BWW Interviews: Broadway Star Wesley 'Tay Tay' Taylor On Putting In Work, Broadway and TV
Prepare yourselves b***hes! Tay Tay's coming to town. Not the lovely girl with a beautiful voice. It's Wesley 'Tay Tay' Taylor, the lovely boy with a beautiful voice. And he's here to teach you. Not just how to sing but how to sang. The Broadway star has teamed up with the Straight From New York Workshop and Concert Series and will be teaching master classes in Houston and Dallas.
BWW: First things first, how did you get the nickname Tay Tay?
Wesley Taylor: When I joined Twitter, @Wesley Taylor and @Wes Taylor were taken. And I couldn't bring myself to write @THEwesleytaylor. I tried a bunch of things like every other 14 year old girl does, wait... Anywho, @WesTayTay seemed fun and then people started calling me that in person and, well, that's a whole other thing.
BWW: You've partnered with the Straight From New York Workshop and Concert Series to teach master classes in Dallas and Houston. What have you got in store for the students in your master classes?
Wesley Taylor: Fart jokes? I'm doing a Q&A, I'll sing a ditty, and then I'll coach them through their audition material/college prep.
BWW: Tell us a little about your artistic journey up until this point. In what ways will you bring this experience to the classroom?
Wesley Taylor: In all seriousness, I had a lot of master class-type scenarios at my conservatory and definitely when I was younger and went to arts high school. I remember it affirming that being an actor was what I wanted to do. So hopefully, inspiration.
BWW: How do you juggle all of your different roles as an artist i.e. performing, writing, producing and various behind the scenes jobs?
Wesley Taylor: I have no f***ing idea. But I get restless when I'm not working. And I think you have to love the work to survive in this business.
BWW: What are some of your favorite roles to perform? Favorite songs to perform?
Wesley Taylor: I had some pretty formative experiences in school working on 'Iago' in Othello, 'Eddie' in Hurly Burly,'Speed' in Two Gentlemen of Verona, and 'Falstaff' (in a fat suit) in Henry IV. My favorite songs to perform are songs I'm good at singing.
BWW: Conversely, what are some of your favorite performers or performances?
BWW: What inspires you? How do you approach each new project?
Wesley Taylor: It's interesting because I don't take myself seriously most of the time, and I also take myself way too seriously. I wouldn't trade my four years at drama school for anything but sometimes I try to forget all the technique. As an actor, I need to know what I want, tell the truth, and really listen. And I'm inspired by others. I see a lot of theater and film.
BWW: This is a controversial question: Television or theatre? What differences have you discovered between the two fields while working in both?
Wesley Taylor: If it's not Broadway, it's hard to make a living in the theater. If it's Broadway, more often than not, you're signed on for up to a year, which can feel constricting when you're restless like me. But sometimes I miss that structure, the stability, and there's nothing more gratifying than a live audience, comedy or drama. But playing comedy to an actual crowd who laughs will always surpass a film set where they have to stay silent. I use to say theater separates the men from the boys, and I wouldn't say that's necessarily untrue, but I said that before I was on TV. The 8 shows a week is brutal, yeah, but on a TV set, the hours can be straight-up ridiculous. And producing my own TV show is the single hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but subsequently one of the things I'm most proud of.
BWW: Tell us about your current and planned projects.
Wesley Taylor: Right now, I am on my way to New York Stage & Film up at Vassar to workshop a new musical called American Pop. After Texas, I'm headed to do some concerts at the Signature Theatre. Currently the series I write, "It Could Be Worse," is streaming its second season on Hulu and Hulu Plus.
BWW: Do you have any advice for aspiring tv/theatre/film anything arts related professionals?
Wesley Taylor: Go see every show, read every play, watch every movie. Oversaturate yourself.
BWW: Do you have any words of encouragement for those involved in the struggle?
Wesley Taylor: Oy. This business is unrelenting so don't waste your time comparing yourself to others. Keep grinding, pounding the pavement, and collect unemployment on Sundays.
SMASH and It Could Be Worse actor and writer Wesley Taylor (@WesTayTay) will be hosting master classes in Houston and Dallas as part of the Straight From New York Workshop and Concert Series. ALL AGES are welcome to participate.
HOUSTON: JULY 29th, Rice University, Hamman Hall
DALLAS: JULY 30th, KD COLLEGE, 2600 North Stemmons Frwy #117
REGISTER at www.StraightFromNewYork.com. Participants should prepare one 32-bar cut of a musical theatre or pop song and bring sheet music marked and in the appropriate key. An accompanist will be provided. No CDs or A Capella.