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Tonya Pinkins



Travels From Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
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Tonya Pinkins Biography

Oprah described Tonya Pinkins as one of the “Ten Women in America Who Will Take Your Breath Away in 2004.” This Tony Award-winning actress and modern day Renaissance woman most recently starred on Broadway in Tony Kushner’s critically acclaimed, hit Broadway musical “Caroline, or Change.”

A single mother of four, Pinkins plays “Livia Frye Cudahy” on the ABC daytime drama, All My Children, Pinkins made her mark on stage as “Sweet Anita” in “Jelly’s Last Jam,” for which she received a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle and Clarence Derwent Award. She also starred in “Play On!” and “The Wild Party.” Additionally, Pinkins starred in the Jeff Pollack/Benny Medina feature film Above The Rim alongside Bernie Mac, Tupac Shakur, and Marlon Wayans. And this fall, Pinkins can be seen in John Turturro’s film Romance and Cigarettes with James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, and Mandy Moore, among others.

In the spring of 2004, Pinkins was again nominated for a Tony Award for “Caroline, or Change” in which she portrayed a long-suffering maid living in the South who is befriended by a Jewish schoolboy in Louisiana. Written by playwright-librettist Tony Kushner (“Angels in America,” which was just adapted by HBO), “Caroline, or Change” takes place in 1963 and addresses issues such as race, class, grief, death, and most importantly money just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Pinkins describes this as “the most exciting show of her career.”

As a native of Chicago, Illinois, Pinkins was born to hardworking, civil servant parents. Although her father was a police officer and insurance salesman and her mother, a postal worker and now a CTA driver, Pinkins always saw herself as an artist. In high school, she studied acting at the Goodman Theatre Young People’s Program and a star was born. Over the next 15 years, she performed on Broadway, television, and regionally. Between jobs, this overachiever returned to college, earning her undergraduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago, attending Carnegie Mellon’s music theater program, and even a year at law school in California.

Similar to “Caroline,” Pinkins is also a devoted single mother of four, who started her family early at age 25. “In every way, I identify with Caroline,” Pinkins said. “I have known financial struggle, and what it is like to have had an abusive relationship with an ex-husband.” This contemporary woman also represented herself in a custody battle with her first husband and successfully fought to have the judge removed because of his bias against women.

In addition to her theatre work, Pinkins was invited to perform her one-woman cabaret show, at the Allen Room, in the new Jazz at Lincoln Center Facility. She recorded an album from that soldout show, which is a part of the American Songbook Series. The album, titled My Shining Hour, is devoted to the works of Harold Arlen and celebrates the 99th anniversary of the composer, who penned such classics as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather,” and “Paper Moon.”

Tonya also teaches “The Actorpreneur Attitude,” a course for actors that teaches no acting — because its premise is that theatrical achievement is not so much about vocal technique or sense memory or looks as about removing “hidden emotional blocks to success.” Pinkins developed the workshop from principles she learned as an adherent of the Agape Church of Religious Science. According to the church's teachings, success and prosperity are “spiritual attributes” that belong to all people, if only they knew how to use them. Her book Get Over Yourself: How to Drop the Drama and Claim the Life You Deserve is based on this workshop. Pinkins is also a strong champion of positive thinking and “making things happen.” She is an activist for and co-creator of Operation Z, an organization that stands for zero tolerance of violence against women and children.

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Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 07/04/2024.

Tonya Pinkins Speaking Topics

  • Get Over Yourself! : How to Drop the Drama & Claim the Life You Deserve

Tonya Pinkins Videos

  • Caroline or Change - Tonya Pinkins - YouTube
  • Gregory Hines, Tonya Pinkins, Jammin' on Broadway - YouTube
  • Black America - #BlackPerspectivesMatter with Tonya Pinkins ...

FAQs on booking Tonya Pinkins

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    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Tonya Pinkins for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Tonya Pinkins, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Tonya Pinkins or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Tonya Pinkins

    Speaking fees for Tonya Pinkins, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Tonya Pinkins are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Tonya Pinkins, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Tonya Pinkins speak about?

  • Where does Tonya Pinkins travel from?

    Tonya Pinkins generally travels from New York, NY, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Tonya Pinkins’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Tonya Pinkins for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Tonya Pinkins for your next private or corporate function.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Tonya Pinkins is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Get Over Yourself! : How to Drop the Drama & Claim the Life You Deserve. The estimated speaking fee range to book Tonya Pinkins for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Tonya Pinkins generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dominique Dawes, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Gabrielle Union, Caitlyn Jenner and Hines Ward. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tonya Pinkins for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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