by Kelly Farrell
The Paducah Sun
January 6, 2019
Used with permission.
Mark Taylor II's sights are set on Broadway.
The 18-year-old Paducah teen sings, acts and dances -- maybe you've seen him in productions over the years at Market House Theatre, MainStage School of Performing Arts or Paducah Tilghman High School, where he is now a senior. He's portrayed an assortment of characters for local audiences ranging from Tarzan to Riff, the leader of the Jets in "West Side Story."
It all began for Taylor when he got bitten by the acting bug in elementary school.
"I want to go to Broadway after I get out of college," he said. "I'm going to be auditioning for shows or I could do a traveling show. That's fine too. I want to do that for a large portion of my life - wherever the wind takes me."
Taylor also envisions a role for himself in teaching others, if he decides to wind down and stop auditioning for shows. He'd like to go to an area that doesn't have many acting opportunities and start a business with a stage and acting classes, noting Paducah is "full of performing arts," whether it's MainStage, Market House Theatre or local high schools.
"I just love it because it's a way to express myself," he said. "Performing and singing and acting have gotten me out of tough places that I've been in - in my life, in the past. And I found a home in acting."
Taylor puts it simply. He likes the performing arts and it brings happiness to other people.
He saw the popular musical, "Dear Evan Hansen," and explained that whenever a certain moment happens, it connects everyone in the audience and on stage, to where you can feel a shared energy in the room.
"And I love that feeling," he added.
Taylor, whose guardians are Julia and Geordie Garatt of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.