Taylor, 54, recently performed as Ben Franklin in Eight O'Clock Theatre's production of 1776. He got bitten by the theater bug when he was in middle school. Coincidentally, it was when a tour of 1776 made a stop at the Municipal Auditorium in Orlando, not far from his hometown of Gotha. Taylor, accounts receivable manager for Auto Data Direct Inc., graduated from Florida State University as a theater major and lives in St. Petersburg. When it came to prepping for Franklin, he relied on several books, such as The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood. "It elaborates on how Dr. Franklin went from being a Boston-born loyalist to the British crown for 68 years, to one of the leaders of the movement to obtain and achieve independence in 1775-76 and then his diplomatic work in France. It gave great insight to so many of the lines written for Franklin in the show."
What's on your nightstand?
I have been reading Carl Reiner's 2013 memoir I Remember Me. I have such respect for the pioneers of television as well as great comedic writers and performers, and this collection of Reiner's recollections has a wonderful feeling of being in the room with the raconteur. His stories are funny, sweet and occasionally insightful and full of back home and backstage stories. It is a wonderful nightstand book as the stories are generally short and leave you with a smile on your face before falling asleep.
If you were going to give a copy of a play to someone you want to inspire to get more involved in theater, what would it be?
Choices in theater, as in movies and music, are truly subjective and involve so many genres and styles that picking only one general title is difficult. That being said, William Goldman's The Lion in Winter is a great place to start because of its humor and family drama dynamics. It is such a quotable play and a terrific read. If musicals are your thing, I cannot say enough about 1776. The music is beautiful, fun and accessible while the prose is stirring and funny.
Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.