CHANTELLE ALBERS CHATS ‘THE 6TH FRIEND’ & HER BIG AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE 0 170

With several projects in the pipeline and following the premiere of her latest film The 6th Friend which took place earlier this year, 2019 looks set to be a great and busy year for Chantelle Albers. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with her to talk her admiration of Meryl Streep, her love of comedy and what she hopes to achieve in the years to come.

TITL: As an actress with a rather impressive and growing resume, was there ever a time growing up that you considered taking a different career path or have you always had your heart set on being on screen?

CA: Honestly, I’ve always wanted to act, even as a child, and I did a lot of acting as a kid growing up in theatre. I grew up in northern middle America so there isn’t a big film market there, but there was a theatre scene and I was very active with that. I remember being in the hospital when I was 4 after suffering a head injury where I fell and had an epidural hematoma, and I was watching TV with this strong burning desire to act. I kind of forced my parents to take me to auditions and rehearsals, and after a few years they were on board. I landed my first gig in a singing and dancing group called Kids on Broadway when I was 7 years old. It was my first audition ever and I sang, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Today my parents are my biggest supporters. Some other interests I have outside of acting is psychology because I think the study of moods, emotion, the brain, perceptions, and different realities to be incredibly fascinating. That also is what drives a lot of the research when studying characters. I also have a strong interest in animal rescue.

TITL: Which actors and actresses most inspire and influence you when it comes to your career and your work? What is it about he/she/them that encourages and motivates you so much? 

CA: To me, Meryl Streep is honestly one of the greatest actresses, and what I love about her work is all the details she puts into her characters. She has played so many different characters from A to Z and they all are so meticulously filled with details and fleshed out with depth. Whether it’s an incredible accent in Sophie’s Choice, an elderly Rabbi in Angels in America, a she-devil in The Devil Wears Prada, an aging mother addicted to pain pills in August Osage County, or playing historical characters like Julia Childs. She nails it every time and adds an element of likability to all of her characters. I think it’s something about her as a human being that is really raw and beautiful. She’s an incredible talent with an incredible soul and has so much to share with the world. She is a true gift because she is beautiful from the inside out. Often times when I am researching a character, I think to myself, “What would Streep do?” Because to me she is the best. I love her taste for acting.

TITL: Your most recent film The 6th Friend premiered earlier this year. For those who haven’t seen it yet, can you give me some details as to the story? 

CA: Yes, we are very excited about The 6th Friend releasing in Europe this month! Audiences have really loved the film and what they seem to love is all the humor that is in it. The story isn’t humorous because it’s a horror film, but there’s a strong element of comedy mixed in with it and audiences have really loved it. It stars an all-female main cast of six best friends on the night of their college graduation, where they decide to trip acid for the first time. The man, Tyler, who brings the goodies over decides to stay and join in the fun, but something dark and twisted happens. There is an attempted rape and murder, but the girls end up stopping him and killing him before it happens. The girls get a taste of fame from being the murder survivors and their lives are now changed forever. Fast forward five years later where they decide to rekindle their friendship on a weekend vacation to a cabin where the nightmare continues with a surprise at the end.

TITL: What was it like to re-unite with your good friend and former The Demon In The Dark co-star Dominique Swain on the project?

CA: It was great working with Dom, she really added a lot of humor to the movie and had some great ideas on set. During filming it was really great to have her to collaborate with as an actor. She gives you a lot to play with while filming and her eye for comedy is sharp. I always feel there is a lot of humor in horror because comedy and tragedy go together. Dominique was able to add that humor in and add to the humor of Melissa, my character. Our two characters add to the comedic relief of the movie.

TITL: Any fond or favourite memories from your time on set? 

CA: I have a musical theatre background and I have always loved Bob Fosse. The FX channel is doing a limited series on Bob Fosse and his life with partner Gwen Verdon, with Sam Rockwell playing Fosse and Michelle Williams playing Gwen Verdon. FX asked me to come in and do a print shoot of some dance shots with Sam and Michelle. That was some of the best times on set, and the photos turned out amazing. They were raw, real, hard, passionate, and had a strong element of theatre life, which I have a deep passion for.

TITL: The film has won awards at several film festivals including the RIP Horror Film Festival, but do you care much for accolades like that or are you more concerned about what your fans and viewers think? 

CA: The accolades are great and are certainly appreciated because it gives you validation, and a lot of actors in the beginning of their careers are looking for validation. At the end of the day though, it’s all about what your fans and viewers think and what they enjoy. They are the ones buying, watching, and talking about your film so they are the ones we cater to. If the awards and accolades come that’s great, but the most important thing is that people watch the movie, enjoy it and share it.

TITL: What can you tell me about your latest project Promises

CA: Well this is the first movie that I sing in and I’m really excited to go into the studio to record the songs. I have a background in musical theatre as a mezzo-soprano and have been wanting to sing in a movie for a long time, so I was really excited to jump on board with it. The story follows my character who is a mother and also a musician with a terminally ill daughter. As the story unfolds, we find out that I am unable to pay for the medical care and we see how far a mother is willing to go to save her child. It’s actually based on true events the happen in Ethiopia.

TITL: Of all the roles and characters you’ve portrayed in your career so far, which one stands out the most and why? 

CA: Even though I have a horror film out, I have a deep love and connection to comedy. Comedy is one of my first loves. A character that I played in the last few years, and really enjoyed, was a character from a play that was a west coast premiere called Niagara Falls. I played the character of Linda who is the comedic relief and has a dreamlike quality to her. Meaning that when she comes onstage, you question your own reality and circumstance. She comes with a heightened awareness, has an acute eye for detail, and has an added dose of quirk. I enjoy playing strong funny characters.

TITL: You’ve guest-starred on TV shows including Modern Family and Mob City, but if you could appear in any other series, past or present, which would it be?

CA: I would have loved to work on Arrested Development and Happy Endings. To me, those two shows have some of the best writing in the 21st century so far. There are some other shows from the 90’s like Seinfeld that is also up there, but I have a really strong appreciation for intelligent writing.

TITL: Are there any upcoming projects in the pipeline you can tell me about? 

CA: I’m the lead in a really cool film going around the festival circuit right now called The Desert. It’s produced by one of the creators of NBC’s Grimm, Lynn Kouf, and directed by Ben Bigelow. The style of the film is like a 1950’s melodrama, but with an added sci-fi element. It follows my character of Martha, who breaks into her son’s imagination chamber which is used for psychological treatment. After breaking into the imagination chamber, Martha is thrown into a new world, a world of desert where she is reunited with her son. Once back to the real world, we come to find out that Martha has broken open the two worlds wreaking havoc on both.

I just wrapped on a film called Waiting, which is another film that makes the audience question the reality of the movie. The characters are stuck in the room of a restaurant that seems to become more and more claustrophobic, but they are unable to leave. That is until they are allowed to leave but they all must make a bold courageous move before they can get out. It’s sort of representational of purgatory, or the purgatory of our own minds.

TITL: Actors often work long, unsociable hours for lengthy periods of time, so what do you most like to do when you get a day or period of time off? How do you switch off from a particularly stressful role or busy day? 

CA: I really enjoy getting massages. It’s healthy and beneficial for you and I think of it as a holistic form of staying healthy. It increases circulation, opens up chi, releases tension, and can help keep you centered and grounded. I also am an avid horseback rider and I have been riding horse since I was about 4 after growing up on a farm. For me being with animals is very comforting, as well as relaxing and healing. I enjoy going for a ride to clear my thoughts, be with my horse, and it’s also quite a work out when you gallop.

TITL: Finally then, looking to the future, what’s the long-term ambition for you, both personally and professionally? What’s left for you to tick off your bucket list and at what point would or will you be able to say “I’ve done all I set out to and more?”

CA: I don’t think I will ever say I’ve done it all, because there is so much to accomplish as an artist and an adult who is always growing. I have a lot of needs that keep getting added to my list of things I want to accomplish and do. With growth, comes more obstacles and more things to accomplish. What I want to continue doing is producing and acting in feature films and TV with scripts that move me. I want to partner with other investors and companies to create films and grow my creative network, but also make ground breaking films. The 6th Friend is a movie that audiences will enjoy and love, but I want to add a lot more genres and characters to my resume. I don’t want to stick with one genre because the artist in me needs to play with all the genres, styles, and characters. I’m an actor and it’s my job to create diversity within my work book of characters.

For more information on Chantelle Albers, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.Header photo credit: David Villada.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ANDREA EVANS TALKS ‘ROCKING THE COUCH’ & UPCOMING PROJECTS 0 109

Having been in the entertainment business since she was 10 years old, Andrea Evans is no stranger to the highs and lows of Hollywood, but the events of recent years involving the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and the ever growing #MeToo movement have now seen her add another bow to her already impressive resume, as a producer of the new documentary Rocking The Couch. The documentary features interviews with many victims of Hollywood sexual assault, as well as several individuals who were involved in the Wallace Kaye case of 1992 and takes a long hard look at the cases both past and present and the valuable lessons that, for the most part, still haven’t been learnt. With the documentary proving to be a huge success, ThisIsTheLatest spoke to Andrea about why she got involved, whether she might one day move into directing and where and when fans can see her on screen next.

TITL: Rocking The Couch is largely fuelled firstly by the case, led by twelve women who were brave enough to speak out, brought against Wallace Kaye in 1992. For anyone who is unaware of the story, could you sum it up for me and explain ultimately how it’s impacted this documentary?

Andrea Evans: A lot of documentaries tend to follow their own path and that’s exactly what happened with this one. My co-executive producer, friend and director Minh Collins and I were first only going to interview people from the past few years or thereabouts and build the documentary around that, but then my husband brought to my attention the case brought against Wallace Kaye, as you say, in 1992, in Hollywood. The fact he had to bring this to my attention is kind of the whole point – I was an actress, living in Hollywood in the 1990’s and I’d never heard this story, or anything to do with it. The story itself is led by 12 young, aspiring actresses, interviewing with a talent agent at the time who then sexually assaulted each of them. They went to their unions to complain, the unions told them to forget about it and then finally, one of the actresses, who wasn’t with a union, called the police who got involved, and these women took him to court and won.

You would think that that would make news, and that there would be a lot of attention about it, but there never was. When I started interviewing people about the case, they were shocked because I was the first person who had ever contacted them. That became sort of the main feature, the meat of the documentary was this case – how did it happen and why, and also why didn’t we hear anything about it.

TITL: As an actress yourself, is the behaviour and attitudes towards women addressed in Rocking The Couch something you’ve experienced yourself or is it something you just feel passionate about enough to have done something to help stand against it and spread the word?

AE: I think pretty much every actress in Hollywood – and a lot of actors too – we don’t want to leave men out of this, I think it’s a very big issue with and for them as well, particularly with gay men – but yes, we all have stories. My stories, thank goodness, were not as traumatic as some of the stories we feature in the documentary. We did interview me, as well, as one of the subjects, but my stories were not that good in comparison to other people’s so I had to put myself on the cutting room floor – something that I never thought I would actually do, or say I’ve done. We also bring up the fact that, I think we have some interviews with Carrie Mitchum, the grand-daughter of the famous actor Robert Mitchum, where she discusses how we all knew this was going on and that’s true – we all did. If you heard from celebrities who said they were blind-sided or didn’t know about it, they’re lying, because we all knew, and we all saw it. It was definitely something that needed to come out into the light, needed to be addressed and needs to stop.

TITL: Exactly how shocked are you that lessons weren’t, and, as proven by the scores of recent cases made against a number of men in the industry, haven’t been learned in the more than two decades that have passed since the Kaye case?

AE: I think society is changing and that’s why you and I are having this conversation. I think the way society looks at sexual abuse and sexual assault, certainly in the workplace, is changing. And maybe social media has something to do with this, but I think as a society, we are now finally starting to actually pay attention to the victims, to listen to what they are saying. You’re a woman and I’m sure you’ve heard these things before, you know ‘dress appropriately’ ‘You don’t wanna do this…’ It shouldn’t be the way that a woman dresses that makes her the victim of a crime. But yet, so many women, who have been a victim of these crimes, are accused are bringing said crime upon themselves, because there’s something in or about their behaviour, and I think as a society we’re finally looking at that, paying attention to what happened to these women.

My favourite instance I bring up about how society, in more recent times, is how we look at all these instances in the Catholic church. Priests have been accused of abusing young boys, and we never asked these young boys the sort of things that have been asked of women over the years – we took them at their word. Why wasn’t that the case with the women who spoke out? Why weren’t they taken at their word, for all these decades? That’s the more interesting question.

TITL: You’ve said in the past that this documentary presents a “realistic view of what happened” and that it includes “things that (you don’t think) the mainstream media did.” What exactly do you mean by that?

AE: Certainly when we were bringing to light the Weinstein case, I don’t think the mainstream media paid much attention to the struggle undertaken by actresses – and actors – trying to get into the business, and that, to my mind, is where most of the abuse happened. Abuse often happens to the most vulnerable, and because there’s no real path towards becoming an actor or actress, much like becoming a lawyer or doctor, there have been a lot of people who’ve taken advantage of that – people anxious to get their foot in the door of the industry. They’re eager and anxious…and that’s where and when the majority of these people end up in trouble.

It’s easier to get a film about A-List celebrities who are being abused or to get that on the evening news, because we all like to hear about celebrities, but that’s not the case for the majority of these cases. They’re people who are just trying to get into the industry.

TITL: If for instance, the #MeToo movement hadn’t started up and women hasn’t started speaking up, do you think you’d have still made this documentary and released it, or is it something you were ultimately spurred on to do as a result of the outpouring of outrage that came with the accusations and cases made against the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby?

AE: I would love to think that I would’ve made this movie anyway because I do feel strongly about this issue, but I also know that when the Weinstein and Cosby cases first came to light, my partner and I were just having coffee and got to thinking about how someone should really look into this, and could make a great documentary out of it, and we sort of looked at one another and both had the same idea – ‘Why not us? Let’s do this.’

I was inspired by the #MeToo movement and driven to tell what we feel is the true story, and to try and show it from several different angles, including Carrie Mitchum’s remarks that we all saw it. I saw instances in my working career of women that were being approached and maybe took producers up on their approach – I certainly saw that – and said nothing, as did many people. I’m glad now that we can get it out in the open and tell what’s really been happening.

TITL: You co-produced this documentary with your director from The Hit List Minh Collins and Jerry Sommer. What would you say you each brought, in creative terms, to the documentary?

AE: Minh was the director and obviously, having directed before, he was able to pull it all together and put into the shape it is now. Jerry did a lot of the filming as well and the editing. I know from my own part, that it was extremely important to have a woman on board and I went to every interview, even if I wasn’t asking the questions – I wanted to be there to show my support for every single woman, and so that she would feel more comfortable and know that there was someone there who would understand her point of view. They were being brave enough to tell their story and I just wanted to be there to help, in any way I could, to make telling that a little easier for them.

I also sought out a lot of the people you saw and see on the air – I was the one that got in touch with them, and I don’t want to say ‘convinced’ because a lot of the people that came forward, even the people on the Wallace Kaye case – the lawyers, the victims, the very brave policewoman who went in, knowing she would probably be assaulted, but wanted to be there for those women and without her, the case would never have come out – they were all very anxious to tell their story. They wanted the truth to come out and I think it was therapeutic for them. Hopefully, my being a woman helped them with that.

A huge part of why I got involved with this is that I am loaning my celebrity to this movie, in publicising it and trying to get it out there so people pay attention. There are so many good films and documentaries that go completely unnoticed, that don’t get the attention they deserve and that’s a big part of my contribution to this film.

TITL: How has the reaction been to the film so far and, what do you most want those who see it to take away/learn from it?

AE: I have been thrilled with the reaction. Here in the States, it’s been really big – it keeps growing and growing. We’re now being distributed, with Amazon, to pretty much every country that speaks English, and the interest in the UK has been steadily growing as well, which I am very happy and pleased to see. It’s very gratifying – I’ve never been a producer really, I’ve never had this experience of creating something from the very beginning and taking it out to audience and getting their response. I hope the viewers in the UK will check it out, look at it and see our work and let us know what they think. Amazon has been so happy we’re now talking about an addition documentary, so any comments people have, any ideas, I would love to hear them.

TITL: Is there anything you can tell me about this potential second documentary or are you still sketching out ideas etc. for now?

AE: We’re still sketching out the ideas for it, so I can’t really tell you anything about it, but I would love to talk to you about it when it is released. I’m so thrilled that I’m even able to talk about it and that this one has been so successful – that kind of blows my mind, having been a first time producer in particular.

TITL: Looking to the future, do you think the likes of the #MeToo movement can, as we’ve seen make an impact, but one big enough to actually eradicate the sort of behaviour that the documentary focusses on? What more can and needs to be done to ensure incidents like those so many women have spoken out about in recent months never happen again and that those who are actively involved in such are punished in a suitable way?

AE: We’ve yet to see how big of an impact all this has and that’s gonna take some time. Hopefully our daughters and grand-daughters won’t have to deal with this kind of subject, which brings to mind another reason and part as to why we did the documentary. My daughter happened to be on break from school when we were fifteen and she wanted to come to the set. I was a little wary about that – she is not quite fifteen – and I wondered whether or not I wanted her to hear these stories. She wants to go into the entertainment industry so I thought ‘yeah, she should hear these stories’, because the really only true way to prevent these kinds of situations is to truly do everything in your own power to prevent it. Even if the #MeToo movement has a HUGE amount of success, even if it reduces these sorts of problems by 90%, there will still be that 10% where things happen. So the best way for people to eliminate it is to protect themselves and I hope that men and women who want to go into the entertainment industry will watch this documentary and use it as a bit of a cautionary tale. My daughter said she learned a huge amount from watching it, like how to minimise your risk by doing things like not going out for drinks with someone who’s trying to help you break into the industry. Minimise the risk as much as possible, and hopefully that will help that 10% I referred to earlier.

TITL: Where do you go from here then? Do you maybe want to move into the directors’ chair next time or are you happy where you are, producing and giving your name and status to a cause or a film you’re passionate about and eager to help get the word out about?

AE: I really enjoyed the producing. At some point yes, I would love to try my hand at directing and might have a little go during the next documentary just to see how I get on, but my main bread and butter is my acting career. I love it and I love the industry – it pains me to have to do documentaries about such a negative aspect of a business that I’ve been in since I was 10 years old, and that has been very good to me – so hopefully I can help it, and help maintain some of the integrity of this business in my own little way because I really do love it.

TITL: Finally then, in terms of your acting career, have you got any projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?

AE: I don’t know what airs in the UK, and that’s a problem, but I am in series available on Amazon Prime called The Bay – which is so much fun to do. I’m working with a lot of people I’ve worked with before in other situations, and I just came on in season four as a real troublemaker and I believe I will be making a lot of trouble in season 5 which will air next year. People can watch me there.

Rocking The Couch is via all VOD platforms including Amazon and Vimeo now. To keep up to date with Andrea Evans, follow her on Twitter.

DOREEN TAYLOR TELLS ALL ABOUT HER OFF-BROADWAY SHOW “SINCERELY, OSCAR” & LOOKS TOWARDS A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE 0 201

Doreen Taylor is no stranger to dreaming big. With two music and performance related degrees under her belt, an array of theatre production credits to her name and a successful career as a solo artist, she’s ambitious and not afraid of people knowing it. After her production “Sincerely, Oscar”, which she created and produced herself, had a successful run in Philadelphia last year, the show has now moved to New York and is currently undertaking a 14 week run at Theatre Row, Off-Broadway. In between shows, Doreen kindly took the time to chat to ThisIsTheLatest about the creative process behind the show, her memories of opening night and where Sincerely, Oscar might go in the future.

TITL: First of all, for those unfamiliar with you and your background, can you just give a little insight into your music and performing career? 

Doreen Taylor: I’ve been performing for many years now, and having earned myself degrees in both opera and voice performance, I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of some fantastic theatre productions including Robert Ward’s The Crucible, in which I played Abigail Williams, and Christine in Phantom Of The Opera. In terms of my music, I released my first album Magic back in 2012 while my latest album Happily Ever After has received great reviews and is to hopefully become an Off-Broadway musical in the next couple of years.

TITL: You’ve been pretty busy lately with your off Broadway show, Sincerely, Oscar, after a successful run in Philadelphia last year. How does it feel to know you’re working on the same streets and around the same venues as some of the biggest and most popular musicals and shows in the world? 

DT: It is pretty surreal. One of the very first musicals I starred in when I was just a kid was “42nd Street” and now here I am all these years later starring in my very first show I have written in an iconic theater on 42nd STREET! It is pretty amazing how life can just come around full circle and give affirmations that I have been on the right path all along. I guess the most amazing part is that the shows that we are honoring by the great Oscar Hammerstein all opened on Broadway within one mile of where we are performing “Sincerely, Oscar” now. That is a pretty humbling feeling!

TITL: You created and produced the show yourself – what is it about this particular show that made you want to bring it to life in the way that you have?

DT: It’s weird… I was busy working on my mainstream Adult Contemporary music career writing, producing and performing my own music and this opportunity came out of nowhere at a music video premiere that I was hosting. I was lucky enough to meet the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein and his lovely family at this event and we instantly hit it off. I felt a strong calling to use my talents to bring recognition to Oscar and help honor this iconic Broadway legend. I created the previous iteration of the show and debuted it in Philadelphia and we did so well that I wanted to bring it to the heart of Broadway. I worked for over a year and a half developing “Sincerely, Oscar” and am so proud at the finished product. It is truly like my child and I feel as though I have nurtured and loved it every step of the way.

TITL: Did you have any prior creative/production experience prior to this or was this project something you felt so passionately about you just had to give it a first time try? 

DT: I always have had a hand in producing my solo mainstream concerts that we have toured around the US, and even some of my music videos, but this is the first time I have written and produced something of this colossal size and importance on the theatrical stage. I feel so lucky that I have been given such a great opportunity right out of the gate!

TITL: Can you talk me through the creative process for the show? Where did your first ideas come from and how did you expand them over time to the point you realised you could make your thoughts and ideas a reality? 

DT: I think the most incredible achievement in the creative process of this show was the way we created the role of “Oscar Hammerstein” himself. Early on, I got it stuck in my mind that I wanted to do something unique and totally “out of the box” for his character. I had just visited Las Vegas and caught a Michael Jackson tribute show at Mandalay Bay where they had created Michael as a hologram and he interacted with the other performers. It blew me away and never quite left me. I wanted to be the very first to bring this technology to the NY stage and I never really let go of that idea – even when others said I was crazy! And now, here we are, being the very first production ON or OFF Broadway that has used this 3d holographic technology in a theatrical production. It is really quite stunning and impressive and I am so honored to be the one to pave the way for this new technology. Sure, there has been some blow back from purist critics who don’t believe in bringing this kind of technology to the theatrical stage- but I have news from them—like it or not, it’s coming and “Sincerely, Oscar” is living proof of it. You can’t stop progress.

TITL: Were there ever any days or times that you questioned or doubted what you were doing, or were you 100% committed to?

DT: Every. Single. Day. It would be weird if I didn’t occasionally doubt my creative choices- especially when you have to deal with ridiculous opinions from people who are afraid of the technology or of the advancement. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed anything and I am so proud at what has been created. I sometimes sit back while I am performing in the show and absorb the incredible audience response and feel a huge sense of pride that I am here and I am able to live out this incredible dream!

TITL: How did you bring the production’s cast/crew together? Were/are they friends of yours or did you put out a casting call? When did you know you’d found the right people for each part of the show? 

DT: A little of column A, a little of column B. In the case of my gifted director, Dugg McDonough, we had worked together years ago in several productions at Temple University as well as Des Moines Metro Opera Company. I immediately thought of him when I was creating this show and asked him to return to collaborate on this project. As for the rest of the cast and crew, most were hired from referrals and casting. One of the hardest parts of creating any new production is finding the right people to work on it. I can honestly say that in all my years of performing professionally, I have never worked on a show where I truly like and respect every person that is there. This is the first time I can say that. We have become like a family and we all look out and protect each other. It is a really wonderful thing.

TITL: What can you recall of the infamous opening night? Were you nervous or just buzzing and raring to go? 

DT: It went by SO fast! I can say that I am a little nervous before every show I do. That never really goes away and I am actually glad that those butterflies are there. I never get complacent or “phone in” a performance. Every show is like opening night to me. The party was a blast and we really had one amazing night celebrating this great success together!

TITL: Given that Broadway is typically considered to be more of a man’s world, how proud does it make you feel to know you’re proving yourself to be just as good as your male counterparts when it comes to putting on a successful production? 

DT: To be honest, I still feel there is a lack of support and respect for women creators/producers in this industry. While it is admittedly a lot better, there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done. I am really honored to be a strong woman voice out there creating good, commercial theater in an otherwise male dominated industry. It is so sad that in this #metoo era we don’t embrace more female voices attempting to create on the theatrical stage but I think there are more of us out there that will brave the storm and keep pushing the boundaries, regardless if we are always embraced or not while we do it! However, that being said- women need to start supporting women colleagues in theater more. Sad to say that some of the harshest critical voices out there are from other women. That has always baffled me. Trying to blow out the candle of another does not make theirs burn any brighter.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone out there who has an idea that they’d love to see brought to life on a stage such as one on or off Broadway? What traits might you say they need in order to keep pursuing that idea/dream until it becomes reality?

DT: I would say that dreams can come true and I am living proof of that. However, set your sights with reasonable goals. Start small. Test the waters. People don’t usually wake up one morning and decide to have a show open on Broadway next week. It takes a long time of work, dedication, financial support and most of all- thick skin, to navigate this industry. There will be enormous sacrifices that will need to be made and there will be a lot more tears than laughs at times. But after all that is said and done, there is no greater joy than to see your creation brought to life by fabulously talented people each and every day and I truly feel blessed to have this opportunity.

TITL: Finally then, now that Sincerely, Oscar is proving to be a hit, have you thought about any other productions you might like to work on, or is all your time and energy focused on this for the time being? 

DT: Right now I am focusing on this limited engagement run at Theatre Row in NYC, but I would be lying if I said I am not looking to the future for what is next. I believe we have even bigger and better things in store for “Sincerely, Oscar” coming in the near future. Maybe it will be a national tour, maybe an international tour, or maybe a residency in Vegas? There has been a lot of buzz as to where this should go next… and right now the sky is the limit! I am just excited to see where this remarkable journey will go!

For more information on Sincerely, Oscar visit the official website. You can also keep up to date with Doreen via doreentaylormusic.com, or by following her on Twitter and liking her page on Facebook. Her latest album Happily Ever After is available now. Header photo credit: James Jackson.