Adrienne Jackson: Actress Extraordinaire

Watching Adrienne Jackson pace back and forth across the stage of the Schwartz Center, wringing her hands and worrying about the crowds outside, you wouldn’t expect to be watching a girl who loves Harry Potter, Stanley Kubrick, and who cries at the same predictable times every time she watches the Lord of the Rings. A favorite of the Schwartz Center (she stars as the lead in Emergence, a collaboration between the Physics department and the Theatre department that plays this weekend), Adrienne is an average Cornellian- just one that spends most of her time being someone else.

A junior from Memphis, Tennessee, Adrienne caught the theatre bug early, and then realized she wanted to be an actress her senior year of high school.

“I was in an opera in Memphis when I was in the 6th grade and remember just being in love with the rehearsal process. However, I became a nerd in the 7th grade and focused on academic work rather than pursuing theatre. Then, as I was teching my high school’s performance of White Christmas, it hit me that I wanted to be an actress. So, when I went to college, I auditioned for some little things and soon that developed into classes which became my major.”

And she hasn’t stopped working since! In addition to her roles at the Schwartz, Adrienne spent this past summer taking classes at the Stella Adler Studio in NYC, a renowned-acting studio. “I learned so much there and really had some amazing moments just in scene study,” says Adrienne of the experience, where she was able to study Chekov and Shakespeare in one of the world’s capitals of theatre. None of it would be possible, she explains, without the support of Cornell and the theatre department here (she describes getting accepted to Cornell as one of her proudest moments, second only to becoming a theatre major).

The one thing she would change about Cornell? “I would change the awareness and appreciation of theatre across campus. The theatre here is of an extremely high caliber and the professors in the department are absolutely brilliant. I wish more students knew about us.” Hear hear!

If you want to see Adrienne in action (and see why she is a true Her Campus Celebrity), check out Emergence at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts this weekend. Tickets are sold out for all shows except for Sunday, September 23, but for only $5 there’s no reason to miss it on Sunday! Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at schwartztickets.com.

And here are a few more tidbits of information about Adrienne. Enjoy!

Preview of what you plan to work on over the next year: Well, I am applying to go abroad to London to the BADA conservatory in the spring. I really hope that happens. If not, then I will be excited to audition for the spring shows, as a lot of amazing projects are going up.

How many of the 161 List have you already achieved/which are you most looking forward to/your favorite: I don’t think I have really done any of the exciting ones. I always try to guess the songs played by the bells (SO MUCH DISNEY IT’S GREAT). Um maybe the snow penis? That would be interesting…

Career/future plans: TO BE THE NEXT MERYL STREEP. Just kidding. But actually... maybe.

If a genie lamp showed up on your doorstep and you got one wish, what would it be: This may sound…well whatever. To be an established actress who can support herself on her art.

Who is your biggest hero/role model: I would say acting wise, Meryl. For reasons that are obvious. My hero is Earnest Hemingway who can write the exact emotion of any person in 7 words. He is tied with JK Rowling.

Favorite quote: “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living.”

Favorite color: Pink. I know, I’m not supposed to like it because that’s gender oppression, but oh well.

Random other favorites: I love mermaids, hunky Dutch-looking men, and Marie Antoinette.