We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, do you think college was worth it?
My experience at Azusa Pacific University helped shaped me in so many ways. Not only did I receive an excellent education in music, but I was also given a safe space to explore my potential as a leader. The relationships I developed with my professors and colleagues had a positive, long-lasting impact on my life. I believe that the skills, confidence and passion for education that I use as the Director of Fine Arts at Village Christian School began to develop during my time in college. Every penny spent on my education was well worth it! Plus, I met my amazing husband in the music department and we have two beautiful daughters. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a professional singer, I am so grateful for the amazing opportunities I have had. Most recently you can hear me as a soloist in the score for the romantic comedy, “Isn’t it Romantic” composed by John Debney. Some of my other credits include performing in Disneyland’s The Voices of Liberty, being a featured soloist in Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional, performing at D23 in 2019, and singing in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts Choir for a live performance at the Dolby Theatre. I am also a choir vocalist on the animated films, “The Breadwinner” and “Wonder Park”. I am a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. Working in the entertainment industry has its challenges. For every “yes” there are countless “no’s”. You really have to develop a thick skin and learn how to not let failure or rejection paralyze you. I have gone through many seasons of discouragement, depression and insecurity. What helps me get through those low times is the truth that I am more than my voice. Singing is not my identity. It’s part of me, but not all of me. I have value in who I am, not just what I do or my successes. Through decades of working hard, developing my skills and persevering I have had many wonderful experiences in music. My career is not everything I had hoped it would be, but it is something I can definitely be proud of. I continue to work hard and give my very best in any opportunity that comes my way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Pasadena, California and I love it! My favorite coffee shop is just around the corner from our house, Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters. If you’re ever in the area, you have to try their lavender vanilla breve…delicious! Whenever my husband Bryan and I have the opportunity to go out for a special date night, we eat at Houston’s. We’ve never been disappointed. Pasadena is full of amazing restaurants and shopping. The tree-lined residential streets are lovely for family walks and of course, you can’t beat the amazing weather in SoCal!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would first like to thank Al Clifft. He was my professor, choral director (Azusa Pacific University) and mentor for over 15 years until his passing in 2014. He was my cheerleader. He recognized and affirmed strengths in me that I did not know were there. Even long after I graduated college, he would speak into my life….encouraging me to continue pursuing my dreams and always pointing me towards the things that truly matter in life. He was one of a kind and continues to make a lasting impact through his great legacy. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge and thank Bruce Osgood. I met Bruce in 2012 when I began my career as the Director of Fine Arts at Village Christian School. He was the Middle and High School Principal at the time and little did I know how influential he would be in my life and career. Bruce taught me how to listen first and respond in strength, love and grace in so many difficult situations. Serving on school leadership and administration was not a career I ever imagined myself in. Bruce helped me see and embrace my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. I continue to use his advice and influence in my career. I am so grateful to Bruce for believing in me and being a source of support and encouragement for many years.
Facebook: Natalie Babbitt Taylor