Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Taylor Nobes is part of the Neapolitan Collective, which is a diverse group of emerging artists from Adelaide creating new and thought-provoking theatre hoping to make an impact on todays society. Introducing their debut show - Does It Please You? - this locally-produced theatrical piece with song, music, and storytelling delves into the very elements (with a strong focus on mental health) that make us all human in this crazy, chaotic new normal world that we are growing accustomed to over the past year.
In anticipation of her upcoming performance as part of Adelaide Fringe, I was able to have a chat with Taylor - have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Taylor? Taylor: I'm an emerging artist in Adelaide, I grew up in a town called Strathalbyn in the Adelaide Hills. I began my journey at Adelaide College of the Arts as a shy and fragile 17 year old. After three years of having people tell me that I wasn't talented, I graduated in 2019 as a much stronger individual with the ability to stand up for myself. Now at the age of 21, I am ready to break into the industry. I want to make honest, meaningful works that will make a positive impact on the society that we live in today- art without truth and heart behind it is meaningless in my opinion.
Tema: How did you come up with the concept of your show Does It Please You? Taylor: "Does it Please You?" was created with this question in mind "Are we individuals or were we born to please? We will try to comprehend the universal struggle of mental health; how do we all deal with existing in our own complicated and unique minds? I constantly find myself, as I think we all do, forming the way I conduct myself, my appearance and what I believe in around what society deems "acceptable". And I am really trying to delve into when we are truly ourselves and why we all feel like we have to change ourselves and the impact that doing so has on our mental health. The way I tend to cope with things involves a lot of dark humour, which I have incorporated into the show - taking a dig at those (especially in Adelaide) who "make the rules" and tell us that we aren't worthy. The cast consists of myself, Sam Lau who is an amazing musician and actor and two incredible dancers Kate Burgess and Hanna Instrell-Walker who will help to bring the story to life.
Tema: What made you decide to revolve your show around the topic of mental health in particular? Taylor: I have struggled with Anxiety and Depression since I was very young, I didn't know what was happening to me at the time. It was at its worst during acting school and I was called "weak" and an "inconvenience" for feeling the way I was feeling. No one should ever have to go through something in their minds and not feel as though they have a safe place to express what they are feeling, no one has the right to tell you that you are unworthy because your mind works in a different way, it's what makes you unique. Our minds are complicated and no one is perfectly fine all the time. I want to break the stigma behind talking about our mental health. Everyone has their own individual struggles and they should be treated with respect.
Tema: What do you hope for your audiences to experience from attending your show? Taylor: If I only get one person to see themselves reflected on stage and that encourages them to tell somebody that they are not okay, then I have done my job. I would love people to maybe question the way they handle the subject of mental health and to always remember to ask your loved ones how they are really going. The show is jammed packed with dance, acting, dark comedy and music so audiences will certainly leave entertained if anything.
Tema: How did you score the venue RUMPUS? What about this space particularly felt right for your show? Taylor: I was lucky enough to perform at RUMPUS last year in "Chameleon" by FRANK Theatre and I absolutely loved the atmosphere. RUMPUS is an independent theatre venue that encourages new and local theatre to be performed. It is such an inclusive and accepting community of people so it seemed like the perfect venue for "Does it Please You?"
Tema: What encouraged you to apply for a spot in the Adelaide Fringe? Taylor: The Fringe seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to debut my first original work. I believe that I have a responsibility to make theatre that people can really connect to.
Tema: How has COVID-19 shaped your passion for the performing arts? Taylor: This really difficult time the past year really made me realise how much people rely on the arts for comfort and entertainment when things get tough. I believe that now more than ever people are needing a laugh and I wanted to create a show that was jammed packed full of entertainment but also fueled with truth.
Tema: In addition to running your own show, what are some other shows that have caught your interest this season that you hope to attend? Taylor: There are so many shows that I am excited to see this Fringe, one of them being a show by my fellow performer/theatre maker Poppy Mee "A Slight Exaggeration" that will be showing at The Mill. And the other being "The Baroque" starring the hilarious Oliver Nilsson and directed by the wonderful Britt Plummer.
Does It Please You? will be performed at RUMPUS Theatre from February 24 - 28, 2021, as part of Adelaide Fringe. Tix can be purchased here.