We had the good fortune of connecting with Ann Warque and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ann, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I knew that I wanted to be a performer since I started dancing at the age of 7. I always daydreamed of being on a stage in front of an audience, whether it be through dancing, singing, or acting. Since I basically grew up at a dance studio, being a dancer became my lifestyle and an integral part of my identity. I later discovered my passion for musical theatre in high school. Pursuing something other than dance was never an option for me. I was already looking up college dance programs in middle school. On my 18th birthday, I got accepted into my dream school, Loyola Marymount University. At LMU, I was introduced to people and opportunities that eventually led me to realize my potential for a career in musical theatre. Today, I am working towards my goal of being on Broadway.
When I’m expressing myself onstage, I’m my best, authentic self. I usually have a short attention span and and a tendency to get bored easily, but nothing makes me more present than when I’m in rehearsal learning a new song or dancing with my fellow castmates under the spotlight. Nothing brings me more self-fulfillment and joy than performing.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To start off, I can’t talk about my journey without acknowledging my time at LMU. I graduated from LMU in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance and a Minor in Theatre Arts. At LMU, I got to train with industry professionals and perform in many dance and theatre shows, my favorite being Vanessa in “In the Heights”. I was also given opportunities to write and direct my own work. My experiences at LMU have prepared me for the industry, and I am so grateful for it. While the transition into post-grad life certainly wasn’t easy (especially during a pandemic), it pushed me to explore who I was outside of being a performer. It prompted me to navigate other parts of my myself, such as being a Filipina-American woman in the industry and in today’s society. Although the aspect of my identity that I took so much pride in was essentially taken away, the self-exploration that I went through made me into a better artist.
Since post-grad, I’ve experienced many firsts, especially in the Film realm. Because more film opportunities were accessible than theatre, I spent my time exploring this new world. Since then, I’ve acted in a number of short films, as well as filmed my first commercial. However, one of the things I’m most proud of is my film collective, Black Iris Film Productions.
Black Iris originated in January 2021. Before that, we all had just met on set and became friends instantly. For me, they became the community I was craving since the pandemic. After that shoot was over, I didn’t want our collaboration to end. Therefore, I proposed to them the idea of a film collective. To this day, we as a group have created and produced 5 short films, and will be creating more in the future. Feel free to follow us @blackiris.fp 🙂
Although these past couple of years have been full of uncertainty and exploration, my ultimate passion still lies in musical theatre. Obviously, graduating into a pandemic hasn’t been the most beneficial for those Broadway goals; however, I’m still hopeful in where my journey will take me. With theatre coming back, I’ve been able to audition again. I recently started as a Performer for one of the live shows at California’s Great America. I’m also playing the role of Kasey in a workshop for “Baked! the Musical” by Deepak Kumar and Jord Liu. I’m very excited to be doing live performances again, and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so much to do in LA, I don’t even know where to start. However, if I were to show a friend around LA, I would definitely take them to Sawtelle. We would have dinner at Tsujita then dessert at b.sweet or drive out to Wanderlust. I also have to take them to my all-time favorite AYCE KBBQ, Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown. Grand Central Market is also cute for the gram. Of course if we’re not feeling too fancy or want a late night snack, I’d take them to a dollar taco food truck (Taco Tamix or Leo’s Tacos). Pepe’s Tacos in Culver City also has really solid burritos. In terms of fun spots, I’m always down to go to the beach. My personal favorite is Manhattan Beach because it holds a sentimental value to me. After, we can go shopping at the Grove or visit Little Tokyo and get ready for a night out at the gay bars in WeHo. Bonus if we’re there during Halloween.
Of course we have to see some art. I really do love the Getty, and the Griffith Observatory is a staple for first-timers in LA. If there’s a show at the Getty Villa, we HAVE to see it. Seeing shows at the Getty Villa is an ethereal experience. If there aren’t shows going on there, that’s okay. There’s always really cool dance and theatre playing somewhere, so I’d take them to wherever that is.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a number of people worth mentioning; however, the person I would like to dedicate this shoutout to would be my late musical theatre professor and mentor, John J. Todd. He taught me to never put myself inside a box and gave me the permission to never ask for permission to be myself. I would not be the artist I am today without his guidance. I also want to recognize my family, Madeline, and James for their love and support! <3

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warque.af/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warque.af/

Other: Follow and subscribe to Black Iris Film Productions @blackiris.fp! Website: www.blackirisfilmproductions.com

Image Credits
Rahman Hayes, Chloris Li, Rachel Su, Robert Suguitan, Raven Watson

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.