Eastern Carolina Style Interviews: America’s Got Talent Finalist – Taylor Williamson

Posted: December 20, 2013 by MichaelSmithNC in All, Comedy, Interview, Stand-Up
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Since 2006 NBC’s America’s Got Talent has featured some truly wonderful performers. Season 8, which concluded on September 18th, was the first season to feature a dance act as it’s winner. Before Kenichi Ebina was announced as the winner he had to face some very stiff competition by a fresh faced comedian by the name of Taylor Williamson, the eventual first runner-up.

On New Year’s Eve Taylor will be performing 3 shows at Goodnight’s Comedy Club in Raleigh. Tickets are available HERE.

To help get the word out about his style of comedy and the upcoming Raleigh , NC tour date , Taylor spoke at length with me about his performance style and what drives him.

MAS – You have one of the best deliveries and most unique overall performance styles. Where did that come from? How did you develop that character? That can’t be natural…

Taylor Williamson – People say that kind of stuff to me, I don’t know if I should be offended or what. I am just being myself, I’m sorry.

MAS – You have that total package, the jokes you tell are very smart. In one of your routines you make a joke about illegal aliens, if you were not paying attention to political or current events, you wouldn’t have gotten that joke. You have the wit the facial expressions the deadpan delivery just the whole package. That had to take some development. Is that truly your personality?

Taylor Williamson – {Laughs} Yeah, It’s not like I am going to lie to you the first time and then on the second question say ‘No’. But yeah, it took ten years of working in comedy to figure out what to do with it, you know? But Yeah, I’m just weird, I’m sorry.

MAS – Don’t be sorry, you have a gift

Taylor Williamson –Thanks

MAS – I was doing some reading about you and I saw in an interview that you did a while back that you were in college, dropped out. You went out to say that you then found yourself surrounded by 40 year old comedians to better the craft. Tell me a little about that experience. What were some of the things you picked up, how did that develop you?

Taylor Williamson – What I learned from hanging out with creepy 40 year old comedians, um…. Don’t do drugs? I really don’t know what I am supposed to say.

Taylor Williamson – The good thing about being in LA, I got to be surrounded by some really amazing comedians at a young age. I mean I’m in LA; I get to see the best comedians in the world. I got to hang out with them, I got to stand in the circle with them as they talked to their friends, and they didn’t kick me out of the circle. Be a comic with them let me watch really amazing comics every night, so that was pretty special.

MAS – I also read somewhere that you were having a pretty tough go at it for a while there, and then you caught a break with America’s Got Talent. I have to think that you have been able to reap some serious rewards from that. Is there anything new that you have gotten into since you were on America’s Got Talent?

Taylor Williamson – It’s been kinda non-stop. Right after the show ended, like a few days later, we had to go do this two-month long tour that was so much fun. Then right after that I jumped right into my own solo tour, that’s what I am doing right now. That tour is what is bringing me to Raleigh; I’m in Sarasota right now. I am doing comedy clubs non-stop. I am working on a comedy special and some other TV stuff that is definitely happening. But the thing that is current is the comedy tour. That is special, I get to go to all these cities and have people come out. I get to meet the people who are the reason that I am here. They voted for me and supported me, it’s really amazing. Crazy.

MAS – The support that I have seen for you has been almost overwhelming. To think that someone who was almost ready to hang it up would get this type of resurgence. I went to your YouTube channel and listened to your “Video Thingee”, which I found very funny. You have tens of thousands of people viewing that, which is impressive. What do you attribute your success to? How have you built your connection to your audience?

Taylor Williamson – I don’t know, by the way, I was never going to quit. There was a misquote in some articles. I was never ever going to quit comedy. I was going to have to get a day job for sure. So I was going to quit {Laughs}….not working.

Taylor Williamson – I don’t know why people like me, I really appreciate it though.  It’s really funny that for all the things that people in this industry told me that reason why that I am not good enough are all the reasons why people like me now. It’s really nice, I can just be myself. Maybe it is because I am an underdog. Maybe because I am really handsome, I guess.

MAS – What was the AGT quote? “Awkward Cute, Dorky Comedian?” That did endear you to a good number of the population.

Taylor Williamson – Yeah, {Laughs} I don’t know why people like me, but I appreciate it. I just get to be myself. It is kind of nice; amazing actually. It sounds so ridiculous, but I am so appreciative. I have gone from, “I have no career” to “I have all my dreams coming true” in just a few months.

MAS – Where do you see your career going from here? I know you said you are doing the tour now, but big picture, maybe take a step back, what do you see next for yourself? What do you hope is next for yourself?

Taylor Williamson – I hope to have the comedy special filmed really soon, and maybe get a sit-com. That’s the goal. I am working towards that, some bad TV show that I can star in. That would be fun.

MAS – I think you would do very well on a sit-com, with your delivery. You would just do exceedingly well; I see that being really funny.

Taylor Williamson – Thanks a lot, I think so. The goal is just to keep making people laugh and if I can do it in different ways. I don’t know; it’s fun. I’m so lucky to have been given this opportunity. I’m going to do my best to keep it going.

MAS – If you had any advice to any up-and-coming comedian that may be hitting a rough spot, what would it be?

Taylor Williamson – If you really love it, stick with it. I had the worst year of my career.  I had ONE OF the worst years of my career. I just had a really really bad year, the year before all my dreams come true. I got rejected by every single thing that I would ever want to do the year before the best few months of my career. If you really love it, just keep working hard and let the rejection fuel you and make you want to prove people wrong and prove yourself. If someone says that “I don’t want to work with you’ or “I don’t like you” or “you’re not good”; that is just their opinion. All you need is one person to like you. So for all the people that have rejected you, realize that you could have a million people reject you and one really cool person to like you to give you a career. Thankfully my cool people were like Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Mel B. If you love it and you are good at it, work really hard to stick with it and keep having fun the whole time. You never know who is going to be in the audience and who is going to see you.


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