This photo (scroll down if you’re on your phone) was my brief stint with purple hair. It was April of 2020, and we were in pandemic lockdown in L.A. When my dark roots were growing out and the blonde wasn’t looking so good, I figured why the hell not? I loved it. So far the only hair color I haven’t had yet is grey (knock on wood). Ok, yes, you’re right, there was that one stray one, but you can’t prove it. It’s gone now.
That’s probably not why you clicked on “About Me” so here you go with a long-winded story.
I was born in Huntington, WV, but moved around a lot growing up. People always ask, “Military family?” I tell them, “No, extremely young parents finishing school and starting their careers.” We finally settled in a Washington, D.C. suburb and that’s where I stayed (albeit in multiple houses) until I left for Northwestern University in Chicago (technically, Evanston).
I majored in theatre and was working professionally before I graduated. After graduation I “loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly… Hills, that is. Swimming pools, movie stars.” West Hollywood, actually. Just down the street from The Chateau Marmont, and we did have a swimming pool at our little apartment complex. As for movie stars, Brad Pitt was one of our roommates for a short time, but it was before he was a movie star. I actually helped him run lines for his Dallas audition, one of his first jobs.
My first acting gig in L.A. was on Family Ties. In addition to TV guest star spots, I also did theatre gigs, most notably a few plays at the L.A. Theatre Center downtown. Did you know L.A. actually has live theatre?? Yeah, neither did my agents at The William Morris Agency (way before they became WME). Not even my theatre agent there came to see any of my shows. Hooray for Hollywood.
After my second show at LATC, I moved to NYC with my then-fiancé, and it was there that I got a long-running job on As the World Turns as Connor Walsh. I worked on the soap during the day while doing theatre at night. That is, until my son was born in July of 1994 and I quit theatre so I could be home at night and on the weekends. Dashiell Zane Taylor arrived 2 weeks late, during a heatwave that intensified the smell of urine in the streets. Ah, NYC in the summertime…
After 7 years on the soap I booked a series lead on the nighttime show, Timecop. My husband quit his Broadway show and we “loaded up the truck and moved to blah blah blah…” – you get it. Then 48 hours after we landed in L.A., mine was one of several parts to get written out in the 11th hour before they canned the show completely.
I’ll condense the next few years. (You’re welcome.) A few more TV spots, then I quit the entertainment industry. Got divorced, moved to Topanga Canyon (still L.A.), got certified to teach kundalini yoga, met my future-second-ex-husband at a wilderness survival school back east that I had gone to on a lark – a new adventure, something I had never done, insects be damned. No hair and makeup required.
That started a decade long path running personal growth retreats around the country (yoga/meditation, women’s retreats, creativity retreats, etc). It was incredibly rewarding work, but I eventually burned out running 2 companies (mine and my future ex-husband’s), and I turned toward my own creative pursuits. I created my women’s coloring books (way before the adult coloring book boon), a creativity card deck with one of my best friends since age 12, and started writing screenplays, and novels. I also learned ballroom dancing, even competing in a ProAm competition in Vegas. Why, yes, I did do very well in it. Thank you for asking!
In the meantime, I became single again, and dove into my writing, mixed media art, and photography. At the same time, I was working at The Stage Network and then Atomic Focus Entertainment as a Producer and Creative Development exec. But the pandemic shifted my world and I now focus all my time on my more solitary creative work.
Also, my exceptional son grew up (why do they insist on doing that?) and became a music artist – rapping, singing, and producing with the L.A. collective Planet Love. When you’re on Instagram following me, you should also follow him @_zanetaylor. What can I say, I’m his biggest fan! And being his mom is the best job I’ve ever had, hands down.