Recently we caught up with our friend and two-time Hollywood Immersive alumni, Taya Calder-Mason.
As an actor, singer, composer, writer, director, and producer, Taya is quickly becoming a major force in the entertainment industry. She just finished her short film, “Fight Like A Woman” which delivers a very powerful message. We were excited to hear more from this talented artist.
You have joined us on HI twice for music and acting as a teenager, and you have always had a no-nonsense, take no prisoners attitude that impressed everyone. You’re mature well beyond your years. Where did that come from?
Probably my Mum or my childhood. Growing up with two older brothers teaches you a thing or two about standing your ground. I swapped schools 4 times before leaving at 16, so I had to build a strong sense of self, meeting new kids all the time.
Most recently, you wrote, directed and starred in a short film called “Fight Like A Woman” about a female boxer competing against a man. It puts women’s equality in the forefront. What do you want people to take away from your film?
That women don’t want special treatment, they just wanted to be treated as an equal with respect. It was really important for me not to make a film that is like ‘women rule and men suck’, it’s just about shining light on equal opportunity between men and women.
The fight scenes looked very realistic. Were you influenced by other boxing movies when choosing the direction for this film?
Surprisingly no. I didn’t decide to make the film because I’d watch something that looked cool, I made it because 3-4 times a week, for 4 years I’ve been heading to my local boxing gym and wanted to mix my two loves together.
Singer, composer, producer, actor, writer, and director. How do you stay focused on your career?
Being successful has always been high priority for me. I’ve never liked being second or doing something half-arsed. I remember in Year 2 (6 years old) at school everyone was asked what they wanted to study at University and I just knew that wasn’t something I was ever going to do.
What advice would you give other young artists who are just starting their careers?
Don’t wait for someone to give you the opportunity to do what you love. Why is it always someone else’s choice? Learn that it’s a career, there are
ups and downs and only those who persist when everything is going to sh**, will be successful.
Who are your inspirations?
Professionally, people like Greta Gerwig, Jane Campion, Elizabeth Moss, Margot Robbie. Personally, my Mum and Nan.
In this very competitive entertainment industry, creating your own projects is very important, and is a key way to get yourself out there and tell your own stories. What stories do you want to tell?
I think one of the best parts about being a filmmaker is you get to be incredibly selfish. Make the things you like, shoot the way you like, write the characters that you want to play. I just want to entertain, start conversions and have fun.
What is coming up next for you? When can we see more of your work?
Next project is a thriller called Harrows Forest, which we shoot in August. It’s a really fun, creepy short that follows a group of 4 people as they try to uncover the truth behind a supposedly haunted forest. I actually hate horrors and scare very easily so this should be lots of fun…