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THIS IS IYANNA JONES w/Special Guest Tristen J. Winger

  • Broadcast in Entertainment



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At an early age Tristen J. Winger aspired to be a performer; he was the center of attention at family functions "moon walking" and impersonating his teachers, competed in talent shows singing and performed in school plays throughout his adolescent life.

The son of a retired touring ballroom dancer, Tristen's ambition to perform was supported such that his mother constantly found activities for him to hone his budding crafts. In 2000, he was enrolled in The Colburn School of Performing Arts as a tap dance student under the expertise of Alfred Desio (inventor of Tap Tronics) and an introductory drama class with Debbie Devine. After only a few sessions in each course, Tristen discovered that he had a passion for bringing characters (who only existed as words on a page) to life on stage.

Soon thereafter, Tristen was enrolled in Amazing Grace Conservatory (or AGC) after hearing its co-founder Wendy Raquel Robinson on the radio advertising the performing arts school for the Black Business Expo in Los Angeles. Upon attending the open house, Tristen caught the eye of AGC's other co-founder and vocal coach Tracey Coley. What stemmed from that open house session was a relationship with AGC that helped Tristen's talents flourish over the years as he performed in several theater shows including "Grease" and "The Prodigal Sister" under the direction of Denise Dowse.

Tristen met Jo-Issa "Issa Rae" in their freshman year of high school where they performed in a production of "On Striver's Row". Although aware of one another's passion and talent it wasn't until many years later that he and Issa worked together again. This time on Issa's own project "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl", Tristen plays the unknowingly soft-spoken and baby-voiced "Darius".