Wesley Taylor

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Wesley Taylor
Born Wesley Taylor
(1986-08-13) August 13, 1986 (age 28)
North Carolina, United States
Alma mater Dr. Phillips High School/North Carolina School of the Arts
Occupation Actor, singer, and writer
Years active 2008–Present
Home town Orlando, Florida
Awards Theatre World Award (Rock of Ages)

Wesley Taylor (born August 13, 1986) is an American stage actor and writer, probably best known for his roles in the Broadway musicals Rock of Ages and The Addams Family.

Personal life[edit]

Born in North Carolina, but raised in Orlando, Florida, Taylor graduated from the theatre magnet at Dr. Phillips High School and holds a BFA in acting from North Carolina School of the Arts.[1] At the latter, Taylor performed as Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 and Action in West Side Story.[2]

Taylor's parents resided in China, where they taught at a university: "[I]t's kind of hard for them to come and see the shows I'm in. I always get a little jealous of other people's families ... But my parents – I love them and I totally respect them. They kind of didn't want to settle into being bored in middle age, and they wanted to start over and move to a different country."[3]

He is openly gay.[4]

Acting and singing career[edit]

In summer 2008, Taylor performed in Barrington Stage Company's production of the musical See Rock City and Other Destinations.[5] The show won Richard Rodgers and Jerry Bock Awards.[6] Taylor made his Broadway debut in the rock musical Rock of Ages, where he originated the role of the German city developer Franz.[7][8] He won a Theatre World Award for this role, and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award.[9]

His second major role on Broadway was as Lucas Beineke in the musical The Addams Family, a role he originated after previously playing the role in the 2009 Chicago production of the show.[10][11][12] The show premiered on Broadway in April 2010, with Taylor appearing alongside Krysta Rodriguez, who plays Wednesday Addams, Lucas' love interest.[8][10] He left the role on March 8, 2011.[13]

Taylor also participated in a reading for a play called A Dog's Tale (or The Thing About Getting) at the Kennedy Center.[14][15] On March 7, 2011, Taylor played the title role alongside Lauren Molina in a reading for a stage adpatation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, penned by playwright Michael Raver.[16] He has appeared on television in ABC's One Life to Live, Live! with Regis and Kelly, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[17]

On April 2, 2011, Taylor, Erin Davie, Ann Harada, Kendrick Jones, and Burke Moses performed the concert, Broadway Tribute in Northport, Long Island at the Engeman Theater. The concert performance featured "the performers re-creating songs they performed on Broadway."[18][19]

He then starred as Michael "Mouse" Tolliver in the world-premiere musical Tales of the City (based on the book series by Armistead Maupin), which began performances on May 18, 2011, in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theatre, directed by Jason Moore.[20] After three extensions, Tales of the City closed on July 31, 2011.[21]

Taylor played Bobby on NBC series Smash. [22]

Other projects[edit]

Since early 2009, Taylor and former Rock of Ages co-stars have maintained a YouTube web series entitled Billy Green.[23][24] The series deals with an up-and-coming actor Billy Green, who arrives in New York City but has no idea how to act around established performers, constantly giving away his resume. Billy Green's main cast stars Taylor as Billy and Jackie Hoffman[25] as his over-protective mother. The idea came about during Taylor's senior year at drama school:

"...I was looking for a short comic scene for the showcase, our presentation for casting directors and agencies. I could not find anything that I thought was funny enough or not overdone. My classmate E.J. Cantu and I wrote a scene called "The Audition," revolving around a guy named Carson who is auditioning for Death of a Salesman and a clueless, brand-new-to-the-city boy named Billy who sits next to Carson in the waiting room. That sketch became the premise for the pilot of Billy Green."[26]

In addition, Taylor has written several short plays: Star-Crossed, The Game, and The Delivery Boy.[27] His latest project, What's So Funny?, received a developmental reading on August 12, 2011, at Ripley-Grier Studios in Manhattan.[28]

In 2013, Taylor and longtime collaborator Mitchell Jarvis co-created and co-wrote an all-new dark comedy web series via Vimeo called "It Could Be Worse" about a gay actor in New York City struggling with many life problems. Currently in its second season and being funded online by fans, "It Could Be Worse" was acquired by Pivot TV and Hulu in 2014. Pivot TV will premiere Season One on their cable network in June, 2014, and both seasons will air on Hulu’s free site in July, 2014. [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wesley Taylor. Theatre Mania Celebrities.
  2. ^ "UNCSA Alumni Win Theatre World Awards". University of North Carolina School of the Arts. May 20, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ "THE LEADING MEN: Kevin Chamberlin and Wesley Taylor of The Addams Family". Playbill.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.ebar.com/arts/art_article.php?sec=theatre&article=758
  5. ^ "Production history" seerockcitymusical.com
  6. ^ Murray, Larry. "See Rock City & Other Destinations" berkshirefinearts.com, August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ "Rock of Ages Storms To Broadway 4/7, Previews Begin 3/20" broadwayworld.com, December 18, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Vire, Kris (October 22, 2009). "The Addams Family: Q&A With Krysta Rodriguez and Wesley Taylor". Time Out Chicago. 
  9. ^ The Broadway League. Wesley Taylor | Awards and Nominations. IBDB.
  10. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (February 26, 2009). "Addams Family Musical to Star Lane, Neuwirth, Carmello, Hoffman, Chamberlin and More". Playbill. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth (March 8, 2010). "Lane and Neuwirth Lead The Addams Family to Broadway, Starting March 8". Playbill. 
  12. ^ Mellini, Michael. "What's Up, Wesley Taylor?". Broadway. July 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Brad Oscar Will Play Uncle Fester in Addams Family; Blickenstaff, Grupper, Potter Join Cast" playbill.com, February 4, 2011
  14. ^ Propst, Andy. "Patrick Heusinger, Phoebe Strole, Wesley Taylor, et al. Set for A Dog's Tale Reading" theatremania.com, September 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Peter, Thomas. "Patrick Heusinger, Pheobe Strole, Wesley Taylor to Participate in Reading of A Dog's Tale". Playbill.com, September 1, 2010.
  16. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Wesley Taylor and Lauren Molina Uncover the Picture of Dorian Gray at March 7 Reading" playbill.com, March 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Tales of the City Playbill, June 2011
  18. ^ "Erin Davie, Ann Harada, Burke Moses, Wesley Taylor to Perform Broadway in Long Island". Playbill.com. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Wesley Taylor, Ann Harada, et al. Set for Engeman's BROADWAY TRIBUTE". Longisland.broadwayworld.com. April 2, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Judy Kaye, Wesley Taylor and More to Tell Tales of the City in San Francisco" broadway.com, March 18, 2011.
  21. ^ "American Conservatory Theater: Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City – A New Musical". Act-sf.org. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 2, 2011). "Addams Family Star Wesley Taylor Will Have Recurring Role on NBC's "Smash"". Playbill.com. Playbill, Inc. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Kanaal van RockofAgesProd". YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  24. ^ The Addams Family – Broadway (August 9, 2010). "The Addams Family's Wesley Taylor Lands an Agent in New Web Spoof". Broadway.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  25. ^ "STAGE TUBE: Hoffman, Taylor Lead 'Billy Green' Webisode – Episode 4". Broadwayworld.com. August 23, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Billy Green : Behind the Scenes". Billygreen.tv. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Wesley Taylor's New Play Gets Developmental Reading; Features Mike Wartella, Matthew Gumley et al". Broadwayworld.com. August 7, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Reading of Wesley Taylor's What's So Funny? to Feature Max Von Essen, Rachel de Benedet and More". Playbill.com. August 8, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  29. ^ Chang, Lia (June 7, 2014). "'Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis’ ‘it could be worse’ Series Featuring Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Fraser, Gideon Glick and More Airs on Pivot TV in June; and on Hulu in July"". BackstagePasswithLiaChang.com. Lia Chang. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 

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