We had the good fortune of connecting with Alix Maria Taulbee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alix Maria, what do you attribute your success to?
Success to me has never been a final destination…but a continuous journey of reaching new heights and an increasingly higher level of responsibility. I think a lot of people view success as reaching the top of a mountain and being able to say, “I did it! I made it!” For me, I look at each peak or summit as another level of success because it was the journey getting there and who was with me throughout it or since base camp. So I guess you could say the most important factor behind achieving any level of success is the entire journey and deciding to keep moving forward, even when you feel you’ve had enough.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
You know, I have to admit, I’m very proud of my ability to adapt to the years of rejection and throw a plot twist on it all. For years, I wanted a certain path in my acting career. I trained for it constantly, was always auditioning for it, and literally dressed the part every day of my life. Despite the many callbacks and amazing feedback my reps would get, it was never good enough to book the role. It was tough having this dream, only for it never to become real.
It wasn’t until I was 18, and I told my agency I’m done going out for these roles. I finally listened to who I wanted to be. They were fully supportive for about 24 hours, until the very next day when they got me “one final audition” with the same network I tucked my dreams away from. I did the same routine I did for all the others: get a coach, learn the lines, head to the backlot, nail the audition, walk away. Only this time, it couldn’t be more different. The network later called my agency and said, “she was funny, but not pretty enough for the role.”
I was crushed, but I kept moving forward. I stuck with my resolve of never wanting to go back on those auditions and that same year is when I re-emerged as a filmmaker. Lessons of perseverance and determination were coming through at this time. It was all I knew, and I was determined to let no longer a casting director determine my fate. Over 10 years later, and we’re still holding strong. (I’m smiling, in case you can’t tell)
I hope others can hear my journey and realize they are not beholden to one set path. In the words of Bruce Wayne/Batman’s father, “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man, where to start? Well, after grabbing brunch at my favorite breakfast spot, The Kettle in Manhattan Beach, we’re heading to hit up some of the best shopping spots on Melrose (Crossroads Trading Co. and Wasteland to name a few). Smoothies will be just a couple of miles away in WeHo at Body Factory. A couple of years ago, I went to Yardbird on Beverly for the first time and I loved it. Absolutely delicious. Obviously, I’ll be taking them to the Grove (where I have spent so many birthdays, I’ve lost track).
I loved going to Laurel Tavern in Studio City or literally anywhere on the Sunset Strip for drinks. It’s all about the atmosphere and what’s around it. I’m not a big drinker, yet I know even an unsweetened iced tea or diet coke tastes better on Sunset. Let alone, who doesn’t feel like a Rockstar in that area?
Other than Hawaii’s beaches, how can you beat a sunset in Malibu followed by dinner at Nobu? I’ll be sure to take the long road to Malibu down the canyon, as there’s something therapeutic about driving for a while, and then you see the incredible ocean cracking through the valleys.
I’m sure we’ll ditch the west side at some point and head to the OC. Fashion Island, Laguna Beach, Disneyland. Enough said.
So, when do they get here? I’m waiting! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Hands down, my mom. People who know me understand my path has been the road less traveled and what my mom means to me. However, if it weren’t for my mom encouraging me to become the woman I am today, that path would have looked a lot more foreboding. She drove me for countless years to NYC from Potomac, MD, when I was a child for an audition, callback, booking, etc. And mind you, these were the days where you printed out MapQuest directions to navigate the streets of New York. She did that for me, being my biggest cheerleader when she could have had a different tune. After all, she had my much older brothers as well and a business to run.
My mom was never the typical “show biz mom” in any way. Quite the opposite, as she was highly successful in her career and knew success required critical life skills. She encouraged me to cultivate these skills early on that would be with me for my entire life instead of going to yet another Young Hollywood event that would be more gossip than networking. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun once we moved to LA when I was 13. It just meant I could define who I was without the influence of that scene, and I’m truly thankful to her for that.
When the years of reading lines with me transitioned to us producing various film projects together, I could tell she was in her element. We traveled worldwide for films we were in the exciting process of bringing to life or ones we already completed. The best part was to see the look on someone’s face when they found out my film partner was my mom.
We’re currently working on a few film projects of our own, under our official production company’s launch. All I’ll say is a new storm is coming…
Website: coming soon – check IG for more updates
Neil van Niekerk, Jared Wolfe, Baylee Sasser