Art at Home – 20 Questions with Melissa Taylor

This week’s #ArtAtHome is your chance to get to know our final Beyond the Bard Playwright, Melissa Taylor!

What are you currently reading?
Just finished Fleabag: The Scriptures.

What inspires you to write?
I think it’s me seeking connection. I love those moments in the theatre where you feel like you’ve been hit over the head by a line, or by what the playwright’s trying to say. It’s this beautifully unobtrusive and potent form of intimacy, when it’s done right. 

Smarties or M & M’s?
Um, peanut M & M’s. No question.

What’s your favourite sentence of all time?
Currently? “It’s God, isn’t it?” 

If you could have your work performed anywhere, where would it be?
Maybe after having tea and stimulating conversation with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, I could do a monologue in her back garden, or something equally picturesque. 

What’s the last delicious thing you ate?
Almond butter and apple (sorry, boring). 

Do you have any pets?
Back home, a dog and a cat. 

Who is your favourite tv/film character?
I’m going to diverge from the Fleabag fanaticism for a second and say — no, just kidding, Fleabag. Or Mindy Kaling. In anything.

If you weren’t a playwright, what would you be?
Actor. But it’s a divided effort. 

What’s a positive aspect of self-isolation for you?
Finding new routines.

What’s a difficult aspect of self-isolation for you?
The pressure of creating.

What’s your favourite cafe to work in?
In Toronto, I love The Tempered Room or Wallace Espresso. Also, The Gladstone has a public workspace during weekdays which is awesome. In my hometown, Victoria, there’s a great cafe called the Moka House which is right by the water, so if you’re feeling uninspired, you can take a little walk on the beach. Usually helps. 

Dogs or cats?
Totally depends on the breed. Cats generally, but a gentle, loving, bear-sized dog trumps all. 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Life is long. 

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Uh… I can quote along to
When Harry Met Sally, but maybe that’s not very surprising. 

How do you take your coffee/tea?
Black. 

What was your first job?
I was a hostess at a downtown resto-bar that was way too hip for me. Also during the summers in high school I dressed up as a pirate and made balloon swords at festivals. More my speed.

What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
Power suits with shoulder pads.

What are some small things or acts that make your day better?
Sunshine and reconnecting with old friends.

Who is your favourite Shakespearean character?
I remember seeing the Scottish play for the first time as a preteen and thinking, thank God for Macduff, because everyone else is royally screwing this up. So, him.

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