Updated: Sep 21
Today we'd like to introduce you to Taven Blanke.
Current Location: Fountain Valley, Ca
Taven, before we jump into it, why don't you tell us a little about your story.
I began performing in theater at the age of 8 at Clubhouse Academy where I also took an interest in dance. I started by taking a dance class with my sister and ended up loving it so much that I worked my way up to nine dance classes a week in a very short time. I really push myself to be exceptional each class. I later auditioned for my first Rose Center Theater production, booking a role in The Secret Garden as Colin Craven. Soon after The Secret Garden, I was part of the ensemble of The Music Man at the Segerstrom Concert Hall thanks to a recommendation from Tim Nelson. After The Music Man, my dance teacher, Allison Horner, suggested that I audition for a program called Broadway Artists Alliance (BAA) in NYC. After getting accepted into BAA, I went to New York and did the intensives, happily getting familiarizing myself with many Broadway artists and crew. While in New York, I was fortunate enough to audition for the musical Billy Elliot at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, and landed the role of Billy! That experience really boosted my career and confidence level. After returning home to California from performing as Billy, I came back to the Rose and played the part of Michael Banks in Mary Poppins. I am very thankful to have been a part of so many amazing shows, dance intensives, and classes. I will be forever grateful for the amazing people that have supported me on my journey. Tim Nelson and Allison Horner have been blessings in my life that I will never forget, and the Rose Center Theater has become the place I will always come back to. I can't wait to see what comes next in my career!
Overall, has it been a rather smooth road? If not, what are some of the struggles you've experienced along the way?
One major challenge has been living in California when most big theatre and musical productions are out in New York. The flights back and forth take some getting used to, but it has all been worth it!
Can you tell us about what you are currently working on? Anything you have been focused on during this time of quarantine?
Many self-tapes, dance classes, vocal lessons and gymnastics. I am a hard worker, though it doesn't feel like hard work because I love it so much.
Do you have an early childhood memory that you fondly remember?
Getting to go to Disneyland almost every weekend. Also, I just remember how much I loved hanging out with my parents, sister, cousin, and dog, which is something that I still love to do!
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Getting to be the lead in such a demanding musical like Billy Elliot. It really helped me not only be a better performer, but honestly a better person. I am also extremely proud of winning the Connecticut BroadwayWorld Regional Award for Best Actor in an Equity Musical 2019 for playing Billy.
The upcoming Virtual Revue you are performing in is titled TOGETHER. What role do you think the arts has played in unifying people?
The arts are the most meaningful way to tell stories that bring people together. People relate to the arts because they feel what the artists create, which helps them to learn and grow. Unity is about a community coming together, and I feel that the arts unite communities better than anything else.
Suggest a story: The Rose Center Theater's Inspiring Artists Series is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.