Alumnus releases debut comedy album
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Taylor Johnson released his debut comedy album "Don’t Panic" on January 4, 2013. The album is now available on iTunes.
Johnson says, “When I first began attending SAGU, my dream was to graduate with my own stand-up album. I thought it was impossible. I don’t know how, but everything lined up perfectly during my last semester of school.”
In September 2012, Johnson, SAGU professor Garland Owensby and SAGU alumnus Wade Bearden organized a night of comedy in Waxahachie. They performed two shows on Sept. 21, 2012. Johnson and Owensby both recorded albums of the performances.
Johnson became interested in stand-up comedy during high school. He performed his first stand-up comedy routine at a school variety show. When he turned 18, he began performing at open mic night at a local comedy club.
During his freshman year at SAGU, Johnson met Owensby, a traveling speaker and stand-up comedian. Johnson began traveling and performing with Owensby at speaking and comedy events. Owensby recommended Johnson to the After Hours Improv Theater in Waxahachie for stand-up comedy on Friday nights. Soon Johnson began traveling on his own.
Johnson is from San Antonio, Texas. He began attending SAGU as a drama major and graduated in Dec. 2013. He recalls, “When I walked across the stage at graduation to shake President Bridges’ hand, I said to him, ‘Your school changed my life.’ And that is true.”
Johnson explains, “Originally, I hadn’t even wanted to attend college. Now, I am grateful that I did. SAGU provided me with so many opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
While at SAGU, Johnson participated in the traveling drama group Dramatic Pause, the traveling stand-up comedy team Students of Comedy, Southwestern Live productions, numerous SAGU Theatre productions, and SAGU student films. Johnson directed Southwestern Live for three semesters. He wrote a script that was adapted for the student film "Under the Sun," and co-wrote the play "Humbug" with SAGU student Seth Urbina.
SAGU professors deeply impacted Johnson. “Dr. Garland Owensby and Dr. Clancy Hayes were major influences in my life,” Johnson says. “Owensby helped me begin my career as a speaker and comedian. Hayes is genuinely interested in his students. He welcomed my questions and answered each one like it was the first time he had heard it. He challenged me to examine my beliefs and why I believe them.”