We had the good fortune of connecting with Leigh Ann Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leigh Ann, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many things! Life is full of moments of inspiration, and the more I open to life, the more it opens to me. I’m inspired by art, in all its forms; performance art, visual art, creative writing, storytelling, music, dance, architecture, photography, design, etc. I observe art and beauty all around me, in my day-to-day life and in simple moments of appreciation. I’m inspired by the beauty of nature, by kindness and compassion, by sensitivity and vulnerability, by humour, justice, hope, love, the power of forgiveness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As an actress, I bring my personal history with me, and carry a deep sensitivity to people’s pain, joy and hope, which I infuse in my acting. I love being a part of storytelling, be it theatre or film/tv, that has the power to touch people, connect us, inspire us, change us, and remind us of our shared humanity & ability to support one another. Also, as a social worker, I’m continually amazed and inspired by the courage of so many people who face their fears, surpass trauma and find a renewed strength through vulnerability.
Life is a journey, and although we’re all on our unique path, we can always find ways to help and inspire others. I always wanted to be an actress but my parents felt it was too risky as a career, and I ended up studying psychology, social sciences, and became a social worker, wherein I assisted various groups of clientele over the years, including: seniors, survivors of conjugal violence, and individuals & their families affected by issues of mental health. Although I had found my way back to acting slowly but surely, as time allowed, it was only after my father’s passing, that I felt inspired to pursue acting more fully, and took the risk to give up being a full-time social worker. I’m very happy to now combine careers, as both a professional actress (film, tv, theatre, voiceover, commercials, videogames) and as a part-time social worker on a crisis helpline. I love what I do and feel blessed.
I also do my best to support my actor colleagues, both established & up-and-coming, in helping them make new connections, referring them to auditions & producers, attending their shows, offering coaching & compliments, as I’m a firm believer in giving back, and am grateful to have had such support from so many colleagues in the business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hmmm…so many wonderful Montreal sights, sounds & bites to take in! There’s really something for everyone to try & enjoy. Personally, I’d take my guest to Chinatown, Old Montreal, and the Botanical Gardens, especially during the Fall season where it’s very magical at night with a beautiful display of Chinese lanterns. I’d also treat us to a Montreal famous poutine at La Banquise, then walk it off, before or after, on Mont-Royal or Mont Saint-Bruno. Also, a beautiful bike ride/picnic along the Lachine Canal, followed by a drink & bite to eat on the Canal Lounge boat bar. A walking tour of some great local graffiti art spots (NDG, Mile End, Plateau) would be cool, then a theatre or music show at night. In late Summer, the Pride Parade, plus First People’s Festival.
*I’d also like to acknowledge that Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka; a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst many First Nations including the Kanien’kehá:ka of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg. I recognize the Kanien’kehà:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet here today.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was very shy as a child and teenager, and still am a bit, to this day. I was impacted by my family’s issues, such as mental health and addiction, and being the firstborn, I was often the caregiver to others. When you grow up with chaos, you often learn to be quiet, and not take up too much space. Although I always loved playing and had a vivid imagination, it was really my highschool drama teacher, the late Mr. Val Ford, who saw my inner light and talent, and consistently encouraged me to stand in my own spotlight, both on stage and in life. He truly sparked my love of learning, creativity and self-expression, and I thank him and honor him, in memory. I also want to acknowledge that although my parents both struggled, they also taught me that it is never too late to turn your life around, face your fears, make positive changes, and to renew oneself and find peace. I love them both dearly. My father passed away 10 years ago, and I had the honor of being at his side then, and still feel him by my side now. Fortunately for me, I still get to appreciate precious visits & quality of time with my Mom each week.
Website: “Leigh Ann Taylor Profile Page” https://leighanntaylor.workbooklive.com/Wbl.mvc/Page/Profile
Other: “Leigh Ann Taylor – IMDb” https://m.imdb.com/name/nm1946716/ “*Leigh Ann Taylor | martinezmanagement” https://www.martinezmanagement.com/leigh-ann-taylor https://myurls.co/leighanntaylor
Alain Dahan (*for some pics only).