Meet MT: Funny, Bright, Joyful and making moves in NYC
Funny stories are always the best way to win anyone over. At least that’s what my dad told me before I gave a speech to my third grade class. Well, Mary Taylor (MT) must have learned that lesson from someone too because she started off our Zoom call with one of the funniest stories any of us had ever heard. And from that point on, we were immediately struck by the humor, sensitivity, unique perspective and wonderfulness that is MT.
Below, here she is in her own words. I don’t know if she’ll ever tell the story she told us publicly again, but it won us over. So MT, if you’re reading this, we think that story belongs in the larger world so keep telling it.
Where were you born?
I was born in Florida, raised in Texas, but always meant to be a New Yorker. I’ve known that since the first time I stepped foot in the city, but the question for me was always “how do I make it there?” Life for me has always been about breaking molds and forging my own path rather than the one expected of me, so I think that's why I decided to shoot for the stars. My dad was the person who actually encouraged me to follow my passion and make the choice to be happy acting rather than trying to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer. Which as a kid I had always planned on becoming when I grew up; deep down I knew that a regular desk job would never fulfill me. The only thing I ever knew or known for sure is that I wanted to help people. That’s why I chose this path. I figure if I can grow my platform, change enough people's view in the world all while being as happy as possible, then I’ve succeeded in my short time here on earth. I think that’s why it's so important for me to make a big impact as a new artist in the city. I want to make sure that the people I’m connecting with see that I’m not only here for my own endeavors, but to be completely immersed in the experience of changing the life of others. Whether that be something as big as shooting for the moon or a small change every day with gaining confidence through a new fierce hairstyle.
What inspires you? Did you always have the same path in mind?
My inspiration to be happy in the life I’ve been given came from my dad. Since the day I was born I was a daddy’s girl, always glued to his side and trying to copy his every move. For years I thought I would end up as a lawyer just like him, but the most important lesson my dad ever taught me was “to do what you love so you never work a day in your life.” When he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the 7th grade, I needed somewhere to escape. That ended up leading me to discovering the world of theatre, and it absolutely saved my life. Now that my dad has passed, his lesson still echoes in my head everyday. And I know that he was the reason I found what I was meant to be and what I've always been meant to do.
What have I been doing to stay sane during COVID?What hobbies have you recently picked up?
I’ve actually been struggling during the quarantine because I feel like everyone is pushing these huge lifestyle changes to improve yourself in a really unhealthy way. I’ve seen all over social media people talking about “if you aren't getting in shape during quarantine then you're not doing the pandemic right.” But I don't think one path is right for everyone. And there definitely shouldn’t be all of this shaming involved.
Change is a slow process. I did take time during quarantine to work a lot on my mental health through meditation and yoga, which is something that I’ve turned to for years to help me find moments of gratitude in the chaos around me.
Funny enough, the hobby that I decided to pick up during COVID was learning how to cut and style my own hair. I’ve also been doing it for my friends and family that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to see. I’ve always been the type of person that would rather teach themself a new skill than continuously having to pay for it. And believe me, when you're Italian, and your hair grows like wild flowers, and you need a haircut every other month, learning the skill comes in handy. Finally after a few hours worth of watching Youtube videos of girls cutting their hair, I went for it. It wasn’t perfect the first time, but at least I won’t have to go to the salon for a while.
What hobbies have you recently picked up?
I recently decided to try and learn to play the piano. My mom always told me I have “piano fingers” and she regretted never putting me in lessons. I love to sing, even if it may not be the best at it, and I’d love to accompany myself in my little jam sessions with a piano. That would be a lot of fun.
How would you best describe your personal style?
I’ve been asked this question so many times, and I’m never sure exactly how to answer it. I've taken style inspo from so many different outlets that now my range of outfits goes from 0-100 real quick. I like to describe my style as cowgirl chic meets nyc street style meets granola girl.
What does your hair say about you?
My hair says happy, healthy and loved. Learning how to care for my own hair throughout the years has always been exciting for me because it’s another expression of me and what’s going on with me. This is going to sound odd, yet I think I’ve subjectified my hair and made it into a friend of mine. Odd, I know. Actually, I never had a haircut until I was 14. When I was a kid I had become so attached to my “mermaid locks,” as I used to call them. At 14, I decided to experiment. I tried a few different hairstyles before I came back to my natural hair, my mermaid locks.
What was your experience like with the farrah? What do you look for in a styling tool?
My experience with the Farrah has been amazing. I’m from Texas so I’m all about big curly hair, but when you have so much of it it's impossible to find time to style it everyday. I’m always looking for ways to get the curls I love so much without having to damage my hair everyday. But I’m also the type who’s not going to spend a night putting rollers in my hair. Luckily, with the Farrah, I literally rol out of bed 30 minutes before work, curl my hair for about 5 minutes with the farrah, and I’m ready to go. Literally, it’s that simple to curl all of my hair. Plus there’s a little built-in comb and that takes away the frizz. All I can say is I absolutely love this tool.
What are your hopes for the future?
I can’t say for sure, but what I do know is that my future entails everything under the horizon. I’ve always shot for the stars and I plan to keep dreaming big.
What's the biggest lesson you have learned so far? Advice you’d give a younger you?
I'd say the biggest lesson in life that I've learned so far is to pursue goodness and happiness. It takes too much out of someone to act out of hate, and of course I’m still guilty of those mistakes because I am human. But I'm also a part of the universe just as we all are. Put love into the universe and it will put love into you.