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The Hairspray Diaries

Taylor Parks shares secrets from the set

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Taylor Parks stars as Little Inez. (Photo: Courtesy of New Line.)
Taylor Parks stars as Little Inez. (Photo: Courtesy of New Line.)

Taylor Parks, 13, is one of the young stars of Hairspray. She plays Little Inez, Seaweed J. Stubbs's younger sister and one of the best dancers in town. Although Taylor was hard at work, she took some time from her busy schedule to keep a diary.

Taylor was kind enough to share some of her journal with Scholastic News Online. Read on to find out firsthand what it was like to be a part of a big-budget Hollywood movie!

August 14, 2006

I have been staying in a hotel with my mom and my sister in Toronto, Canada, since August 8. Every morning at 9:45, I get picked up by a van to go to a studio for dance rehearsals and song rehearsals. There are four choreographers that we work with everyday to learn our dances: Anne Fletcher, Joey Pizzi, Jamal Sims, and Zach Woodlee.

There are about a hundred dancers in this show! I've been working hard since I'm mostly dancing with professional dancers, who are all really nice and encouraging. They always help me with my dance moves when I don't get it right.

Every time I don't get something right, I think, "I hope I get this because I want to stay in this scene!" They told me not to be so hard on myself because I can't compare myself to dancers who have been dancing for many more years than I have.
Jamal was really nice. He took the time to meet with me for one-on-one help with my dances. It's really important for Little Inez to be a good dancer because she's supposed to be the best dancer in her neighborhood!

August 22, 2006

Last night, the cast read the whole script together scene by scene. It took three hours! We sang all the songs, danced all the dances, and acted out all the scenes. Everyone did a great job! People even cried during Queen Latifah's song because they were so moved.

When I got up to do my dance, I was really confused and nervous because the choreographers changed the direction we normally did the dance in. I couldn't believe celebrities like Michelle Pfeiffer were staring at me and that made me feel self-conscious.

At the end, there was a huge round of applause and everyone was impressed with our hard work. I was really proud to be there at that moment. I couldn't believe they picked me out of thousands of other girls! Now, I'm filming Hairspray and sitting at a table with so many great actors and actresses!

August 23, 2006

After lunch, I went to the studio to record my big song "Run And Tell That." We took an elevator up to the waiting room and my mom gave me some hot peppermint tea to sooth my vocal chords when I got into the recording booth.

My vocal coach helped me hit the right note for the word "sky," and we laid down a couple of tracks. I knew this song really well because I worked so hard on it for the audition. I think they were really impressed!

September 20, 2006

Today, we rehearsed, danced, and sang my big number, "Run And Tell That." It was really fun to shoot!

After we took the final take, Dan, the assistant director, announced that I had just turned 13! I was so shocked! Then, they brought out this big birthday cake in front of me and everyone sang "Happy Birthday!" The chocolate cake was delicious!


Check out this special report from Scholastic News Online to read more from the stars of the movie and see some of Taylor's pictures from the set.

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