A Woman's Perogative to Change Her Name
Don't be confused if you see me credited as "Taylor".
I was named by my parents - Galit Ester Klas. Galit means small waves in Hebrew, and Ester was my great grandmother's name. Yes perhaps a little FOB for Moorabbin Primary School, but I sat with Abdul and Fadzli, the two other kids with foreign names and we became friends.
Nobody could pronounce my name, the most common variation I encountered was "Gilette" - "the best a man can get."
I'm proud of my heritage but I didn't want my name to be the first conversation I ever have with someone, especially as I embarked on my performing career.
So at 21, I decided I'm Australian not Israeli, and I changed my stage name to TAYLOR.
Bold and the Beautiful maybe? (I was in America at the time.) I wanted a fresh start and Taylor means "someone who sews clothes". Practical. No religious baggage. Perfect.
I got 200 headshots printed with "Taylor Klas" on them that day, and it was finalised. It was refreshing. When I returned to Australia, there was no point changing the name - headshot printing is expensive.
This is where strange things happened. I didin't have "foreign" printed on my forhead, nobody knew I was Jewish and yet when I went to auditions I was cast in Jewish roles! Milk and Honey, Fiddler on the Roof, I Wish You a Boat. And then I was paid to sing in Hebrew and Yiddish all over the place.
Through changing my name, I re-claimed my identity! I wrote skits about my grandmother, and created a Yiddish Cabaret not as Galit, but as Taylor.
Seven years on, after being both Taylor and Galit, I'm ready to go back. to Galit. Yes it has baggage and questions -but its me.
I still answer to either.