The play "Dreams Deferred" debuted last December at the Grand Theatre at the Producers Club on West 44th Street in New York. Envisioned as a "modern-day tragicomedy" by its writer-producer, Stephanie Kali, the plot involves a young woman dealing with two suitors and a romantic rival. Rather than focus on choosing "the right man," the play explores issues of self-worth and inner strength. To assemble the talent necessary for such an endeavor, breakdowns and an open-call notice were placed exclusively in Back Stage.Jane Taylor did well enough at the first audition to receive a callback for the supporting part of Irene, foil to the play's lead. However, any elation soon dissipated when she arrived at the venue to discover 50 other women in line to read for the same role. An Australian transplant, Taylor recently graduated from NYC's American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was eager to land a legit role. She needed to deliver an exceptional cold read, in front of an audience of rivals. She felt confident her training prepared her for such auditions.
Taylor began by surmising the character to be fragile, in a way that complemented the environment of the reading. "The role of Irene is exciting and challenging because her emotional state is thrown around by factors outside her own influence—very quickly," she explains. Taylor therefore emphasized the character's vulnerability and uncertainty. "A very strong emphasis of my training at AADA was on constantly making bold, unique character choices," she continues. "So as soon as I receive sides I always make that my priority. I look carefully at the situation and let myself process the way the character is responding to the stimulus as per the script. Then I compare it to how I would react and see if I can find similarities."
Kali notes about the audition, "Jane had a determination about her, as if she wanted the role more than anybody else. I really think that the most important part in an audition is confidence." Though not written specifically as Australian, Taylor's accent was not an issue. "It's the actor's job to take their personal quirks," Kali says, "and use it in their favor."
Being involved in a premiere performance was the validation Taylor was searching for. "I'm glad to find a legit local opportunity," she reflects, adding that her passion for theater is now augmented by an interest in pursuing film and TV opportunities.
Backstage - Who Got The Part?
"...one of the most phenomenal talents in the business. ...she took my character
and brought it to life with just the right flavor. She was creative, witty and refreshing. Additionally, Jane is sweet, friendly, prompt and a TOTAL pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with her again."
- Kathy Irving, CEO PK Diva Entertainment.
"...instinctively understood what was needed. ...brought a great energy to the whole project and you left me with the feeling that she could mantle any part."
- James Thomas, MacMillan Films.
"...she brought a light with her onto every set. We knew as soon as she walked out of the audition room that she had it. Jane made filming a pleasure and I can't wait to work with her again. Anyone who casts Jane will be happy they did and the film will show it. Her performance brought me to tears during the editing process. Bravo!"
- Lance Reha, Lake Films.
'...on time and always energetic. Her performance in the original play, "The Empty Hearted" for the Manhattan Repertory Theater was superb and very professional."
- Justin Chow, Director 'The Empty Hearted'.
"...very dedicated and reliable. She is someone who possesses a lot of drive and focus and is always a pleasure to be around and work with. Jane exudes a sense of fun and passion and she is a hard worker, concentrating all of her energy into her chosen projects. ...she has skill for handling high stakes, in her creative work and in her day to day life. A unique power and strong stage presence are other attributes that make Jane as special as she is."
- Shyeron Putri, Director 'Teens'.
"...she has such a natural ability for acting and relates to widely varied roles with such ease. I've seen her perform in shows ranging from the absolute classics to more colloquial modern pieces, and each time she works so hard to read into the character and really live their life on stage. I admire her for her genuine approach and depth of research which sees her successfully affecting the audience every time."
- Zenon Kruszelnicki, MFA Acting, MFA Directing, Lifetime member of the Actors Studio, Professional coach to Willem Dafoe.
"...I was pleased to see how in such short time Jane was able to do her preparation and study of the script, not to mention the great attitude and concentration during the shoot. It makes my work so much easier. I’m very glad we worked together."
- Fernando Castro, Director 'Limbo'.
"...I couldn't be more pleased with my choice of casting for this film. Jane carried the story with such a clear and relatable character. Thank you so much for your cooperation, focus and taking of my direction. Jane is a dream come true for a director! ...Very excited for the next time we work together."
- Tone Holen, Director 'Look At Me'.
"...Jane is an amazing talent with a flair for fast-paced comedy. We hope to work with her again in the future."
- Rob Santana, What-If Productions.
"...Jane has the sort of personality that will prove invaluable as an actress. She was enthusiastic on set, professional with her demeanor and understood exactly what we needed. ...her acting prowess will allow her to shine in any role."
- Michael Poage, B.A. Film Studies, Columbia University
"...Jane Taylor is a very talented young actress, who is extremely professional and committed to her work. Add to that, a shining personality, patience and an admirable personal strength. An absolutely outstanding young talent."
- Zurab Match, Director 'Julian Blake'.
"...she showed incredible commitment and skill. ...She brought tremendous humor, energy, and beauty to her role. Ms. Taylor incited raucous laughter among our audiences throughout the run of our show. She also demonstrated a savvy understanding and presence in her role. ... a very committed and socially conscious actor, one willing and destined to raise the level of any performance piece. I would recommend Jane Taylor as an actor without reservation. Her skills and her commitment to being part of a team when crafting performance make her a standout choice in any situation."
- Danny Meza, Board Member of NativeAliens Theatre Collective.
"...I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to direct Jane Taylor. Simply put, she lights up the screen. A pleasure to have on set, and a strong actress who takes direction with incredible ease. I am eagerly anticipating the next project of mine that she is right for."
- Jorge Valdés-Iga, Director