For ninth-grader Natalie Taylor, all the world’s a stage. Taylor has been pursuing her love for acting since the age of four, and enjoys becoming a new person each time she steps on the stage. From Sept. 7 to 18, Taylor played the lead role “Susan” in the Venice Theatre production of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
Taylor has been taking classes at Venice Theatre since age four, and began performing in shows at age six. Her first show was “Christmas Carol,” which sparked her interest in performing. Now, Taylor performs in about three to four shows each year, all at Venice Theatre. When she is not rehearsing for shows, Taylor takes one to two classes per week to practice voice, ballet and tap in order to enhance her acting abilities.
Taking on a major role in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” required a lot of effort and dedication on Taylor’s part, yet her previous lead-role experiences were able to help her through it all. Based off of C.S. Lewis’ novel from the book series “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the play was full of storytelling and fantasy. Taylor first auditioned for the role of Susan in August, and was selected for the part out of a pool of 20. “It was a very exciting moment for me,” Taylor said.
Following her audition, Taylor attended extensive rehearsals for the show: five days per week, three hours each day. “At the time, the theater basically was my home. I loved it. I love being there with my second family,” she said. According to Taylor, it was a lot of hard work, but it was very gratifying in the end. In total, she performed the play 11 times, and called it an overall very unreal experience for both herself and the audience.
Now that “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” has closed, Taylor will be performing in “Legally Blonde” this December as the supporting role of Enid. This show will be at The Players Theater — her first show away from Venice Theatre, which she dubs her “home.” Taylor is very excited to perform at a different venue and “expand her resume.”
“Natalie has been pursuing acting for so long,” ninth-grader and friend of Taylor’s Sofia Karey said. “The fact that she has stuck with it shows real dedication.”
Looking ahead, Taylor is positive that she will be pursuing acting as a true career when she is older. “I just love it,” she said. “Getting to forget yourself and step into something else is amazing.”