Unlike many musicians and performers, singer-songwriter and actress Kim Taylor has decided to forgo life in a big city, like New York or Hollywood, for a quieter life here in the Midwest.
“I like being able to come home from craziness and feel that I can retreat into slower things,” said Taylor, a 17-year Cincinnati resident, in an email. “I travel quite a bit. Sometimes it would be nicer to be closer to NYC or Nashville for songwriting opportunities but I’m a little stubborn and want to make it work here in Ohio.”
Taylor is a touring member of Cincinnati-based band Over the Rhine and has released several albums on her own.
Taylor is set to take a break from her travels to make a pit stop in her home state for a screening of her film “I Used to be Darker” at the Wexner Center for the Arts 7 p.m. Friday in the Film/Video Theater.
“It’s not a story built around big plot events. (The film) is about these small moments in life that are pretty universal and things that aren’t often the subject of films,” said Chris Stults, associate curator of Film/Video at the Wexner Center and organizer of the event.
“I Used to be Darker” is an independent film about a Northern-Irish runaway named Taryn (Deragh Campbell) who tries to escape her problems by moving in with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. However, her relatives are facing their own troubles as they confront the ending of their marriage during their daughter’s visit home after her first year of college.
Taylor plays Aunt Kim, a musician who tries to end her marriage on cordial terms for the sake of her daughter. Taylor said she shared other similarities with her character than just a first name, but she had to draw on experiences from her childhood to bring forth some of the emotion of her character.
“I’m a mother and a musician in real life so it wasn’t a huge stretch there,” she said. “I’m happily married but my own parents divorced so I know what it’s like to deal with divorce. I prepared for the role by reaching back into my own childhood … and bringing a lot of that emotion back into the forefront.”
This is the latest film by director Matt Porterfield, a recipient of the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Residency Award for 2012–13.
“He’s a filmmaker that we believe in and are interested in showing, and it’s one of the more acclaimed independent films of this year,” Stults said.
Taylor has spent most of her career making music. The independent folk-pop performer released her latest album, “Love’s a Dog,” Oct. 8, and “I Used to be Darker” is her acting debut. Some of Taylor’s music from her latest album is also featured in the film.
“It really fed my songwriting, particularly learning how to work on a project daily with a group of inspired people, all working towards the same goal, the capture of a good scene,” Taylor said, adding she had no formal acting experience.
Jennifer Wray, the marketing and media assistant at the Wexner Center, said she believes the themes of the film will be relatable to students.
“Part of the center of the story are these two young women who are 19 and who are figuring out how to cope with growing up and how to cope with what happens when family life is tough,” Wray said. “I think it’s something that students will identify with.”
Following the screening, Taylor is scheduled to host a Q-and-A session with the audience and perform songs from her latest album.
Taylor said she hopes the film will resonate with students even after they leave the theater.
“There’s a lot of loose ends and unanswered questions,” she said. “And I’m hoping the students will walk away from the film and spend the rest of the evening having a deep discussion over the film’s meaning.”
Tickets are $6 for students, members and seniors and $8 for the general public.