Seattle Actor Profile – Jennifer Lee Taylor

A native of Seattle, Jen Taylor made her Seattle Shakespeare Company debut last season playing Imogen in Chamber Cymbeline. Now with Eliza in Pygmalion, she has a role that she’s been dying to play since she was a teenager.  “At 12 or 13 I went into this weird stage where I would only watch black and white movies, because modern movies offended my sensibility (she laughs). I have no idea what was going through my head. So my mother introduced me to the film of Pygmalion, and I just fell in love with it.  And then of course I watched My Fair Lady.  I started working on my cockney dialect.  And when I was 14 I got to play Mrs. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it was because I was mimicking Pygmalion.  Yeah, Mrs. Beaver was my first attempt at Eliza Doolittle. (Laughs).

Reading

“You’re going to laugh!  Right now I’m reading Death Comes to Pemberley. I’m so embarrassed. It’s a murder mystery written by P.D. James who is a murder mystery novelist that I quite like.  And she’s a huge fan of Jane Austen, who is my favorite author.  And she has written a sequel to Pride and Prejudice that is a murder mystery. In all honesty, I’m only a couple of chapters in.  I can’t really speak to its value yet.  I bought it for my mom with the hope that I could then read it.”

Listening

“I’m always listening to Radiohead.  It’s sort of my music of choice. In all honestly, I don’t feel like I have a ton of time to sit down and listen to the radio, unless I’m in the car, and then I’m listening to KUOW or the classical station, with a little bit of pop thrown in there.”

Watching

(Laughs) “I don’t have a television.  I have a whole bunch of movies from SAG, because I’m a SAG member and they send you films to watch for the SAG awards, which I never got around to watching, so I’m excited to watch The Artist.  I really want to see that when I have a moment to myself.”

Earliest memory of wanting to be an actor

“I was always putting on little shows.  But I remember I saw a play at the Village Theatre that was their kids’ summer stage show, and I must have been 11.  They were doing Bye, Bye, Birdie, and it was the first time that I had the realization of “Wait a second! These are all kids doing this. I could do this!” It was the first time I had a real concept of that for some reason.  Movies with kids in it seemed really far away, not something that was real. And my mother took me to a lot of theatre, bless her. Thank you, Mom!  She took me to the opera. She took me to the ballet. She took me to a ton of theatre, but it never really stuck in my mind that kids could do it.  So it was the Village Theatre’s KidStage that I really realized that “What a second!  These are all kids!”  That’s probably when I had the clear notion that I could be on stage, I think.”

Looking forward to this theatre season

“I would really like to see my friend Angela DiMarco in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Seattle Public.  I am a fan of actors, so I want to go see their shows.  I want to see Nick Garrison’s show I Am My Own Wife at the Rep. I am also interested in Clybourne Park, which I don’t know much about.  I’m going to see The Bells at Strawberry Theatre Workshop.  And, once I close Pygmalion, I open up in Holy Days with New Century Theatre Company directed by Paul Stetler.”

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a big fan of Shaw, and admire and respect anyone who takes on the challenging role of Eliza. While not the most philosophical role when reading the book (Alfred takes that prize), transforming from a guttersnipe into a princess in 2 hours is unimaginable acting. :-) Would love to meet you and the rest of the cast after the preview.

  2. Flora Ninelles says

    I would enjoy knowing if you think Death Comes to Pemberley is worth reading. I am optimistic that the “real” Darcys were a wonderful couple all their lives.

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