Monday, July 16, 2012

Spotlight On...Jeanne LaSala Taylor

Name: Jeanne LaSala Taylor

Hometown: Pelham, New York

Education:  MFA in Acting, UC Irvine; BA with Distinction from the University of Virginia... Wahoowa!

Select Credits: Serious Money (Jacinta Condor, PTP at Atlantic Stage 2)
Spoiled Bea (Beatrice, Abingdon Theatre, written, choreographed by me, produced by my company Coyote REP); No End of Blame (Ilona, PTP at Atlantic Stage 2 and Olney Theatre)

Why theater?:
It's always been the best way to synthesize all of the things I love: literature, language, performance, dance, music, poetry, history and research on other cultures, people and places.  And damnit, it's fun!

What is it like being a part of Serious Money?:
It's been a wonderful adventure.  This is my 5th time working with PTP but my first time being directed by Cheryl Faraone.  It's great to be back and to be working with such a terrific cast.  This has been a bear of a play; just getting our brains around the financial lingo and "the deal" made me feel like I had unwittingly signed up for a three-week Business School.  It was a new and exciting dose of No-doze! But once it started to spark that part of my brain that has been sitting there like a car on blocks in the front lawn, I've been amazed reading the papers each day and seeing our play play out in real time with everything going on in our financial markets.  And Jacinta is just so much fun.  Getting to bring my love of movement and dialects to this production as well as channeling my inner Latina has been a real pleasure.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: This is a question for a bottle of wine... or six.  To take a stab, I love anything that pushes me out of my comfort zone, that makes me dream and makes me move.  I'm inspired by complete commitment, raucous energy and the Unknown.

Any roles you’re dying to play?:
I'd love to play Vanda in Venus in Fur.  That's just the kind of mix of movement and theater that I love!  But I've also been itching for some Pinter.  I've never done any Pinter and I think it's time. Maybe The Lovers?

What’s your favorite showtune?: I'm a sucker for The Fantasticks:  "They Were You".  Gets me every time!  I also love “They Both Reached for the Gun” from Chicago, it's ants in my pants!!

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
I'd like to work with Jennifer Ehle.  She's an actress I've looked up to since I first saw her about 15 years ago.  I would also really like to be directed by Martin Scorsese.  I would have loved to work with Nora Ephron. 

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
Marissa Tomei would play me because I've always been told she's my doppelganger, which I take as a high compliment... she's gorgeous and such a great comedic actress.  I think it would be called "The Unlucky One".  I've always been told how unlucky I am (it consistently rained on my birthday for all of my childhood birthday parties, I've been through 2 fires, a mouse infestation, bed bugs, had my car stolen outside my apartment, my wallet stolen on the set of Sex and the City, 3 major car crashes, lice...the list goes on) but I've always felt like a very lucky person.  I guess it's all in how you look at things.  I think it could be a pretty hilarious movie! 

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Serious Money, obviously!  But recently I was telling anyone who would listen to go see Venus in Fur.  What an amazing play and an amazing performance by both actors. 

What’s the best advice you can give someone trying to make it in theater?:
Find what makes you happy about this business and do that.  Realize that it's not just going to be acting in front of a camera or on stage every day for the rest of your career so it's up to you to fill in the blanks with soul-enriching work.  Don't make enemies and plan on working very, very hard.  If you don't want to work hard, find something else to do... banking?  :)

What’s up next?: Lunch.

For more on Jeanne, check her out at For more on Coyote Rep, visit