join us!”

An actress, an artist, a designer, a fitness buff, and a wife— this leading lady surely has a lot of roles listed down. But just like how she has cleverly portrayed her scripted roles on the theatre stage, the lovely Adrienne plays each of her ‘personal’ roles quite as perfectly.

Chit-chat

Movies: “I love watching movies of my favourite actresses: Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rachel Weisz, and Jennifer Lawrence. I love how they portray their roles.”

Books: “The book that I’m reading right now is John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. It’s really inspiring. I actually read the whole Twilight series—I don’t know if I’m proud of that. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but I’m a romantic so it was exciting for me. It was my guilty pleasure. I tried reading Lord of the Rings, but it made me fat because every time Frodo and the gang would stop to eat, I’d stop to eat as well.”

Music: “I love all types of music, but my favorite is rock. I love Florence + the Machine and when I run, my favourite album is by Evanescence. My favourite pop artist is Katy Perry.”

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