"Getting to Know You" with Michael Banks, actor Taven Blanke!
Updated: Feb 16
WESTMINSTER, CA - Most recently appearing as Billy in Goodspeed Opera House's production of Billy Elliot the Musical on the East Coast, Taven Blanke is a 12 year old triple threat from Fountain Valley, Ca. No stranger to the Rose Center Theater stage, having played the role of Colin in the RCT Musical Theater Production of The Secret Garden, Taven returns to The Rose for the upcoming production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins, as Michael Banks.
Falling in love with singing, acting, and dancing, since he was able to walk and talk, Taven has performed in a number of musical theatre productions and was recently awarded the BroadwayWorld 2019 Connecticut Region Best Actor Award for his role as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical.
Excerpts from our chat:
What attracted you to being an actor/performer?
Getting to show my personality and a variety of different emotions.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
Being cast as Billy Elliot at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.
How do you prepare for an audition? Any good luck rituals, etc.?
I warm up my voice and stretch my body. I drink tea with honey to soothe my voice.
What is the most frustrating part of being a performer?
Having to manage rehearsals with your normal, daily life.
How do you handle rejection?
I take it in. I breathe, and I think what I can do next time to change the result. Crying is a solution to get out the sadness and anger, but it isn’t the best way to handle rejection.
What is your dream role, and why? What do you think you would bring to that role?
My dream role is Phantom of the Opera. I think I would bring a lot of emotion to the role and teach people not to judge a book by it’s cover.
What is your process like in preparing for a role?
I look at the character’s emotions and how they change throughout the story so that I can emphasize those moments.
How important do you think training is as a performer? What kind of training would you recommend?
Training is a huge deal for a performer. I have trained in singing, dancing (many styles), acrobatics, and acting. I recommend getting a vocal coach to help aspiring actors with controlling their voice and keeping it healthy.
Do you have a favorite actor/performer? Who is it? Why are they your favorite?
My favorite performers include; Sutton Foster, John Tartaglia, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Alex Brightman, and Sophia Ann Carusso. I look up to these performers and make use of their clever musical theatre skills.
What is a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of?
I love roller coasters. I eat apples (plural) every day. I can do the splits!
Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers?
Yes, work hard, believe in yourself, and be kind to everyone because you never know who you are in front of.
See Taven as Michael Banks in the Rose Center Theater's production of
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins!
Playing February 21 - March 8