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These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

A Charlotte native returns home in national tour of 'Funny Girl'

Jordon Taylor
Jordon Taylor

The national tour of "Funny Girl" arrives in Charlotte this week. The Broadway show is based on the life of comedian and star of the stage Fanny Brice, who started as a bit player in vaudeville, before working her way up to Broadway stardom.

Jordon Taylor, a member of the tour’s ensemble, is a Charlotte native who might be on her own track to stardom.

Taylor joined WFAE's Nick de la Canal to share her story and some advice for young performers aspiring for a career in the arts.

Jordon Taylor chases stardom from Charlotte roots
Charlotte native Jordon Taylor is touring with the national production of "Funny Girl." Hear her conversation with WFAE's Nick de la Canal, and her advice for young, aspiring actors.
Jordon Taylor

Nick de la Canal: So let me know if I have this right. You were born in Charlotte, raised in Davidson, and graduated from Hough High?

Jordon Taylor: Yes.

De la Canal: And what year did you graduate?

Taylor: I graduated in 2018.

De la Canal: Got it. Were you a theater kid when you were in high school?

Taylor: Surprisingly I wasn't. I always loved theater, but I didn't start doing theater until my sophomore year of high school. I was in the guitar club, and the teacher ... she was also the chorus teacher, and she was looking for people for the show choir. She knew I danced, because I grew up dancing all my life. She was like, you should come an audition. I did. I got it, and then after that, like I got the bug for singing, acting and dancing, and then I did the school musical that year and the rest is history.

De la Canal: And what was the show?

Taylor: Yeah, it was "The Little Mermaid."

De la Canal: Ah, a classic. So was there anything that pushed you to then pursue theater in college and as a career? Because you know that can be a really tough decision sometimes.

Taylor: Yeah, it always, I mean after I did my first musical I was still on the track of wanting to do dance, and strictly dance. And it was my senior year, first semester, I did a community theater production of "In The Heights," and the director came up to me and asked if I'd be interested in doing musical theater as a career, possibly doing it in college. And so I just kind of made that split decision right then and there, and was like, I'm gonna just go audition for these colleges.

So I went to Unifieds in New York, which is when they have all the colleges come together in one place and you kind of audition for multiple at one time, and then Roosevelt University, which is in Chicago, saw something in me, and gave me the chance. So then I ended up going there for four years, majored in musical theater dance, and here we are.

De la Canal: So this is your first national tour.

Taylor: Yes.

De la Canal: What's it like? How would you describe the experience so far?

Taylor: Life on tour is great. I think the best part is getting to travel to these places that I'd never been to before, and also performing in some of the most gorgeous theaters. I'm so thankful for that. And also just getting to bring this show to people across America.

De la Canal: Do you have any advice for other theater kids in Charlotte who are thinking they might want to pursue theater as a career, but maybe aren't sure?

Taylor: I say go for it, you know. Life's too short. So this was not the path I planned originally, and when opportunities just kind of come to you and doors open, I say just take the risk — whether that be you know applying to schools for musical theater, and go and audition for them, or just going to audition for your school musical in high school, or auditioning for community theater. Just taking those first steps is a great way to get started.

De la Canal: That's Jordon Taylor, a Charlotte native who's here in Charlotte with the national tour of "Funny Girl."

"Funny Girl" opens Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. It runs through Sunday, Oct. 22.

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Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal