I Lost It!

September 18, 2017


lost keys or wallet“I lost it. I lost it. I lost it.” – backup singers to Teddy Pendergrass’ hit song ‘The Love I Lost.’

This is not a testimonial or an advertisement. It is not a promotion. And I’m not bragging about my abilities using hi-tech. Which are limited at best. It’s just what happened.

I have to set this up. I have written about this before (July, 2016, to be exact).

I lose things all the time. I leave things all over the place. By all over the place I mean all over the world. Car keys in Rome. My wallet in a Los Angeles hotel. My passport at Heathrow Airport in London. I’ve left paychecks backstage in casinos, I’ve left my driver’s license in a rental car in Orlando, and once I left everything – wallet, keys, phone, and computer – in one of those carts you rent at the airport. That particular episode ended well because Mark Nizer, a fellow entertainer, FOUND the items and sent them home to me!

The truth is I have been very lucky. I repeat: I have been lucky. 99% of the time I get the stuff back.

OKAY. Friday I fly home from a gig in the Midwest. It’s my one-nighter routine: fly in, drive to the gig, do my job (thank you Pair-A-Dice and FAMILY HOUSE!), sleep, drive to the airport and fly home. When I get back, I race off the plane and through the terminal to my car in the parking lot. This time I have two carry-on bags and I sling them into the back of my Nissan and drive out through the ticket booth where I pay my bill and head for home!

I listen to music on the 30-minute drive. I’m planning the rest of the day. I’m gonna see my wife at the beach. I’ve got writing I need to do, and there are some radio spots I need to record – but for the most part it’s gonna be a fun weekend! As I pull into my driveway I realize it.

I DO NOT HAVE MY PHONE.

My iPhone. Last I remember? I put it on the roof of the car before I left the airport parking lot.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

I get out my iPad. I pull up the “Find my iPhone” app. And there it is. A cute little full-color pic of my phone sitting just outside the parking lot at the airport.

My wife is texting me: “are you home yet?” I text back: “you don’t wanna know.”

She is sick of the never-ending lost items. She has suggested I keep a tote board. She thinks I’m an idiot.

I drive back to the airport. I drive to the exact location where the “Find My iPhone” app pinpoints the device. It’s been moved from the parking lot to an area just off the airport, a makeshift parking lot/waiting area underneath an overpass for Uber drivers and other non-taxi services. I drive in and park. I have my iPad with the locator showing me EXACTLY where the phone is. I question a driver. “Did you find an iPhone?” He doesn’t understand me. Most of the drivers are from points all over the planet: Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, etc. I ask four to five people and nobody has it.

BUT! Every once in a while the little pic on my iPad, showing me the EXACT location of the phone, MOVES. Yes. It jiggles. And as I’m watching, I see the man I first spoke to put something in his pocket just as the phone does its little wiggle. I approach him: “ARE YOU SURE YOU DON’T HAVE MY PHONE?” I’m not nice about it. I saw the icon on my iPad move at the same time he put whatever in his pocket.

For some reason, at that moment, I look up. A truck is going across the overpass.

Loudly.

I look at the pic on my iPad. The iPhone moves. I look at the man I just yelled at.

“Uh… sorry.”

I get in my car and drive up that overpass, and there – sitting in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD – is my iPhone in its green case.

Yes. I drove off two hours before, didn’t know the phone was on top of the car, and it slid off into the highway as I motored home.

Now I pull over on the shoulder. A car rolls over the phone and jettisons it a couple of inches toward the middle of the highway – hence the little “wiggles” on the “Find My iPhone” app. I run into the road, dodging traffic, grab my device and run back to the car.

The “tempered-glass” screen cover is broken. But the phone works! The cover is beaten up and scratched, but the iPhone works!

I have started the tote board.

Ventriloquism: talking to yourself for fun and profit! (Taylor’s latest newsletter.)

September 13, 2017


Read all about it in Taylor’s latest newsletter, “Talkin to Myself.”  GET IT HERE.

Joey Edmonds

September 5, 2017


Joey EdmondsJoey Edmonds came to see me at Zanies Comedy Club in 1984. I was “house emcee,” and he saw me work with Jay Leno. Edmonds was an unassuming man with short-brownish-curly hair and a friendly smile. He approached me at the end of the night, as people milled around the club after Mr. Leno had blown the roof off the place (as usual), basking in the afterglow of watching a true talent perform.

I was leaving, walking past the bar and Joey touched my arm.

“Nice job tonight.” To be singled out by anyone after working with a rock star was more than thrilling for a new comedian. Plus, I’ve never been averse to flattery. So I stopped.

“Thanks.”

He went into a pitch. He was an agent. He had worked colleges and was now booking colleges and was always on the lookout for “new talent” to do college shows. He said I had been recommended. He liked the fact that I worked “clean,” and stayed out of the bathroom and bedroom for my premises. He asked if I had done any college shows. I had. He asked if I’d like to do more. I said yes, I’m always looking for work.

For the next 16 years, Joey Edmonds and I did some 100+ (often as many as 200!) college shows per year. In all Joey Edmonds booked some 2,000 shows for me in every kind of post-high-school-education-environment you can name. I did Ivy League schools. I played all the “power conference” colleges and universities. I worked private schools, public schools, military schools, religious-based schools, some of the historically black colleges and universities, and community/junior colleges.

Joey Edmonds kept me working. His suggestions, from what to use on stage (and what NOT to use), were the kind of thing that comes from experience. Which he had, having been a comedy act with partner Thom Curley for many years. “Edmonds and Curley” had performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1970s. That performance led to thousands of shows for the duo at colleges all over the USA. He is directly responsible for the NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) “showcases,” where comedy acts get seen and booked.

Joey, married to an excellent stage actress, decided to stop touring in the early 1980s. He and wife Lynn had two children, both of whom work to this day in Joey’s still-vital and successful agency.

He was kind and thoughtful and decent. He understood my lifestyle, and the fact that, like him, I was not just my job – I was a husband and father who did an act. Celebrity and notoriety didn’t scale as compared to treating people with dignity and sincerity. We won awards. We made a lot of people happy. We helped raise money for philanthropies and foundations and service groups. Joey Edmonds went on doing that and much, much more for a decade-and-a-half after I left his ever-thriving agency.

He is a published author whose work made a big difference in the lives of countless people – household names and many others – who work in show business. He truly touched millions of lives without them knowing it, and lived a life of class and probity.

 

I am heartbroken he has passed away. Blessings to his lovely family.

Joey Edmonds came to see me at Zanies Comedy Club in 1984. I was “house emcee,” and he saw me work with Jay Leno. Edmonds was an unassuming man with short-brownish-curly hair and a friendly smile. He approached me at the end of the night, as people milled around the club after Mr. Leno had blown the roof off the place (as usual), basking in the afterglow of watching a true talent perform.

I was leaving, walking past the bar and Joey touched my arm.

“Nice job tonight.” To be singled out by anyone after working with a rock star was more than thrilling for a new comedian. Plus, I’ve never been averse to flattery. So I stopped.

“Thanks.”

He went into a pitch. He was an agent. He had worked colleges and was now booking colleges and was always on the lookout for “new talent” to do college shows. He said I had been recommended. He liked the fact that I worked “clean,” and stayed out of the bathroom and bedroom for my premises. He asked if I had done any college shows. I had. He asked if I’d like to do more. I said yes, I’m always looking for work.

For the next 16 years, Joey Edmonds and I did some 100+ (often as many as 200!) college shows per year. In all Joey Edmonds booked some 2,000 shows for me in every kind of post-high-school-education-environment you can name. I did Ivy League schools. I played all the “power conference” colleges and universities. I worked private schools, public schools, military schools, religious-based schools, some of the historically black colleges and universities, and community/junior colleges.

Joey Edmonds kept me working. His suggestions, from what to use on stage (and what NOT to use), were the kind of thing that comes from experience. Which he had, having been a comedy act with partner Thom Curley for many years. “Edmonds and Curley” had performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1970s. That performance led to thousands of shows for the duo at colleges all over the USA. He is directly responsible for the NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) “showcases,” where comedy acts get seen and booked.

Joey, married to an excellent stage actress, decided to stop touring in the early 1980s. He and wife Lynn had two children, both of whom work to this day in Joey’s still-vital and successful agency.

He was kind and thoughtful and decent. He understood my lifestyle, and the fact that, like him, I was not just my job – I was a husband and father who did an act. Celebrity and notoriety didn’t scale as compared to treating people with dignity and sincerity. We won awards. We made a lot of people happy. We helped raise money for philanthropies and foundations and service groups. Joey Edmonds went on doing that and much, much more for a decade-and-a-half after I left his ever-thriving agency.

He is a published author whose work made a big difference in the lives of countless people – household names and many others – who work in show business. He truly touched millions of lives without them knowing it, and lived a life of class and probity.

I am heartbroken he has passed away. Blessings to his lovely family.

Taylor’s Latest Newsletter: Sigma Chi

August 29, 2017


In this great new episode, Taylor talks about how he got his career started in comedy!  READ IT HERE!

Taylor’s latest newsletter is up! Read all about it!

July 28, 2017


Click to read Taylor’s latest newsletter – Letters to the Editor.

Taylor Mason was phenomenal!

July 5, 2017


From the beginning of this experience, the Grable group was a pleasure to work with. They answered questions and made the event about as painless as it could be. Taylor Mason was phenomenal! We were advertising and hoping for a night of family fun and relaxation, and Taylor hit it out of the park. He helped in creating an enjoyable, non-threatening atmosphere for the families of our community. I would definitely see him again and would recommend him without reservation.  It was a great night!

Steve Spitzer
Taylorville, IL

Lose the News

July 3, 2017


Lose the NewsMaybe the biggest growth industry in the USA is the news/opinion business. Here’s my guide to success in the ever-expanding 24-hour news cycle. Good luck!

Interrupt loudly and often. Be prepared to cry immediately. Be prepared to bully immediately. Laugh at inopportune moments. Your modus operandi, your motivation, can be summed up thus: you want to radiate darkness the way sun radiates light. Pepper your comments with incomprehensible phrases like, “So with tax reform at an impasse, and healthcare D.O.A., you’re saying a Middle East peace accord will somehow stop crime in Chicago? How, exactly, would that work, sir?” Fabricate sources and statistics and be prepared to spout them when triggered. Use the word “trigger” in place of “caused” or “started.” Make stuff up. Own a purebred Rottweiler and name him “Peacemaker.” Learn to use the word “talent” in all its permutations. Singular (“I am the talent”); plural (“We are the talent”); definite article (“I am the talent, not you.”). Treat staff and techs with disdain, using statements like, “This is not some ego trip, people. This is about War and Peace and Dostoyevsky’s Selfish Steam!” When auditioning go for broke, and say, “I will resign from Amnesty International and Media Matters just to show I can be objective!”

 

Taylor, Franken, Davis, oh my! Taylor’s latest newsletter.

June 5, 2017


View Taylor’s latest newsletter, The Quality of Laughter – a great story involving the Taylor’s brush with the legendary comedy duo, Franken and Davis.

Cool Make-A-Wish Kid

May 24, 2017


Hi Taylor,

We just left the Disney Dream today where we were able to attend two of your shows. In one of the family ones, our daughter, Olivia, joined you on stage and you gave her your puppet LU SEAL. I wanted to extend our thanks. Our family was on the cruise because of Make-A-Wish. Olivia is a Wish kid with a long complicated health history, including cancer and a rare neurological disease that will one day take her life. You had no way of knowing this, but I wanted you to know just how much being on stage and your kind gesture meant to her. It added some extra magic and LU SEAL hasn’t left her side and is currently clutched in her arms as we wait for our plane back to Washington. Thank you for being a kind and intuitive performer. We appreciated the laughter and magic you brought to our family’s vacation. It meant the world to all of us.

Keep up the good work,
Brandon, Julie, Olivia, and Cole
DeCoria Tri-cities, Washington

Thank you again for a very enjoyable and fun evening


Taylor,

I just wanted to thank you again for a very enjoyable and fun evening this past Thursday in Fairfield Glade, TN. It’s very clear from the reception you received and the comments we’ve gotten since that you were an enormous success, and you have enabled FGRS to provide even greater services to our residents. Your considerable skills at the mic and on the keyboard were a real joy to watch, but I was as impressed with your graciousness and personal skills as with your talent. I will be on the lookout for your future bookings and look forward to seeing you again. And, in the event you’re ever hold over at the Crossville Int’l Airport, be sure and give us a call!

Sincerely,
Earl (Roll Tide, Ya’ll!)