Age & Hometown: 21; Bourbon, Missouri
Current Role: A high-flying Broadway debut as cheerleading captain Campbell in Bring It On: The Musical.
I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here: Growing up in a town where “the cattle population exceeded the people population,” Taylor Louderman entertained her parents and four younger siblings with a constant medley of songs. “I would sing every chance I got,” she recalls, “in the car, before bed—I even remember memorizing my address to songs.” By the time she was 10, Louderman's love of performing had reached a fever pitch. “I was a big Shirley Temple and Annie fan,” she confesses. “My father said I would watch those movies over and over.” Knowing the Annie score soon became her business when Taylor auditioned to play the title orphan at the Ozark Actors Theatre in nearby Rolla. “I got the part, which blew my mind,” she says. “From that moment on, I was like, ‘I want to do this. I think I can do this. I’m going to do this!’”
It’s All Happening: The ingénue continued to leave her mark on the St. Louis theater scene in shows like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Peter Pan and Grease. By the time she was a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Louderman was invited to audition for Bring It On. “It was terrifying,” she says of the physically taxing process. “We had to do a lot of push-ups to make sure we were strong enough. By the final callback, we were up in the air doing leg extensions and crazy stunts. It was so scary I was peeing in my pants on top.” While rehearsing for a MUNY production of Legally Blonde, she got the good news in a call from Bring it On's casting director and director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. “The minute I heard all their voices I was in tears. I thought, Oh my gosh! This is happening.”
Up in the Air: Like her Broadway character, who experiences culture shock when forced to transfer schools, Louderman is struggling to adjust to the big city. “I’m not going to lie,” she says, “I miss the grass and the trees…I miss home. On a Sunday morning you could chill on the deck and listen to people mowing their lawns. It was very serene.” But making her Broadway debut is worth sacrificing a weekend on the deck: “It’s a dream come true working with people who have taught me a lot about life, not just about musical theater.” Louderman is even getting comfortable with the tricks of her new trade. “You just have to commit 100%,” she says of mastering the musical’s aerial stunts. “You have to literally put your life in those guys' hands. There’s a line in the show, ‘You’ll never hit the ground.’ That’s a big motto in the cheerleading world because you don’t let the top girl fall. Once I started trusting, there was no place I’d rather be.”