Senior Emily Taylor Won Most Musical, Here’s Why

by: Kayla Stephensen

The newly minted “Most Musical” female of the senior class of 2019 answered some questions regarding her experience in theater as well as with a singing YouTube channel with her best friend and senior Holly Klepacz.

What made you want to do theater?

I wanted to start theatre because I’d always loved the idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes and I was interested in taking over the persona of someone completely different, being able to remove myself from situations and do as a character what I would never do as myself. (Plus, I’d always wanted to live my life as a musical.) I can recall many times when I was younger where I’d stand in front of my mirror coming up with scenes or improvise make-believe scenarios that could never happen in real life. I was drawn to theatre by the sheer magic of it all.

When did you and Holly start the band?

Holly and I have been playing and singing together since eighth grade. We’re going on five years now.

Why do you enjoy theater?

I enjoy theater because it allows me to experience the emotions of someone else who is going through something I’ve never gone through, and I get to be around people who appreciate that aspect. In the theater I’m able to be goofy with friends that I may not see outside of a specific show, and I meet a wide range of personalities. The best part of theatre to me is the relationships you make while a part of it. Not all of the relationships you make are necessarily good, but you can learn from everyone and that makes it worthwhile.

Why did you start the YouTube channel?

We started because I forced Holly to sing with me. She was really shy at first but I thought she was good and I wanted a partner. The best part about singing and performing with Holly is that she’s my best friend. We’re able to understand each other through our music, and we’re always talking about our future and making big plans for ourselves.

What’s your favorite video you two have made?

My favorite video we’ve made is probably one of our more recent ones which is a cover of “Big Plans” by the band Why Don’t We. We decided to use some of our recording equipment and make a little music video with it, and it accurately describes our “big plans” for our future.

Do you primarily sing soprano or do y’all switch?

Generally, I sing soprano and Holly sings alto. She doesn’t really like to sing high (even though she totally can— and she sounds like an angel) and lower notes are more difficult for me. Occasionally we switch, or Holly sings a lower harmony as opposed to my higher harmonies.

Do you have future plans for you and Holly or as far as theater goes?

As of now, I’m taking a gap year before college to work on music, and I’m hoping to take a few dancing classes and find a vocal coach in that year to help prepare me more for auditions into colleges and any future shows. After my gap year, I plan on applying to a few schools and majoring in musical theater. Holly and I are hoping that this coming year will hold great opportunities for us to expand our audience and record our music. We’d love to make a career of performing.

What would you do as a professional actress?

If being a professional actress is in my future, I’d want to be a Broadway performer living in New York. Of course I’d have a dog. Maybe two. Maybe five. I would want a husband at some point, but having kids would probably have to be the pause of that career because I’d want to have my full attention on them.

Do you have a plan B?

My plan B, after singing with Holly and performing on Broadway is to teach a theatre class. The thing is, I only know as much as my directors and peers have taught me.

What’s the hardest part of theater?

The hardest part of theatre is fully immersing yourself into your character. Sometimes there are embarrassing things you may have to do (like kissing, ew) where ordinarily you would be completely uncomfortable, but your character requires you to do it. The hardest type of character for me to play is an intellectual person. I have a hard time placing myself in the shoes of someone introspective because I have trouble relating to those types of characters.

What’s the easiest type of character for you to play?

The easiest type of character to play would be the bubbly character— at least I’m assuming. I can see it being easiest because you can take so many artistic liberties with the character; twisting lines, less thoughtful movements, giggling, smiling! It’s so relieving to be on stage when your character has the wiggle room to break character by smiling.

What’s your favorite role you have played?

Choosing my favorite role is difficult. I’ve been so blessed with the roles I’ve received and I had fun with all of them. But if I had to choose, I would choose Annie. Annie was one of the first musicals I’d ever seen, and the memories I’d made from my experience in the musical will always be some of my fondest.

Do you have any advice to aspiring underclassmen actors?

My advice to underclassmen who are aspiring actors is keep your head up. Sometimes you don’t get the role you want, it doesn’t mean you’re bad. The decisions made by the directors aren’t personal, and you should take the opportunity to learn from what you could have done differently.

What’s your favorite musical and why?

My favorite musical is probably Hamilton, which I know is a very generic answer, but I am completely fascinated by the fact that Lin Manuel Miranda was able to take some history and actually make me excited about it. I can listen to the soundtrack over and over and over again and not get tired of it.

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