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Arts & Entertainment Ventriloquist brings comedy act to Franklin on Friday

Taylor Mason with his friend Paco and others will be at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts Friday, Oct. 26, at 7:30. Visit www.greatmountainmusic.com for more information.Taylor Mason, a world-class ventriloquist and talented musician, will entertain audiences of all ages at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Oct. 26. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $12 each.

Mason was introduced to show business at a very early age by his radio broadcaster father. After a knee injury in college that left him in a ankle to hip cast, he began performing for college functions as a DJ and then as a comedian. During this time, Mason re-discovered a ventriloquist puppet given to him for a 10th-birthday gift by his parents. Honing his skill as a ventriloquist, he combined the puppet, stand-up comedy and music into a sort of one-man variety show.

Mason’s career path since he graduated college in 1979, took him from piano bars, where he used his ventriloquist puppet to heckle the clientele, to being the musical director for The Second City Touring Company in the spring of 1981.

Mason attended The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University earning a Master’s Degree in Advertising in June 1983. During his time at Northwestern, Mason worked as a ventriloquist at Zanies Comedy Club. By the end of 1983 Mason was working full-time in the comedy clubs, getting a full education in comedy writing and performing. Mason became the house emcee at Zanies, created material for his act and set the groundwork for a career. He helped open Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville, Tenn. His act at the time revolved around a wooden-headed classic dummy and the piano. His material was clean and his act was gaining some notice.

Mason worked his way into the emcee position at Catch a Rising Star in New York, and he worked there for three years, 1986-1989.

From 1989-2000, Mason did more than 1500 college shows, and won two “Family Entertainer of The Year” awards. By 1990 Mason began making television appearances on all the popular shows of the day: Evening at the Improv, Comic Strip Live, Caroline's Comedy Hour and MTV Half-Hour Comedy Hour.

In 1990, Mason was the $100,000 grand-prize winner of Star Search, hosted by Ed McMahon, which propelled his career in the comedy world.

Audiences of all ages enjoy Mason’s quick wit, flawless delivery, and polished, clean material. His talents have landed him the opportunity to perform alongside Bill Gaither on his Homecoming Concert Tour and to work extensively with The Disney Cruise Line. He has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, The Sydney Opera House in Australia, at comedy clubs, private parties, and corporations. His latest venture is his very own children’s television program, “Taylor’s Attic.”

This fun-filled, entertaining performance by Taylor Mason is sponsored in part by the Tourism and Development Committee of Franklin and Nantahala.

To purchase tickets to any performance at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, to get more information, or to see a schedule of coming events, go to GreatMountainMusic.com or call (866)273-4615.


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