TV Series Hub was thankful to have a chance to chat with Rita Angel Taylor, who’s been acting since she was six. From being on Sam and Cat to BratTV’s Sunnyside Up web-series on YouTube and in the music business with a hit song. She will soon have more music coming out plus being in an upcoming NBC series La Brea. Here’s our chat with Rita Angel Taylor.
Welcome to TV Series Hub, how are you?
“Hi TV Series Hub! I’m good. Thanks for having me! I’ve been mostly trying to keep busy during the lockdown by writing songs and spending time with my family.”
2, How did you get the acting bug?
“I got into acting because of a talent scout that saw me singing to people at a Starbucks in Dallas, Texas when I was three years old. She told my parents that I would be perfect for acting, but was too young at the time. So I became a print model for JC Penny until one of their directors also said that I would be perfect for acting. So, after a few years, when I was six me and my family moved to Las Vegas (because it’s closer to LA) for me to pursue acting. I got the part of “Liddy” on Nickelodeon’s sitcom Sam & Cat after my first audition. I got to meet and work with Ariana Grande on set and saw her always singing and practicing during her breaks, which inspired me. When Ariana quit the show to pursue her music career, I completely quit acting (even though I loved it) to pursue music also. A few years later, when I was nine, my new manager, Lori Knight, told me I should get back into acting because it goes hand in hand with music. So I did, and I’m still doing both in California.”
3. Who inspired you to go into acting?
“Nobody really inspired me to go into acting, I was just told I would be good at it so I did it. It was only after I quit and came back that I finally realized how much I love acting.”
4. One of your first big acting jobs was being on the Nickelodeon Sam and Cat. What was it being on the series?
“It was so much fun. It was my first experience being on a set and I got to work with so many amazing people. Everybody was really sweet to me. I remember Ariana brushing my hair, everyone on set learned my special handshake, and Jennette McCurdy asking what my favorite song was and I sang the theme song from Disney’s show Jessie 🤣 I didn’t know they were competitors. After the filming was over, I remember crying in the car because I was going to miss the cast and crew so much.”
5. What did you learn being that series?
“Sam & Cat was my first job and I learned a lot of little things that are now pretty normal to expect when I’m on set. For example: I learned that if I have a specific place to stand I will get a mark on the floor with tape. Because I’m a minor I can only work for a certain amount of hours a day. I learned that the greenroom is a place to hang out when you’re off set and not doing school. I have to do school for at least three hours a day on set if I’m under eighteen. And I learned that things on set look different than what everyone sees on TV.”
6. You have a music video on YouTube that’s called For My Girls. It’s got over eight thousand views on YouTube. How did this song come about and what does the song mean?
“For My Girls was my first release. It’s about friendship and girl empowerment. Joel Goldman (Executive Director of Entertainment Industry Strategy & Relations at CARE) heard my song and thought it would be perfect for their 2019 International Women’s Day campaign “Her in Hero.” So they used my song and all the download proceeds go to www.CARE.org forever to help fight global poverty. For My Girls is available on all streaming platforms.”
7. Who inspired you into the music business?
“Ariana Grande inspired me to pursue music when I saw her always practicing on set. She worked very hard on set for her music career and I still enjoy listening to her songs.”
8. Did Ariana Grande influence you when you were on Sam and Cat?
“Yes, Ariana did influence me when I was on Sam & Cat. She was so nice to me on set and was constantly singing and practicing during her breaks and she has such a beautiful voice! When she quit the show to do music, I wanted to do the same thing. I don’t think I would have wanted to do music if it wasn’t for Ariana <3″
9. What’s your favorite song to listen to?
“I have so many favorite songs and most of them are by Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande. I don’t know what my #1 favorite song would be… probably just anything from Taylor’s Reputation or Lover album.”
10. You were on a series from Brat TV on YouTube called Sunnyside Up. Who did you play and how did this project come about?
“On the BRAT TV show Sunnyside Up, I played “Opal Laurant” who is a very bratty and spoiled girl in the beginning of the show. Near the end, though, after she gets a new babysitter who she looks up to, she starts to see that it’s better to be kind. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to audition for the show.”
11. Did you have fun making the series?
“YES! I had so much fun filming the show! I made so many friends and the whole cast and crew were super nice and worked very hard on this project. I love my BRAT family!!”
12. You’re cast in a new NBC series called La Brea. Who is your character?
“My character in the new NBC series La Brea is “Lilly Castillo.” I’m so excited to start working on it!!!”
13. With what’s going on in the world, did you and the cast started filming episodes?
“I haven’t started filming, but some of the other cast has. They couldn’t continue for long, though because they had to self-quarantine. I was supposed to be in Canada to film the first episode around late March, but with the Coronavirus situation productions on all shows have been postponed. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go to Canada to start filming, but hopefully it’s soon. I can’t wait!!”
14. You are working with a strong cast with Natalie Zea, Jon Seda, and Catherine Dent. It must be exciting to get to work with them?
“I’m so excited to work with them! I can’t wait to meet everyone in the show and start filming. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
16. Could you tell us what the series is about?
“La Brea is about a massive sinkhole that mysteriously opens up in the heart of Los Angeles at the La Brea Tar Pits. It tears a family apart separating a mother and son (in the sinkhole) from father and daughter (outside the sinkhole). When part of the family finds themselves in a parallel world that is prehistoric Los Angeles, they have to work together with other strangers that fell into the sinkhole to figure out if there is a way back home.”
17. What advice would you want to give to those that are thinking about going into the show business?
If you want to be in show business you have to:
- Definitely move to LA and be prepared to stay there for at least three to four years or even more.
- Be patient. Things don’t happen overnight. You might have to go on hundreds of auditions to actually book something.
- Get an acting coach. My acting coach has helped me a lot and I definitely don’t think I could have gotten the parts I have without her.
- Don’t be discouraged or take it personal if you don’t book something that you really wanted.
- Get a good manager and they will get you an agent to find auditions.”
18. Will there be more music to come?
“Yes, I have more songs that are being finished and produced right now and my style has changed a bit since For My Girls. My next releases will probably be Run or Hide or Scars which are songs I wrote to bring awareness to mental health issues. When they are out, they will be available on all online streaming platforms.”