Angela Robinson a native of Jacksonville, FL, is best-known as The Ice Queen Veronica Harrington of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots. For her work as Veronica she is the 2015 recipient of the Gracie Award (Best Female Actress – One to Watch).
Angela has worked on Broadway, off Broadway and on stages throughout the US and abroad. Broadway productions include The Color Purple with Fantasia, Wonderful Town, Bells Are Ringing, and Play On!. Off-Broadway productions: Radiant Baby, Call the Children Home, and City Center’s ENCORES! She has participated in National Tours of The Color Purple, Dream girls, and The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt. Other television/film credits include Law & Order: SVU, Another Bed and several regional and national commercials. Favorite regional theaters: Baltimore Center Stage, The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), The Alley (Houston), Berkshire Theatre Festival, Marriott Lincolnshire (Chicago), The Asolo (Sarasota), Paper mill Playhouse (Milburn) and many more. Favorite roles: Deena Jones (Dream girls), Shug Avery (The Color Purple), Diva Woman (Radiant Baby), Sylvia (Two Gents) and The Witch (Into the Woods).
She is the Winner of an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) award for her work as Shug Avery in The Color Purple, Angela has been nominated twice for a Black Theatre Alliance Award (The Color Purple, Dream girls), and for an Audelco Award (Radiant Baby).
Angela is a member of the Grammy Nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Early in her career she had the honor of traveling with the USO/DOD, entertaining our military troops throughout the Mediterranean, Central America and Far East.
Angela and her husband Scott founded the WhiteRobin Group in 2008. A consulting firm for aspiring and seasoned artists. Providing training, inspiration and direction via acting workshops, private acting coaching, blogs and mentorship programs.
She is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (BA) and The William Esper Acting Studio where she studied with master teacher William Esper. She is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA. Angela currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, Scott Whitehurst.
Amps: As a native of Jacksonville, Fl. what or who inspired you to become an actress?
Angela: Well, God inspired me and my mother.
Amps: You are a graduate of Florida A&M (FAMU) with a degree in sociology, how did you develop an interest in theater?
Angela: When I was growing up my mom was over the Drama department at her school. She was an English teacher as well, and I would sit in on all of her rehearsals, and I just fell in love with musical theatre from there.
Amps: Did you pledge any sorority at FAMU?
Angela: No I did not.
Amps: I know that you were crowed Ms. FAMU, how was that experience? What did it represent to you?
Angela: That experience was one of the best experiences in my life, because it represented more than just being a queen of a school. My father and mother went to FAMU as well, and so did most of my family. I felt like I was carrying on a family tradition, and I felt like I was able to represent our family and, our school for them.
Amps: What was your most memorable homecoming experience at FAMU?
Angela: The most memorable was when I was crowned Ms. FAMU, and the coronation with my whole family coming and that was such an amazing time. This last one being welcome back, and being the key note speaker for the FAMU homecoming being the guest of the president, and really seeing how far the school has come. Seeing how much the school has grown and being able to see the theater department, and speaking to the kids. It was just an amazing experience so I think this last one was my best for sure.
Amps: What was your plan after FAMU? Did you pursue a career in sociology or had acting taken a front seat?
Angela: It was a compromise for my parents who did not approve of me majoring in theater, but I had to find something to major in that I loved, that I would like, and that would still somewhat influence me as an actress. So psychic ology and sociology the study of people, the study of the world in it’s condition that really did see me as an artist as I continued to play different people. So it was really a compromise on my part for my parents. I used it every day in my life, but I never really worked in that industry.
Amps: You had a very successful career on and off Broadway as Shug Avery in The Color Purple, Dream Girls, and The Wizard of Oz. How did it all begin for you?
Angela: It all began in Jacksonville Florida at the Alamo dinner theater. Todd Booth was the artistic director there that gave me my first job, and he continued to hire me so that I could get experience.
Amps: What is most exciting about working on Broadway?
Angela: The most exciting thing to me about working on Broadway was a dream coming true. We all have dreams in life, and we pray that it happens. Some people have been dreaming things forever and so when you have been dreaming of something your whole life since you were ten years old, and it happens for you it’s just an amazing since of gratitude. It makes you feel like with God you can really and truly do anything. With hard work anything is possible. All those clichés makes a believer out of you when your dreams come true, and that’s what happened with me when I got my first Broadway show. This little girl from Jacksonville Florida who had known one person in her whole life who pursued a career in theater. Who had been discouraged by almost everybody that she told about her dream, and she was able to accomplish it in spite of all of that. So that was a pretty amazing time for me.
Amps: Is Broadway a natural progression to film and TV? How did you make the transition?
Amps: In 2015, you received the Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor-One to watch. How does this type of recognition by women, about women and for women solidify your contributions as a female actor in this industry?
Angela: It makes me feel wonderful to be recognized that way to be a part of that group. I still can’t believe it, because it wasn’t even on my radar. I got a phone call one day and they said to me you won this award, and I was really shocked. That was another one of those dream come true monuments, and I’m very grateful for it all.
Amps: Being the amazing actress that you are why was that so hard for you to believe?
Angela: Because that wasn’t on my radar. The Gracie Award is not a very popular award, but it’s very precision, and very distinguish people achieve it. Cicely Tyson was winning a Gracie Award that year, and I just couldn’t believe that I was even in that company. The Haves and Have Nots is my very first television serious, and I’ve been acting a long time. I’ve been acting for over twenty years, and I was just blown away that anyone would recognize me, and I didn’t even know that I was submitted for it. I am so grateful that I’m in that company, and I’m really excited about this whole journey as an artist to living my dream. I’m also excited about living the life that I’ve dreamed for myself. I wake up every morning with gratitude in my heart that God will grant me the ability to do it.
Amps: How did you become involved with Tyler Perry Productions, and how were you cast for the role of Veronica Harrington on The Haves and Have Nots?
Angela: Well, I was in a play (musical) in Atlanta called Into the Woods, and the casting people saw the musical. At that time they brought me in for Meet the Browns for a small part as a hospital administrator. I didn’t get the part, and I was so upset that I didn’t get it. I really wanted to meet Mr. Perry, and work with him while I was in town. My work there ended, and I came back to the New York area, and I just continued my life. A year and a half later I got a call about The Haves and Have Nots and that they wanted me to read the part of Veronica. They asked if I could make my own audition tape and send it in, and that’s what I did, and the rest is history.
Amps: Your character has evolved into a villainess who seems to have no boundaries. Is it more exciting to play this type of character? Does it require more range?
Angela: You know what it is the most fun to play (laughing) and I’ve played a lot of characters, but this character is the most fun to play. I could just hug Mr. Perry every time that I see him and I thank him all the time for writing this role with Veronica, and for trusting me to play her. It’s such a fun role because there are no boundaries, and to be a threating character and if you’re the type of character that’s like I’ll kill you, I’ll black male you, I’ll bet you up, but if you never do it than those are just idle threats. If Veronica says she’s going to do it then more than likely she’s going to do it, and I love that about her.
Amps: How does your fans react to Veronica Harrington on social media or when they see you on the street?
Angela: People are so kind. I’ve had a few incidents where people didn’t quite know the difference to know that I’m an actress, and I’m doing a job. For the most part people just love the show, and they are very supportive of the cast. We have a very strong cast, and we are very close. While I get the incidents of people who don’t know the difference I mostly get the love which I appreciate.
Amps: What are some of your upcoming projects that we can look forward to that you can talk about?
Angela: There are a few things that I have going on in the mix, but nothing that I can talk about right now. My goals are to continue this amazing journey with The Haves and Have Nots. To return back to Broadway in a role that I love, and to get into more film and television. Those are my goals.
Follow Angela: http://www.arobinsonartist.com/ , https://twitter.com/Angelarobschild , https://www.facebook.com/AngelaRobinsons4/ , www.instgram.com/angelarobschild https://www.snapchat.com/angelarobschild