Meet Taylor Coriell! "I’m originally from Lexington, KY. I’ve now lived in New York almost 10 years. Before the panini though, I was planning to make bicoastal living a real thing…. looking to shoot for that star again pretty soon once we’re clear of covid."
What project are you currently working on? What is your role in the project?
Oh boy. Well currently my day job is working as the line producer’s assistant for season 3 of Showtime’s City On A Hill… we’re in production now so that takes up my days!
Individually, I’m working on my feature, Ladylike, which is a post-Gilded Age buddy comedy about two society women who disguise themselves as men to sneak into The Players in Gramercy Park to meet their hero, Sarah Bernhardt, on her 1911 visit to New York City. It’s my first feature as a writer-director and to say I’m pumped would be an understatement. We shot a proof-of-concept in the fall of 2021 and raised about $40k on Seed&Spark as our first-in on the whole feature budget. Now we are beginning the search for distributors, brand integration, and private investors to complete that raise. And then, because I’ll sleep when I’m dead (I guess), I’m in post on a short I directed last year, and busy researching for a new script :-)
Do you have a favorite hat under the “creator” umbrella?
Writer for sure. Stick me at a desk with a cup of coffee, rain sounds on a loop, and fake people talking in my head any day.
What were your earliest inspirations? How did you get started as a creator?
I grew up watching rom coms with my grandma. Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock….. those are the movies I watched on repeat as a kid. Nora Ephron is like a constant guiding light, for sure. Then as I got older, I started watching Gilmore Girls with my mom, and I became such a fan of Amy Sherman-Palladino. What can I say…I love chatty women :-)
As far as where I got my start, I was a kid when all the bugs bit me at once: I did my first musical when I was 10 (Hello Dolly for all your MT fans out there), and around that same age, I started writing plays/musicals and making my friends do them with me after school. Through middle school and high school, I would swipe my grandpa’s camcorder (because no one had phones, THE HORROR) and make very *interesting*-but-let’s-call-them-“arthouse comedy” films with friends. Then I took a big break to study opera/classical music and pursue musical theatre as an actor in NYC, etc etc. It wasn’t until about 6-7 years ago that I started writing again with a friend because we were sick of getting called in for the same type of roles over and over because of how we looked (i.e. me for young mom roles, her constantly being asked to replicate Sofia Vergara), instead of what played to our strengths as actors. And then of course, our reels became a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? I only had sweet, young mom-type roles on my reel, and so that’s all I kept getting called in for. So we wrote a buddy comedy for ourselves, You’re The Pest, and that sort of kicked me into gear for the first time as a full-fledged creative. That show helped me not only realize my strengths as an actor but it also reconnected me to my real strengths as a creative: writing and now, directing. That show was actually my first project to bring me to Catalyst as an Official Selection, and now I’ve been back twice again with two pilots and a short :-)
Whose work do you admire? Who are your dream collaborators?
I’ve got an affinity for ladycentric dramedies with heart, buddy comedies, period pieces, and any combination therein, and I’m drawn to the themes of friends-as-family & “success” through a female lens. I love sharp storytelling with clever dialogue, and writers who draw female characters in complex ways, the way male characters have always been allowed to be. I’m lucky to be part of a community of amazing creatives who work in NYC, ATL, and LA, so it’s always a dream to work with my fellow indies on projects like these.
As far as creatives whose names you might recognize more easily, I’d give anything to work with showrunners like Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling, Aline Brosh McKenna, Sheryl Anderson, Maya Erskine, and Anna Konkle. I love the way these women write funny, heartwarming stories through the eyes of incredibly relatable characters…. their stories always just feel inherently female which may sound like a “duh” moment, but what I mean is that the more I watch of their work, the less it feels like these women are writing “women’s stories”, and more like they’re defining what storytelling is through not only the female gaze, but a feminine rhythm.
What’s your proudest moment as an artist so far? To be honest (and very VERY corny), my proudest moment is every time someone reads or watches something I’ve made and tells me that it resonated with them. Every time I make someone laugh or feel seen, that’s it. I feel lucky every time I get the chance to do that.
What’s your creative superpower? In a broad sense,I’m pretty laser-focused on intentionality. Whether it’s a project I’m at the helm of, or if it’s something where I’m working towards someone else’s vision, I think I’m great at keeping the intent of the piece front and center. From a nuts-and-bolts perspective, I'd say I'm great at writing dialogue, and characters you really want to root for!
How can we stay up to date with your work?