Kevin Ray Johnson
Taylor Iman Jones is currently starring as Mopsa in Head Over Heels (featuring music from the Go-Go’s) on Broadway which is currently in previews right now at The Hudson Theatre. I have been a fan since her Broadway debut in Groundhog Day. What made her debut so amazing was that she had only living in New York for two months when she booked the gig. Taylor has also toured nationally with Green Day’s American Idiot.
Taylor knew that she wanted to perform at the young age of 10. “I did my first musical, a youth production of Bugsy Malone, after being invited by a friend from school. I never stopped performing since," she said. She also added that it wasn’t until being on an actual stage, that she discovered she "wanted to do it forever."
Head Over Heels is such a fun show to watch because everyone on that stage is leaving their own mark. Taylor had nothing but glowing reviews about her experience so far. “My time in HOH has been incredible. It’s such a fun show, full of love, acceptance and great music,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about my craft, and the challenge and rewards that come with making a new musical.” I personally can’t come up with a favorite moment in the show, but (currently) for Taylor, it’s the finale when everyone (including the audience) can’t help but rock out and have a good time.
This show has such an amazing energy, and it starts with their leader, Michael Mayer. His fingerprints are truly all over this show. I was most curious about how it has been working with him and how the energy has been throughout the process. Taylor told me, “Michael Mayer is a gift to theater. He has such an expansive mind. He allows for a collaborative space while remaining specific in what he wants. He has made the mash-up between heightened, classic theater and a rock concert seamless. It’s such an honor to work with him."
There are so many shows I would love to see this talented actress in, but this article isn’t about my wants. However, I did wonder what other shows and roles in her career stuck out and were near and dear to her heart. Her answer leaves you wanting to go out tonight after reading this feature: “RENT will always be one of my favorite productions I’ve ever done or seen. The families I’ve created while doing the show, along with the communities it created never fail to be rare and magical”.
Taylor has played the role of Mimi twice and says she could play the role a million more times. “Mimi helped me find confidence in myself, and I will always love her for that," she said.
Taylor credits her education in theatre to the Bay Area. While there she was like a sponge, tending to soak up whatever she could from whoever she could. “It would be difficult to pinpoint one person, when I have been influenced by so many,” says Taylor.
Her advice to younger performers who want to get into the business I absolutely love - “Believe in yourself more than anyone else, be your own cheerleader and be your own critic. Get to know your strengths, and your weaknesses, and then work on them. This business is not easy, if you want it you have to sacrifice for it. And it only gets harder as you continue. But it can be worth every second of blood, sweat and tears you give if you stick with it.”
AMEN to that!
You truly don’t want to miss Taylor Iman Jones in this amazing show. To learn more about her visit – www.Taylorimanjones.com