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Friday, May 6, 2016

Salem teen-age dancer sees star rising

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Doors are opening for 15-year-old Jake Taylor of Salem who has been imitating performers like Michael Jackson since the age of 3.

His mom, Evelyn Stuart, said she knew her son was destined to perform when he started walking.

Taylor traveled to Kansas City, Mo., in October for Model Search America. Numerous modeling agencies and agents attended the event to review modeling talents.

Model Search America is a scouting company. It's also an introduction to the top modeling agencies in the world and offers the opportunity for competitors to meet with directors and top executives.

The event was a two-day regional review workshop. It's a big commitment if you get a call back from the agents, Evelyn said.

Over 700 entrants competed in the regional review, Taylor said. He performed break dancing. Stuart said, "He ran the dance floor."

Evelyn said so far they have heard back from one California agency and had three calls from agents in New York.

New York talent scouts have invited Taylor to come back and try out for pilots for new sitcoms that will be airing. The agency in California is also sending him a script.

Evelyn explained this is a preliminary step after agents observed Taylor's performances.

"We haven't signed with anyone. The door is open," Stuart said, "Jake is one of those kids always doing something."

His interests include dancing, singing and modeling. He has participated in lip-sync contests for seven years and won each time.

To get ready for his competitions he choreographs the music and makes up a routine while Evelyn critiques his performance.

She said everything is happening so fast for her son.

"I know he has the drive and ability for it and he wants to pursue it," she said.

She said as long as Taylor puts forth the effort then she is willing to make the sacrifices.

He was in the talent show at the Fulton County Fair when he took first place for a duo competition with his partner, Claudine Spackman, also of Salem.

But Taylor didn't stop there; he competed in the district fair talent show in September and placed first once again. He also performed hip hop in the Relay for Life events in 2001 and 2002.

Wherever destiny takes Taylor, he said he hopes it includes dancing and acting.

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