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Meet Adam Turney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Turney.

Adam, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
From a young age, you could always find me dancing to the latest Michael Jackson hit in my living room and singing all throughout the house. It’s interesting because I’m not a part of a musical family, but my grandma on my mom’s side was a self-taught musician so I always credit her for my love of music/performing. Once I realized my love of performing, I started participating in school and community theater plays and musicals. This was where I really fell in love with performing and realized I want to spend the rest of my life doing it if possible. After high school, I moved to Los Angeles and got accepted into the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where I received a B.A. in Theater with a Music Industry minor. Since my time there, I have been working pretty consistently in the LA theater and music scene. I have worked alongside artists such as Lainie Kazan, KWAYE, Pentatonix, India Carney, and Randy Jackson. Additionally, I want to start recording my own music.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been the smoothest road for me. Last year I actually dealt with severe mental health issues and had to go through intensive treatment for a period of time. Luckily I’m doing much better now and have a care team that continues to support me, but each day offers its new challenges. It’s tough as artists, especially as someone who is Black in this industry. We’re constantly being told “no” and being told a dozen things to “fix” about ourselves, yet we are expected to always be at our best. Through much self-reflection, therapy, and lots of self-care, I can definitely say I’m learning to deal with my stress and anxiety in a much more healthy way now. Part of my mission now is to bring awareness to the importance of mental health issues and having low-cost or free access to resources, especially for the Black community.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a singer/actor/dancer based in Los Angeles. I specialize in Musical Theater, Pop, R&B, and Jazz. I’m most proud of my resilience as a creator. I think what sets me apart is how authentic I am. I am very open about my mental health struggles that I’ve experienced and how I tie that into my career as an artist. I’m currently focused on working to infuse mental health awareness with my performing. There are lots of possibilities within that field and I see the music industry specifically becoming more open to doing so as of late. In reference to the issues I dealt with last year, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but I don’t want to allow it to define me. It is simply an aspect of my life and I learn more and more each day with how to cope with it.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would probably say being more sure of myself from the get-go as a child. I grew up in a strict Christian upbringing in middle/high school, where I wasn’t allowed to be my full, authentic self. As a result, I experienced a lot of self-doubt and self-worth questioning. I’m happy to say that I’ve come a long way and am now pursuing my dreams as an openly gay Black man, but that wasn’t always the case. I wish I could shake little Adam and be like “YOU ARE AMAZING! Don’t let anyone tell you differently!” My hope is to bring that same hope and awareness to LGBTQ+ children so that more of them don’t go through what I experienced.

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Image Credit:
Chris Meissner, Ashley Ann Caven, Sara Knobel

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