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Broadway actor visits QMT

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ROBERT ALLEN

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Times Reporter 

Broadway actor L. Steven Taylor visited Quincy Musical Theatre on April 14 to offer a master class designed to further prepare local talent to take their first steps into theatric careers. Taylor helped the aspiring performers better understand the audition process for securing professional roles. 

Before putting each participant through a mock audition and providing individual feedback, Taylor spoke about what to expect and how to handle it best. 

“That he would take the time to do this here is just phenomenal,” said Lori Strickland, vice president of QMT’s board of directors. 

Despite a range of competitive experiences, including his current work with a travelling production of “The Lion King,” Taylor urged his class to be relaxed.

“Everybody’s friends here,” he said. “Nobody’s not going to get the job today.”

Taylor began the class by recreating part of an audition he recently did in New York City for an understudy part as Jafar in “Aladdin.”

“Don’t psych yourself out,” said Taylor. “And don’t be somebody you’re not.” 

Taylor explained by auditioning well and being authentic, an actor might not secure a particular role — but another role, a role that fits better, may then be matched with the actor. 

Part of being authentic, according to Taylor, are smart musical selections —selections the singer can connect with personally and then convincingly communicate this intimate understanding to the audience. 

Taylor also warned against selecting a piece just because it’s popular.

“Give something different,” he said. “The more flexible you are and the more prepared you are, the better off you will be.” 

Taylor also discussed résumés and headshots.

“If your headshot doesn’t stand out, you never get the opportunity to show them what you got,” said Taylor. 

Strickland said the local attendees were very excited for the class. 

“They would like to work,” she said. “They would like to be paid for their efforts. A lot of them dream of taking that next step.” 

QMT has one more show this season, “Guys and Dolls.” It opens April 25 and runs for two consecutive weekends. 

According to Strickland, master classes like Taylor’s will be held every month as part of QMT’s next season.