I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met Taylor for the first time which was on one of the hottest days in New York City at a sweat lodge called Shape House (sincerest thanks to Ashley Park for sweat on a sweaty day). Before that I had, similar to everyone else, a Broadway-binokular-view of her serious talent, magnetic energy, and of course, her fitness tutorials via Instagram *not to be missed, I should add*. Taylor’s photoshoot was the fist time I got to chat with her one-on-one and quickly connected to the real life Taylor who is nothing short of present, warm and benevolent. (ps throwing this word in the pot for #loudermanlingo, Taylor) 😉 She is full circle, inwards-outwards, backwards-forwards Fit for Broadway.
Note from Taylor: Hey! I’m Taylor. I love storytelling! I play a bad girl onstage in MEAN GIRLS the musical but try to be much kinder in real life. I love learning and challenging myself and my little puppy, Charlie.
Q: Can we start from the beginning… What’s been your journey to Broadway?
A: I started at age 10 in ANNIE. I loved performing and continued it as a hobby until it was time to start thinking about college. I got into the University of Michigan’s Musical Theater program and from there preparation met opportunity and I got very lucky when they were looking for young people to cast in BRING IT ON: The musical.
Q: You have an incredible pulse on fitness and health in your daily life. When did you start integrating health and fitness into your lifestyle as a performer?
A: I was dating a guy who was super into health and fitness. One month I was joining him at the gym and the next month I would roll my eyes at gym rats. I think because I didn’t enjoy those types of workouts and I have SUCH a sweet tooth. So I initially had a complicated relationship with health and fitness. Although I had played a lot of sports growing up, I struggled to find the right workouts to stay disciplined. That was five years ago now. I don’t think I consistently focused on wellness until I tried the whole 30 diet and witnessed first hand how amazing I can feel if I treat my body and mind better. I partnered fueling my body with workouts that I enjoyed (and always changing it up) and felt unstoppable.
Q: Has anyone inspired your process in regards to health and fitness?
A: My little sister Madison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 8 years old. I was already out of the house by then, but I watched my mom learn new recipes and challenge family traditions in an effort to adapt to a new lifestyle inspired by her disease. It spawned a curiosity in me to learn more. I am continuously fascinated by culture and societies effects on our eating habits.
Q: Top 3 tips for maintaining energy for your show.
- A workout that day – even as short as 30 min.
Q: I love diving in to mental health as much as physical. It’s all so connected. How do you maintain a positive, healthy mental state day in and day out, through the ups and the downs?
A: Playing Regina George has really challenged me to have a healthier relationship with myself. I have had to work on my inner dialogue and maintain a steady confidence, whereas I used to really fluctuate. How I move and what I eat undeniably affects this. And sure – so do hormones, but those are easier to manage when you are giving your body what it needs. Playing an iconic character that rules the school keeps me on my toes and doing it 8 times a week asks a lot of my stamina. I wouldn’t be able to do it if I weren’t kind and compassionate to myself.
Q: Any other holistic practices to stay #BalancedOnBroadway?
A: I really believe in the Wellness Formula and vitamins. I take a Vitamin B complex every day, and check in with my therapist regularly. 🙂 No shame.
Q: Top 5 products, companies or brands that are shaping your lifestyle right now.
Q: Fill in the blanks.
A: The best part of working on Broadway is… Inspiring other humans in any capacity.
The most challenging part of working on Broadway is… two show days
Q: What’s a typical week of workouts look like for you?
A: I really like to shake it up and don’t plan it out too much. I get bored easily. Sometimes I will literally tell myself we are just running one mile on the treadmill…just to get myself there. This usually turns into a full workout because I develop motivation after I get started. I love the stair climber when I want to read while I work out, and if I’m feeling spicy I’ll mosey down to Tribeca for a trampoline/dance class at Bari. Two show days I give myself a break so I don’t get burnt out.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Get to know yourself inside and out. Everyone is so different; there isn’t one path. There more you know what you can bring to the table, the smarter you will be at marketing yourself.
Q: BROADWAY INSPIRES ME TO BE _ the best version of myself.
A: It encourages empathy which is one of the most powerful things we can practice. Our bodies and minds are designed to preserve our genes, but we’ve outgrown that need and it is important to step into other’s shoes and spread love and acceptance.
Questions from Jimmy 🙂 #teamFFB
One of our team members, Jimmy, totally manifested this interview way back in February. He’s so excited it’s finally happening, as am I 🙂 Here are a few questions from him.
Jimmy: You did two years of musical theatre undergrad before joining the national tour and subsequently Broadway’s Bring It On: The Musical. What was it like taking a leap of faith in joining that production and do you have advice for any future artists struggling deciding between studying and working?
Taylor: I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Amanda Green, Andy Blankenbeuhler and Alex Lacamoire. The head of my program agreed and always left the door open for me to return. I think it is important to ask your support network if it seems like the right move. I am eager to get my degree still!
Jimmy: Weekly, you’ve been featuring a word of the week on your Instagram which you call Louderman-Lingo. Do you have a word that our readers need to add to their positive affirmations?
Taylor: Magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; high-minded;nobility of mind, character, etc I’d like to think we should practice this inside and out. 😉
Jimmy: You recently became a mama to an adorable new puppy in your life, how has Charlie changed your daily life and show routine/rituals?
Taylor: Haha! I am still adjusting. She is a puppy so she demands a lot of me right now, luckily I have the time! We have fun together and I love watching her grow.
Taylor is wearing the “Fit for Broadway” tank from Fit for Broadway Apparel
Photos & Interview by Jane Jourdan.