Thursday, April 21, 2011

Student Artist Profile: Taylor Hill — Caught in the act

Taylor Hill, a senior at Kennett High School, has been a local actress since elementary school and has appeared in productions for both Arts in Motion and M&D Productions. The diverse list of productions she participated in includes “Footloose,” “Rent,” “Seussical” and, most recently, “Guys and Dolls.” Hill also performed as part of Alpenglow at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in December.
When did you become interested in performance?
I think it really started when I was around 7 years old and I auditioned for my school play at Madison Elementary. I got a small part, but that really sparked the theater person in me. I think it just sort of snowballed from there and I've just been doing plays and theater and anything to do with music ever since.
What was your first show?
I honestly don't remember because it was something so remotely far fetched for a 7 year old to comprehend, but I do remember that my first bigger part was in “Alice in Wonderland” at Madison Elementary.
What was the part?
I was the White Queen. I didn't get the Red Queen, the really nasty one, but I got to be the White Queen.
When did you start singing?
I could say I was singing from the time I was talking, but I don't think that was the case. I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I joined the local children's choir around here directed by Karen Page. I kind of got the basics and then I started singing with her. I guess, ever since then, I've picked up pieces here and there.
What is your favorite performance that you've given?
Probably “Rent” with Arts in Motion, but I will say that I got to play Captain Hook in sixth-grade elementary school and that was a blast. That was so much fun. They really aren't comparable, but they were definitely two really fun performances.
What was your most challenging acting experience? Would that also be “Rent?”
Probably yes. I mean anyone who knows about “Rent,” they hear it and it is such a controversial show. I think it not only stretches audiences members when they watch it, but actors and directors and producers and anyone involved in it. That's a big show. It takes stretching yourself to get there, to produce it.
You've done shows for M&D and Arts in Motion. How would you compare those two experiences?
I think with any show that you jump into you can't really compare it to other shows because each show is a new project that you have to tackle. I think working with M&D and Arts in Motion both have been great experiences because they both have such gifted directors. Whatever play I've done, no matter how stressful it has been, it has always been fun. It has been a pleasure with both. I think challenging, but enjoying, so, I think both have a lot in common actually.
The first thing I saw you in was “Footloose.”
Ah. That's right.
I remember being really impressed and being like “Oh wow, she's really good. She's actually better than the lead.”
Thank you. It was a lot of fun. That is a fun play and that was one where I'd never seen the movie before I had done the show. So, I actually had to go out and get the movie and watch it.
It is kind of funny with that movie because it makes sense that it would be turned into a musical. So many of movies that get turned into musicals it just doesn't make sense at all, but that one really does.
Yeah, it does. I don't know how old the musical is, but I don't know why they didn't do it sooner because it is have musicals like a “Chorus Line” and “42 Street” things so heavy on dancing and that one isn't heavy on dancing until they start to dance [at the end]. So, yeah I agree.
What are you hoping to do after graduation?
I'm actually going to be attending Lasell College in Newton, Mass. this fall and I'll be majoring in fashion marketing, so the business side of fashion. As much as I'd love to pursue theater as a career it is just so unpredictable and I'm not sure I want to be living in a box in New York City. But I will keep theater on my horizon because it is a passion of mine. I'll keep that on the side whether I minor in it or something.
Do you think you'll do plays and musicals in college?
Time willing, yes, yes I do.
I'm sure when you come back for the summer you'll be auditioning for things.
Yes, definitely! When I come back for summer, even though I should probably work and save money, I'll probably audition for shows and do shows.
What's it been like post-Alpenglow and New York?
That was such a great experience. I had never been to New York. It was eye opening. I almost decided on a school in New York and after Alpenglow it helped me make my decision because New York is a big city and I'm from a small town. Post-Alpenglow, my life has been normal.
So, it was just too overwhelming to consider going to school there?
For right now. I would love to work in New York City. I would love to be part of the fashion industry in New York City, but to start I need to ease my way into it.
Has there been anything else with Alpenglow?
I think right when we got back I had practice and rehearsals for “Guys and Dolls” and a lot of school work. I know Mary Bastoni, who kind of is the director of it, is really busy and everyone is just super busy. I think initially we were going to try to get back together and try to do something for charity and perform at some concerts and maybe this summer at the park. As of right now? Nothing. But hopefully in the future.

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