“Quiet on the set!” That’s what the AD (assistant director) shouts while filming a television show, commercial or movie at the start of every scene. I know it all too well. As an actor-turned-producer, writer and director, I have lived the dream that some wish for. It wasn’t always great, but it has been interesting, exciting and sometimes very fun. This being my first article on the entertainment world for Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine, I thought I would share a little about my experiences and qualifications. When I first started, I was 16 years old, scared and untrained, but thrown in front of a camera/teleprompter to read off my first television commercial — a PSA about the importance of taking the PSAT. I made it through successfully, but not without sweating a river. Eventually, I got work as “atmosphere” (another term for being an “extra”) on such television shows as “Wolf,” and “Night Caller,” and several commercials, before auditioning and being accepted to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. This school trained Spencer Tracy, Hume Cronin, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Michael Douglas and his father Kurt, and some of the stars of today including Adrien Brody, Paul Rudd and Dennis Haysbert, just to name a few. Show business is full of opportunities, some of them unknown, like being a show runner— someone who has the responsibility of being in control of the entire show — from hiring writers to directors and overseeing scripts and producers. It’s a huge job for anyone to undertake. Even if you are experienced it takes its toll on you. Another area that is becoming more and more familiar to the viewing audience is product placement, an area I know a lot about. In between one of my many acting breaks, I took a job for a company that was responsible for producing the prize segments on the popular television shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” There I learned a great deal about product placement and the cost effectiveness it brings to a production. Today, I am the executive producer of a new television show — “In Her Shoes” — that stars Tiffany Dowling and Shelley Davis Mielock, and I am happy to bring my experience to the local market here in Lansing. I hope that this is the beginning of something that changes the face of television in our area, allows for more growth and helps develop and produce exciting new projects. So tune into my18 Thursdays at noon for “In Her Shoes” to see good news (in great shoes). All I can say is that I’m happy to be in LA using my favorite word: “action!”
Taylor Kelsaw started his career in San Francisco, Calif. more than 30 years ago and has since worked on many highly rated television shows including “Oprah” and “Live with Regis and Kelly.” He loves to paint, sing, act and being the proud parent of three lovely children.