"Dreamgirls" star, Augusta native says success a journey

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December 25, 2006

AUGUSTA, Ga.---You may have already seen the new movie "Dreamgirls" that opened yesterday. One of the film's stars is from the Augusta area.

News 12's Jonathan Martin found out about Keith Robinson's trip to Hollywood.

We all know it's one of the biggest movies of the year...but did you know one of the stars of "Dreamgirls" calls Augusta home?

"Yeah, I started right out of high school basically, right here in Augusta, doing talent shows at the Augusta Civic Center," Keith told News 12.

In the Golden Globe nominated musical film about a 60's girl group and their rise to stardom, Keith plays CC.

"CC is like a young Smoky Robinson," Keith explained. "He's like the singer, songwriter, he writes all the songs, choreographs all the moves."

Like his character, Keith has always considered music his first love. He attended Lakeside High School in Columbia County and then started college at UGA.

Stepping out on faith, hoping to make it big as R&B singers, Keith and his two of his friends dropped out of college and packed their bags.

"We just jumped on 20 and headed out to Los Angeles, so it was pretty much a quick overnight decision," Keith said.

But while the guys were looking for a record deal in LA, Keith took an acting class. His first audition got him his first role, which led to many others. Finally, last year, he got a chance at a dream role in "Dreamgirls".

"Everybody in Hollywood was trying to be a part of it," Keith said. "Every African American artist."

In fact, Beyonce, Jamie Fox, and Eddie Murphy were already cast before Keith even auditioned.

The process wasn't easy. There were several rounds of reading and dancing, followed by a four month wait.

Then, finally, he got the call he'd been waiting for.

"They called and I think I ran into the street, into oncoming traffic," Keith said. "I was happy."

His parents have been with him every step of the way, even recently, when he received a proclamation from the mayor at a recent reception in Augusta.

And his hope is that when others see him on the big screen, they'll realize it doesn't matter where you come from--you can make it if you're willing to work.

"There's no such thing as an overnight success," he said. "You might find out about them overnight, but it is definitely a journey. If you're willing to take it, it leads to a good place."