Written by April Spadina
Caught in a beautiful time warp, Taylor Dunn has the ability to transform herself into someone else.
The young actor has gained a few feathers in her vintage cap and she hasn’t stopped yet, her latest role – Fraser Coast most recognised character, Mary Poppins!
Taylor discovered her love of acting at the tender age of seven, however it was when the sweet-natured fourteen-year-old captivated the audience playing a malicious character in her high school production of “Three Sisters” that her drama teacher strongly urged her to pursue an acting career.
Taylor joined Hervey Bay’s Z-Pac Theatre and now, 11 years later, she is the theatre’s Vice President and has had numerous accomplishments including various acting roles, directing and even writing plays.
Vintage style is a strong part of Taylor’s persona and she is especially drawn to the romanticism of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
But it’s the strong femme fatale actresses that inspire her the most – Katharine Hepburn being a favourite.
In 2019 as fate would have it, Taylor was contacted by producers, anxious to fill a solo acting role with only 10 days left until opening day. The production was “Tea at 5”, a monologue of Katharine Hepburn’s life and Taylor was in her element.
A week and a half later, she stood back-stage behind the curtains, nervously preparing to step into the spotlight.
She “left her anxiety having a nervous breakdown in the dressing room” and in that instant she became Hepburn.
Taylor can’t pinpoint the moment the nerves fall away, but it is without doubt they don’t follow her on to the stage – she is poised, focused and completely in character, although she believes it’s the nerves that keep her going – the adrenaline, the endorphins.
There’s really no time to think about nerves in Taylor’s busy life these days, she is currently furthering her studies with a creative internship at Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre Co in Brisbane, working as an Arts Ambassador for FCRC, teaching rock ‘n’ roll dance and writing her own version of the ancient Greek play “Medea”.
For Taylor, acting is a collective experience, an almost tribal connection between creatives and the audience that drives her forward and makes her evolve in her craft, with an insatiable hunger to perform in the Fraser Coast all the way to the UK and afar.
But today she adjusts her dainty hat, picks up her carpet bag, and opens her umbrella, and with a tilt of her chin and a glint in her eye, just like magic, she has transformed – Taylor Dunn is Mary Poppins.