A friend of mine from Miami University is really going places, and not just figuratively. She is a true example of living your dreams and working hard to accomplish what for some, is impossible. As a long term fan of Legally Blonde: The Musical, Maggie Taylor had a life changing experience when she was cast to play “Margot” and the understudy
for “Elle Woods” for a national tour of Legally Blonde: The Musical. I was lucky enough to chat with her about her experience.
Unlike many actors, who work through an agent, Taylor responded to an open casting call for the show and traveled to New York to audition. She was one of about 1,000 people auditioning for a chance to be a part of this touring show. From the sounds of it, the process was a grueling one. The auditions started with a line up and a casting director simply stating “yes” or “no”. Luckily, she made the cut! She then sang 16 bars of music from the show and afterwards was given material to prepare for a call back the following day. After the call back she was invited for a dance audition with just 50 other people. She then performed “Margot” and “Elle” understudy material, and was later told she was on “hold” for those roles. After waiting in suspense for about a week Taylor found out that she was being offered the part! Taylor would be “Margot” and the understudy for “Elle” for the national tour of Legally Blonde: The Musical!
I asked Taylor to reflect back on her experience getting cast. She shared with me that it was her hard work and self-belief that helped her pursue her dreams.
“I didn’t get into a big college musical theatre program so that was something I always felt self conscious about, but I made the most of the opportunities I had and went out and looked for more! Landing that job was one of those moments where you realize all your hard work and perseverance actually paid off!”
Taylor shared that it was ultimately her ability to ignore that little voice that told her to conform, and embracing who she really was that helped her land the role.
Taylor speaks fondly of her experience touring with the show. I can only imagine the challenge of performing a high-energy role like “Margot”, let alone on the road, but Taylor says she wouldn’t change a thing, and points out that being a part of a traveling show forms bonds that are that much deeper.
“Not only are you on stage together every night, but we traveled together every day and lived together for a year. The bond of a touring cast is unlike any I have had. We were seriously a family and that is something we will always have and share, because we had that unique experience together.”
Before closing our interview I thought about my students and friends who are still struggling to make it, so asked her what advice she would pass on to anyone aspiring to be professional performers. This was her advice:
“Never give up and always persevere. It’s cliché but it is true. You will face so much rejection in this business but if you keep at it, something will come along. Also, don’t try to be like everyone else. When I was in college I think I would go to auditions a lot and see [other] people and think, “oh, maybe I should be singing those types of songs, or wearing that type of dress, etc.” I didn’t get a lot of gigs and when I graduated I had nothing on my horizon. But I went to NY and auditioned for Legally Blonde being exactly who I was, and I got the job. And I am pretty positive I got it for being exactly who I was. So, never give up. The right job will come, don’t give up. It’s hard to stay optimistic and not get down, but if you have the endurance to stick it out, something will come.”
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