Every aspiring actress pretty much has two goals whenever they set out to pursue the big screen: be the lead role or work alongside some pretty kick ass, world-renowned actors and actresses. But, not many people can say that they've accomplished those huge pursuits by the age of just 10-years old.
Actress Tayler Hamilton can cross this huge bucket list item off her goals and isn't stopping there. After a whirlwind experience working on her first movie set, Hamilton is taking her initial brush with stardom and is more determined than ever to make it as a feature film actress as an adult.
Hamilton scored her very first feature film role opposite Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd in the film, “De-Lovely," after catching the eye of Emmy winning casting director Nina Gold. In the film, based on the musical career of Cole Porter, Tayler was given a speaking part, performed a duet with Ashley Judd, had her own trailer and even attended the film's premiere in New York City with her mom. While this unforgettable experience seemed to happen in a whirlwind, Tayler's budding movie career was put on hold when her dad's job was relocated to Singapore and he moved his family there right after the film's release. “It was one of the best experiences of my life," Hamilton says, “both Ashley and Kevin are so talented, I was lucky to be able to work with them at such a young age. Ashley and I sang a duet together, called True Love. During filming for the song, Ashley and I would sit together at the Piano in between takes, and she would show me this book of flowers that she was looking through, trying to decide what flowers to grow at her home."
Photo Courtesy of Steven Swancoat
"She was so kind to me, included me in everything we did together on set, and is still one of the most genuine actors I have been lucky to work with. Her voice is also incredibly calming, so as a young child on set, she was someone I looked up too, and strived to be like."
And of course, working with Kevin Kline on a daily basis made a true impact on her young acting career, as well. “Kevin is amazing, he made me feel so special during filming, even though he was this talented, lead actor, he was so humble and kind that you almost forgot who he was, he was like a friend. When my mother and I went to the after party after the NYC premiere, Kevin saw me and came up to me and gave me a big hug and spun me around – I will never forget this moment! Working with both Kevin and Ashley taught me to always treat everyone with equal respect, no matter how important they are, or what their role is."
She continued to perform and keep her love for acting alive through high school. Since her father's relocation, she's lived on three different continents by the age of 15, but always knew that she would find a way to bridge the gap between being a child actor and the big goals she still had for her career as an adult.
The coolest takeaway for me though, it how much she has learned about being a girl boss at a young age and what building her own brand from the start really means. “If you want something to be done, you have to do it yourself. I've realized how much work goes into promoting a brand, especially if you're working on your own, or promoting yourself. My experience has taught me that the film industry has so much to do with self-promotion and networking, that marketing and branding come along with that hand in hand."
And of course, she's already learned to be ready for big things at any given moment. “There is never any down time in this industry, things come up so quickly, that if you miss them, they will pass you by. Its constant hard work, constant marketing and dedication to ensure that you are able to elevate your career to the next level," she shared.
After attending the University of Delaware, earning a degree in business marketing and theatre and has now in her twenties is living New York City to pursue her dream full time - but not without taking what she learned in business school and applying it to her acting career. “My training in branding and marketing helped me develop a plan for exposure, and well as a financial plan in order to be the most successful I could be. I developed the social media skills to drive demand and create an interest in myself and my brand through the various projects I did whether that be in modeling, theatre, TV, or film. During my early start, I did research online to get work for myself, and consistently tried to reach influencers in the industry. I researched from the ground up and since then have been very successful in differentiating myself among the competition in my industry. As I got busier, I continued to develop my brand through building up my social media, exposure, and networking."
Moving to the city and following her heart has turned out to be the best for her, as she has landed a host of modeling gigs, performed in several off-Broadway shows and has been wracking up some impressive film and TV credits including “Oceans 8" and “Orange is the New Black," among many others. She's currently landed a lead role in a thriller and couldn't be more excited about the upcoming experience, “I'm currently working on a new movie that's filming up in Michigan over the next month. The film is a thriller, shot at a secluded cabin in the woods- I am so excited about this, as this is my first time acting as a lead in a thriller, and it will be made into a feature this coming year!"
Her one piece of advice for women looking to make it on the big screen is, “never say no to an opportunity. You never know what that opportunity may bring you, who it could lead you to meet, what it could expose you to, and what it could do for your future."
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."