Canyon Lake thespian to be featured on the big screen

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Taylor plays Wonka in the Canyon Lake Community Theatre production of “Willy Wonka, Jr.” Photo provided by Bobbie Starr Pigeon

This coming week, one of Canyon Lake’s own thespians will be featured in a film which will be shown one day only, Thursday, Apr. 12, at 7 p.m. at selected locations with Edward Temecula Stadium 15 being the closest location to Canyon Lake.

Taylor Pigeon, an 8th grade student at Canyon Lake Middle School, will be featured in the movie “The Amendment” playing the role of Leslie, a victim of a violent crime along with her parents and brother. The story is true and the movie is designed to make strong statements concerning victims’ rights.

The movie is based on the life of Brooks Douglass, Oklahoma’s youngest state senator, who in 1979 was a victim of a violent crime in which his entire family suffered unbelievable destruction. The community was shaken to its core and the lives of the parents were taken, but Brook climbed out of his despair and became an advocate for victim’s rights.  It was during this quest that Brook faced his greatest challenge: finding peace.

In the presentation, Taylor plays Brook’s sister Leslie during several flashback scenes.

As professional dramatic performers, Taylor and her parents feel very strongly about the message that is taught very clearly in the movie. It is an inspiring true story about discovering triumph over the tragedies, injustices and losses that one may find themselves facing.

Taylor is not unfamiliar to the stage. She began working in show business as a young child and has enjoyed every moment. Her first booking was at the age of three when she played the young Jenny McCarthy in the webisode “In the Motherhood!” Taylor has done several commercials, short films and was a recurring actress on CONAN (O’Brien) in comedy sketches since she the age of four.

But it was in Canyon Lake Community Theatre that Taylor put into practice her love for theatre.

For the past seven years, Taylor has had a prominent role in many of the Canyon Lake Theatre productions. In 2012, Taylor at the age of seven played Sarah in “Miracle Worker.” The next year had her in the role of Molly in “Annie, Jr.,” and the following year in the role of JoJo in “Seussical Jr.” At the age of 10, Taylor took on the challenging role of Muffin in the Canyon Lake production of “Nifty Fifties.” The year 2015 had Taylor performing the role of Starpetal in “Flower Power.”

Since the age of four, Taylor Pigeon has appeared in several commercials, short films and was a recurring actress on CONAN (O’Brien) in comedy sketches. Photo provided by Bobbie Starr Pigeon

The past two years the Canyon Lake production stage has been blessed as Taylor was featured in the lead roles in both “Wonderland” (Alice) and “Willy Wonka, Jr.” (Wonka).

Taylor reports that working with the Canyon Lake Community Theatre has been hard work but worth every minute. When the presentation is in production, she estimates that she spends four hours, four to five days a week in rehearsal and the actual production.

While working on a project, which takes her out of school for a longer length of time, Taylor has teachers on the set to help her meet her school’s academic requirements. During the filming of “The Amendment,” she recounts that she spent much of her time waiting for her next scene and lines were not memorized until right before the scene was shot.

Taylor often performs in venues that are beyond her age group. Currently, as an 8th grader Taylor is working with Elsinore High School on their production of “Tarzan” playing the role of Kala.

When asked about her own personal goals for 10 years from this date, Taylor replies with a gleam in her eyes, “In 10 years, I would love to be accepting an Academy Award at the Oscars’ 100th presentation or receive a Tony Award.”

Taylor does have advice for a young person who may be interested in working in show business. Her advice: “I would tell a young person to never give up and let bygones be bygones. Stay grounded and have fun.”

Taylor’s is not the only member of her family who has performed on TV and various other acting venues. Her father, Corky Pigeon, shares his daughter’s love of acting. At the age of 10 and while a resident in Canyon Lake, Taylor’s father had his first audition and landed the job. He then earned roles in over a dozen commercials, was a guest co-star on TV shows and appeared in the movie “Party Camp.” Corky is best known for the five years in which he played the character of Freddy in the 80s sitcom “Silver Spoons.”

Corky reminisces about his “growing up years in Canyon Lake” by relating how he remembers running around barefoot on empty lots getting stickers in his feet. He shares, “Fishing, waterskiing, you name it! I loved it all!”

Corky’s drive and determination as a youngster are remembered by many of the long-time Canyon Lake residents. Pastor Pete of Canyon Lake Church remembers a time when a lesson at the church was centered on the meaning of the Seder Service which was held during Old Testament times. Pastor Pete stopped and asked if anyone wanted to read the next few verses of the Scripture.  Ten-year-old Corky raised his hand and walked up to the pulpit. Before he began reading, he looked at Pastor Pete and asked, “Do you want me to read this in Hebrew or English?”

Taylor’s grandmother and Corky’s mother, Janet Pigeon, was a Canyon Lake real estate broker for 38 years and began by selling when the community was filled with empty lots. Construction on new homes within the gates of Canyon Lake were numerous, which gave Janet an ideal opportunity to sell land and new homes.

Taylor’s mother and Corky’s wife, Bobbie Starr, also has a strong background in acting.  Bobbie has made appearances on “Saved by the Bell,” “ My So-Called Life,” “ The Wonder Years,” and the mini-series “Route 66.”

But it was not “on the set” where the romance between Corky and Bobbie began. It was actually on Canyon Lake’s main causeway.

At the age of 17, Bobbie was visiting a friend in Canyon Lake and while they were walking on the causeway on the way to the market Corky drove by and in usual Corky Pigeon fashion stopped to meet “the new Canyon Lake girl.”

Corky and Bobbie dated for 10 years and have now been married for 18 years. Having a daughter who desired to be in show business was to be expected when one considers the vivacious personalities of both parents.

Bobbie is very involved in Taylor’s performance schedule. She is on the set at all times. “When Taylor performs it blows my mind. I am constantly told her singing and performances are amazing,” said Bobbie. “She’s fearless and nothing gets in her way.”

Bobbie’s other passions include photography, specifically taking “headshots” of child actors. Her work can be seen at oncamerafun.com. In her free time, Bobbie serves on the Canyon Lake Theatre Board and is the photographer for their presentations.

Corky and Bobbie do have advice for parents and children who are considering entering the realm of show business. “Make sure it what your child wants to do.  If you’re not having fun, then it’s not for you,” said Corky. “Most importantly, stay humble and attend church.”

When Bobbie is asked by a parent if their child should begin an acting or theatre career, she tells them that “acting builds character and confidence and teaches kids to be brave and independent as well as working as a team.” She also points out that children who have a tendency to be shy need theatre training the most. “They start by watching the other kids and eventually they build up the nerve,” she said. “Most importantly, I tell them it’s work, but it’s fun. Kids love it.”

For more information about “The Amendment” visit theamendment.com.

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Pat Van Dyke
  • Michele Baloun

    Love you guys. You deserve it, and I know Taylor is awesome.