Ellen Herschel-Lisbon likes to say that she's always known her only daughter would be a star. That's not strictly true. Despite having a Golden Globe award as of 2016, Adele is hardly a star. While she's more known than her grasp on the nebulous world of Hollywood would lead her to believe, most of the time she's mistaken on the street as that chick from New Girl or maybe a friend of your aunt? Either way, Adele is hardly famous. And, more importantly, Ellen Herschel-Lisbon used to believe her daughter had behavioral problems, but this retconned version of events makes the better soundbite for both Adele when she's being interviewed and Ellen when she's bragging about her daughter's Golden Globe. To the Lisbon's credit, they recognized the passion their daughter had for performing and helped her out, paying for classes so she could learn to act and sing and tap.
Still, as encouraging as they were toward Adele exploring her passion for the arts, it was still within reason. So when she, after a few months of taking acting lessons, asked them to start taking her to auditions -- given that they lived so close to Los Angeles and all -- they firmly refused. Adele might not have been the most normal kid around but they were going to give her a normal and stable life, a fact she resented at that age and came to appreciate as she grew older. Neuroses were a particularly bad fit on a lonely child, but as Adele survived elementary and middle school, her experiences with high school were far more positive. Yes, she found a group of friends of her own in the drama club to share similar interests and theatricality, but also Adele was just more socialized and leveled out, learning to cope with the myriad of issues that plagued her. By the time Adele was accepted to NYU's prestigious Tisch program for musical theater, she was a very dedicated but almost normal young lady.
Her experiences at NYU were not exactly what she thought, however. Feeling as though she couldn't shine among the rest of the musical theater group and impressionable due to her feelings as a fish out of water, Adele was driven from her original love into the arms of a new mistress -- comedy. It was her roommate's forte, and Adele found herself fitting in more than she realized, owing in part to the old adage that most comedians were sad as fuck to the fact that she lacked shame or nearly any boundaries in her quest to get laughs. So even though Adele finally graduated with a BFA in musical theater, her quest to make it on Broadway didn't seem quite so imminent. After she graduated, she auditioned for a few musicals on the Great White Way, but hardly made it to a second callback. Instead, she continued to stay in New York for another three years, working as a receptionist in a law firm and ignoring half of her parents calls because they inevitably always led to them asking her to return to Monrovia.
Things for Adele started looking up in 2010; first, she was cast in her first off-Broadway production. It wasn't a musical, but Bachelorette seemed like a fun and funny script, and she connected in a way with the unappealling messiness of the characters. After the play's summer run ended, she moved to Los Angeles -- a joint move with an actor she was dating at the time, both in the hopes of making it. That same year, she started producing her own viral content, starting with a music video for a parody song she'd written, Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury (which remains, arguably, her most well-known piece of work until the Golden Globe win). Through connections she'd made at NYU and in the improv comedy world, Adele landed a role as a story editor at Parks and Rec, while she continued to accept roles in independent comedies and continued to put out her own music videos. It was through those videos that Adele caught the eye of Aline Brosh McKenna in 2013, who contacted her and sold her on the idea of a show she was develolping -- a show about an unstable young woman who, on a chance encounter with an old ex from high school, decided to uproot her life to his hometown. Aline pitched it as a deconstruction of romantic comedies; Adele, in turn, listened to everything she had to say and then pitched it as a musical comedy. And when the show was finely tuned into something that was both of them, they pitched it to Showtime, who ordered a pilot.
Unfortunately, Showtime also decided not to order any additional episodes of the show -- eventually titled Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And neither did any of the other networks they shopped it around to, for months, until eventually offering it to the CW. To her surprise, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend found a home on a network of teen dramas in the spring of 2015. Though Adele is still sort of orbiting most of the comedy world and would like to eventually do something entirely different -- a nice drama that has nothing to do with the Holocaust ideally, or an action movie where she can wear sweatpants and still throw down -- she's found her niche and has even been granted a second season at her beloved show. And, oh yeah, in the six years since her career's started, she's a two-time award winner. Who could have predicted that?
» a triple threat - depressed, anxious, and ocd!
» Interned at SNL in 2005. The less that's ever said about that, the better.
» Avid tweeter, but most of her instagram presence is pictures of dogs. Her dogs, her friends' dogs, dogs she sees on the internet. She assumes that's the sort of content people are really looking for.
» Has a bad habit of reading the comments on her youtube videos. All of them.
» Career Trajectory: Adele has accomplished a lot, especially considering the fact that she's only been professionally working in entertainment since 2010. Most of Adele's career has been either working in supporting roles in small independent films or behind the scenes as a story editor and writer on shows like Parks and Recreation and Robot Chicken. Essentially fed up with the lack of creative freedom, quality roles, and casting directors viewing her as Hollywood Fat, Adele started creating her own musical comedy videos in 2010. In 2013, after releasing Historically Accurate Disney Princess Song, Adele was contacted by Aline Brosh McKenna to create what was first supposed to become a movie but very quickly morphed into a tv show, titled Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The creation of CXG took about a year and a half and was rejected by Showtime and then almost every other network they subsequently sent the pilot to, eventually finding a home on the CW in the spring of 2015. Although the ratings for CXG have been dismal by even CW standards, the show has become something of a critical darling and has netted Adele a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award. While Adele has taken a few roles, including less intensive voice-acting roles, most of her focus remains on running the day to day of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as she is not only the star but an executive producer, occasional episode writer, and has to write most of the songs for the show.
» Media Perception: Adele sees herself as a nobody in the Hollywood machinery. In some respects, she's fairly correct as she doesn't have household recognition or a lot of clout behind her or a longstanding career. To people who know comedy, especially smart comedy, she's been somewhat well known, especially for her Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury video, which even netted her a Hugo Award nomination. But living in LA, she's walked right by paparazzo who just couldn't have given less of a damn who she is. Despite her aversion to cutesy, people who see her might think she's a manic pixie indie princess or Zooey Deschanel (essentially the same thing). Given CXG's status as a critical darling and Adele's recent status as an award winner, the media tends to be fairly positive toward her. The internet also tends to be pretty positive toward her, especially Tumblr and ONTD, because of how outspoken regarding diversity she is and how she implements it on CXG.