If you are in the gay entertainment industry in Florida or are friends with someone who is, you have undoubtedly heard of Bob Taylor. Even if I didn’t know him personally, by just listening to the queens talk about him it is clear he is a giving, caring, wonderful man who gives all he can emotionally and financially to the art of female impersonation.
If you are in the gay entertainment industry in Florida or are friends with someone who is, you have undoubtedly heard of Bob Taylor. Even if I didn’t know him personally, by just listening to the queens talk about him it is clear he is a giving, caring, wonderful man who gives all he can emotionally and financially to the art of female impersonation. In addition to being a male entertainer and having judged numerous pageants, Bob is the owner and operator of Miss Florida USofA, Miss Florida USofA Classic, Miss Florida USofA at Large and Miss Florida USofA Newcomer. This weekend he will be in Texas for the Miss Gay USofA and Classic pageants as he is taking his winners Amy Demilo and Danielle Hunter to compete. When he returns to Florida he will be finishing up the last details of his next 2 pageants. Miss Florida USofA Newcome, which will be on Sunday, June 20th and the Miss Florida USofA at Large on Sunday, August 15th. All of Bob’s pageants take place at the Honey Pot in GaYBOR.
What was the first drag show you saw? Tell me about that experience?
I was underage and friends in high school took me to Savannah. Lady Chablis was performing and I was totally shocked at what I was witnessing. She then found me in the audience and took me up on stage and totally embarrassed me! It was all in fun, of course, but I was literally terrified of her. However, something about that night made me want to learn more about drag. The next year, I attended the Miss Florida FI pageant and met Candi Stratton. I was completely thrown off course by her because no one could convince me that she was a male!
How did you get involved in the entertainment industry and what was your first cast position?
Funny story! I was at Rene’s in Tampa. I was a college student and was out dancing. Tiffani Middlesexx saw me on the dance floor with my shirt off and, of course, darted directly toward me. She asked me if I enjoyed dancing and if I would be interested in auditioning for a position as a backup dancer for her show and for the opening of the Miss Florida FI Pageant. I tried out, got the job and began working on the cast a week later.
How did you get involved with judging?
Being that I was always around the pageants and shows, Dan Frazer, who was manager at Southern Nights in Orlando, asked me to judge his Miss Florida USA Pageant. He gave me the first opportunity to see things from the “other side” of the table. Ironically, I now own and produce the Miss FL USofA Pageant and its other divisions. Matter of fact, this weekend, Amy Demilo (Miss Florida USofA 2010) and Danielle Hunter (Miss Florida USofA Classic 2010) will be competing in Dallas for the titles of Miss Gay USofA and Miss Gay USofA Classic.
How many pageants have you judged and how many of them have been national pageants?
Oh, geez! I don’t know how many I have judged…probably well over a hundred! But, yes, I have judged many national contests. Miss EOY four times in a row, Miss USofA at Large, Miss National, Worlds Most Beautiful Transsexual, Miss Renaissance! I have also judged at least one prelim to every national system in this country.
What is your favorite pageant moment of all time that you were at? Saw on video?
My favorite pageant moment is when Tasha Long won Miss National. The reason is because that particular year there were some amazing legends in the pageant; Dana Douglas and Tiffany Arieagus to name a few! Expectations were that one of those two would win and Tasha came out of nowhere and totally turned it out…and won! My favorite moment that I only saw on video was when this now deceased entertainer, Tandi Iman, dropped out of the ceiling at a pageant a few years ago held in Atlanta. That was the best entrance by any entertainer…EVER!
I know a lot of female impersonators are part of your extended family, but which ones are you the closest to?
I do have a very large extended family. I was raised to believe in family values! Being gay, I decided to have my own “gay family” so that I could help guide others with the knowledge that was taught to me. I am closest to Shawnna Brooks, Tina Devore, Middlesexx, Tiffany McCray, Cezanne, Dana Douglas, Candi Stratton, Champagne Bordeaux, Tajma Hall, Lakesha Lucky and Shae Shae Lareese.
You are affectionately known as the “Drag Daddy.” How do you feel about that?
Honestly? I’m honored! However, at first, it made me feel kind of old! What thrills me is that my kids feel that I am in a position to enhance their lives! I hope that I am doing right by all of them! I believe that everyone needs guidance just as I did when I was a young and up and coming member of this industry.
Who are you favorite entertainers of all time?
Oh, wow! They are all my favorite…for different reasons. However, If I had to choose….I would say Tasha Long, Monice Munro, Electra, Whitney Paige, Tiffany McCray, Nikki Adams, Shawnna Brooks, Tandi Andrews, Candi Stratton…just to name a few! These entertainers all captivate me with their amazing beauty and unique talents!
In your opinion, who is the most underrated entertainer currently?
Hmm…..without a doubt I would have to say Noel Leon from Miami. I can see this wonderful and humble person inside of her! She is such a lady and so classy! I have watched her for a couple of years now and she is always the same person each time I see her. I am sure that she is destined for great things and I hope that I get to be a part of it!
What do you like more: judging, entertaining or promoting?
I like promoting the best. It gives me the opportunity to educate others and show them that there are good people out there that only want the best for them without having ulterior motives. I gain nothing from guiding others except, perhaps, personal satisfaction that I may have somehow made a difference in their lives.
Tell me something about Bob Taylor people don’t know.
Thats funny! The whole world seems to know EVERYTHING about me! But…I think that maybe people dont really know that I am a very insecure person! I always have been!
What’s ahead for Drag Daddy Taylor?
Good question, Scott. The near future looks pretty bright. I plan on relocating back to Tampa Bay. Not sure exactly when yet…but will be doing that sometime soon. My partner of 13 years, Scott Cammack, died last year from heart problems and I am still dealing with lots of issues with his estate. Seems that we gay folks can never get a break when our loved ones pass away. That’s why it is so important to speak out and make this country listen to our needs! NOH8 is a very powerful message and I hope that everyone reading this has had their photo taken and uploaded it for all to see. Join the cause!
For more information on Bob Taylor or any of the pageants he produces go to Facebook.com/MrBobTaylor or MySpace.com/mrbobtaylor