FARMINGTON — For his 10th birthday, Taylor Mason's parents gave him a puppet, unknowingly launching a career in ventriloquism.
Mason will be coming to Farmington on Oct. 8 to perform at the Farmington Civic Center.
While the puppet inspired his career, Mason had been exposed to ventriloquy long before he received the puppet.
His parents were both fans of ventriloquist and radio performer Edgar Bergen.
"In the comedy world, he was the Robin Williams of his time," Mason said.
Mason taught himself to throw his voice and, in the early 1980s, he began to perform.
"I think of myself as a comedian who uses ventriloquy and doesn't curse on stage," Mason said.
Mason said he feels like it would be hypocritical for him to curse on stage because he has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and because he feels like curse words are substitutes for real comedy.
"To me, four letter words are like a comedy adjective," he said, explaining that comedians throw them in places to make things funny that might not have otherwise been found funny.
Mason has two puppets, Romeo and Paco.
He said Romeo is a boy who is sort of bitter, although Mason had originally meant him to be a scarecrow based on the one in the "Wizard of Oz."
Paco, on the other hand, is a pig and an attorney.
"Not that all pigs are attorneys. Not that all attorneys are swine," Mason said. "But mine is."
During the program, which is put on by the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage & Family, Paco and Romeo will address marriage-based topics.
"I think of marriage as a giant jigsaw puzzle," Mason said. "All the pieces are sky blue. All the pieces are the same size and you have to get them to fit together."
While neither puppet has been married, Mason himself is married and has two children.
"Love is blind," Mason said. "Marriage is an eye-opener."
Mason said people who attend the event will enjoy comedy, music, ventriloquism and mayhem.
"I have a superpower called ventriloquism," Mason said. "I have chosen to use it for good rather than evil."
What: An evening with Taylor Mason
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 8
Where: Farmington Civic Center
Cost: $15 per person, or $25 per couple. Tickets are available at the Civic Center, KNMI Vertical Radio, KPCL Passion Radio or iTicket.com.
More info: www.FCCMF.org or 505-599-1148