Dan Taylor: “Comedy is curated to provoke an emotional reaction.”
Dan Taylor performed comedy with Heart of the City in 2018 and 2019.
Dan, a resident of McCauley who is currently pursuing his Masters in Theology, started doing comedy in 2011. “I started doing comedy because I got out of doing social work and got into doing full-time church ministry. It was easy to be always around people who believed exactly as I believed, and that’s just not a healthy thing for people in ministry. I like to be around people who are challenging me. So I started doing comedy. I started doing it at an opportune time because it was a boom time again and especially for corporate comedy in the city. I started in December and in a couple of months, I was getting paid gigs because I had a clean 20 minutes and that was really valuable at the time. I stuck with it. I love the people, I love the venues. I do love the art form.”
When I asked Dan if he considers himself an artist he said, “I really prefer the analogy of craftsperson because comedy has to work in the same way that a table has to function as a table. If a carpenter or a craftsperson is making a table, they can make that table as beautiful as possible but if it doesn’t work as a table, if your coffee slides off, then it doesn’t work. I think by the same token comedy is a craft in that it has to make people laugh and if it doesn’t make people laugh that is the equivalent of a table that’s slanted.”
Dan started a podcast in his COVID-19 spare time called “Holy Sh*t.” “Basically, it is an adult Bible study with a comedian,” he explains. “I tell a story from the Bible in its unedited form. Most Bible stories that people are familiar with have been distilled for children. These stories are so old and influential. The conversation that we then have is, what does this story mean for us now and if we should just get rid of it altogether. There are some stories that could be thrown away, there are some that should be kept, and some that we should amplify.”
Dan Taylor recently performed at The Grindstone Theatre’s Re-Set Festival. In addition to listening to his podcast, you may be able to find Dan at one of the city’s open stages, like The Grindstone Theatre’s Wednesday night open stage.
Corine Demas serves as volunteer Vice President and Spoken Word Director of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton. Corine is passionate about poetry, storytelling, and her city, Edmonton.