Connected co-host Cloie Wyatt Taylor
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Finding opportunity in this day and age isn’t as easy as it should be. We’re surrounded by technology that brings us closer together, and yet somehow we seem to all be farther apart. We’re supposed to have more access, yet there’s also more competition, less experience and less understanding among the general populace about what it takes to work in music and the arts. Trying to find your way can be downright frustrating, to say the least.
That’s just one of the reasons RRFC started “Connected” the weekly webseries that brings its viewers jobs, opportunities, special guests, and Q & A sessions. Hosted by Grammy-winning producer DJ IZ and actor Cloie Wyatt Taylor, since its inception in 2015, Connected has built a strong loyal following and has thousands tuning in every week to watch what will happen next on the live show.
We recently got the chance to sit down and chat with Connected co-host Cloie Wyatt Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Superstore, How To Get Away with Murder) and learn more about how she got into entertainment and what keeps her supercharged as an actor and performer in Los Angeles. Turns out, acting and performing go way, way back for Cloie:
When I was three, my parents got me the Annie tape. I watched it once and could not turn it off. I learned all of the lines, all the songs, all of the dances, and would reenact it on a daily basis, just from [the POV of] different characters. One day I was Rooster, another day I was Lily St. Regis, and one day I was Annie. I was hardly ever Annie because I thought her character just didn’t have enough of an arc. I mean, she does have an arc, but I felt like Miss Hannigan, you know, her through line was more interesting to me as a three year old.”
Movement and dance were also something Cloie found she had a talent and a passion for starting at a young age:
I was always a mover because I grew up by myself. I have an older brother, but he’s much older than me, and so I was left to my own devices basically. That’s what got me started. And then somewhere around that same time, an older cousin of mine was dancing, and I saw her perform and told my mom that I wanted “to do ballerina,” something crazy like that. And so they put me in dance. And it really, really stuck. I was also a very, very large baby who didn’t walk until late in life. So the fact that I could dance was kind of remarkable. And I stuck with it.”
Cloie got accepted into the prestigious Dance Theater of Harlem at The Kennedy Center. And, while still in high school and living in D.C., she landed her first professional acting gig on All My Children. Her parents were always supportive of her choices, even when that meant making long drives into New York so that Cloie could be on-set.
Cloie graduated NYU and was setup in New York, acting and making a name for herself in the industry when opportunity came a-knocking from afar—L.A. to be exact. Given the chance to work with the renowned Atlantic Theater Company, founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, Cloie didn’t hesitate to head west with little more than two suitcases a plan to keep on hustling, grinding and making it happen day-by-day.
We at RRFC have clearly benefited from Cloie’s relocation to the City of Angels. Every week, Connected, viewers look forward to her straight-up advice that’s all about accountability and keeping it real. Here are just a couple of morsels we took away during our recent conversation.
On the subject of Ego:
As an artist, our egos can be real. Nobody in life wakes up in the morning is like, ‘Ooh, I want to look stupid today… But the thing about ego is it can go either way. It can go to that overblown sort of arrogant sort of thing. That’s an overblown ego that way. But then it can also go the other way into this whole self-deprecating sort of thing, right? They’re both ego, just opposite sides of the spectrum in my book… The way I have found to help me stay grounded is I have a very strong support unit, and that’s both family and friends… I have people in my life that are not afraid to stop and check me. And I am so grateful for that.”
On Accountability and Nerves:
I’m a big believer in accountability. I feel like one of the best things that I can do for myself to combat the fear and stay positive is to show up and do my work. So if I have a huge audition, and I’m terrified of it for whatever reason, then it’s like great, that’s going to make me want to work even harder on that audition. So that in the moment when I am scared… it is just so ingrained, the choices that I’ve made, the character development that I’ve done, any homework I’ve applied, any hard work and hustle that I have done, [that] it will show up in the room and nothing else will matter.”
How Connected relates to her Larger Purpose:
Talking and connecting with all the people that watch the show, call in, or email and all like that, reminds me constantly of what I’m working towards and my drive. It’s inspiring. So I’m glad to know that I’m offering advice and inspiration, but I feel like I’m only able to give when I’m receiving. I feel inspired working with Connected, and so I’m able to give inspiration, I suppose, is the best way to say it. And I’m just grateful for that opportunity.”
And we’re grateful too Cloie!