Advice Auditioning Blog Client Spotlight

Client Spotlight: Taylor Neilson

Taylor is another student who is from my very first class at CAP21. Through our work together we have discovered a beautiful low belt sound – her range goes from the very bottom to at least an F6. Her energy in the studio is infectious and it has been a joy to see her grow post-college into a strong professional performer.

Tell me about yourself.

I grew up in San Jose, California and moved to New York to attend CAP21 in 2018. I actually didn’t show any interest in theatre until my Freshman year of high school. I had always loved singing and weirdly enough, was actually training with an opera teacher the year I started high school. When it was time to sign up for classes, I noticed that they had a “musical theatre” elective and I thought, “Sure, why not?”. One thing lead to another and I absolutely fell in love. Now here I am, almost 9 years later, living it up in New York City pursuing a career in musical theatre. 

Tell me about what you’re working on now and what’s next! 

Right now, I am auditioning like crazy! I just did two Off-Broadway shows with the Player’s Theatre in Greenwich Village which were an absolute blast, so now it’s onto the next thing! I just don’t know what that next thing is yet. Since I don’t have my own show to plug, I do want to promote my incredible partner Alex Arlotta’s upcoming debut album “Gotta Start Somewhere”. I have been helping him create this absolute masterpiece for a majority of this year and I’m so excited for everyone to finally experience it! It will be available on all streaming platforms in September so keep an eye out!

What kind of roles do you prefer?

This is such a tricky question. I feel that I’ve always been drawn to characters that embodied the phrase “feminine rage”, if that makes any sense. Characters like Lydia Deetz, Veronica Sawyer, Carrie White, the entire cast of Lizzie. I feel that it’s a side of women that does not get portrayed well in the media very often, but it’s a side that all women have and feel. Also, as an actor, it’s an incredible release to be able to portray a character who is unapologetically themselves, even if that means getting messy and angry. 

When was your first role as a performer?

My very first production ever was Anything Goes and I was an ensemble member. I remember I was assigned two small lines and it was like Christmas Day for me!

What do you love about your voice?

This is going to be very cheesy, but I love that my voice is mine. I’ve overcome a lot of self-doubt and criticism from myself about my voice, I was always very insecure about it growing up. But now I find myself singing just to sing, and I can enjoy it without overthinking about how I sound. I love that my voice is mine to express myself however I want! (Always in a healthy manner, of course)

How has Starling Voice Studio helped you?

Julia played a HUGE role in gaining confidence with my voice. I came into our first lessons only being classically trained and believing I could never be a belter or sing any pop/rock material. But she continued to challenge me and support me no matter what. Without her, I would not be the singer I am today. 

What’s your vocal goal this year?

To trust myself and my vocal ability. Most of the problems I have run into is simply by being too afraid of whatever sound is going to come out of my mouth. I second guess myself anytime I find something “too challenging” or scary. The technique and ability is there, I just have to trust myself. 

What advice would you give to someone who is starting voice lessons for the first time? 

Vocal training is a journey, you’re not going to get everything right immediately. Allow yourself to fail and learn from your mistakes. Play with your voice, see what kinds of things feel good and what songs you like to sing. Cross-training is so important! Work both your chest and head voice for that seamless blend.