I first started doing interviews in 2006, when I started writing for RetroJunk. Over the course of almost 9 years, I’ve interviewed a wide variety of amazing performers and behind-the-scenes talents who made an impression on me and the pop culture I love so much. I also have the good fortune of being friends with many of these performers on Facebook. This is what makes this article so hard to write. I’ve paid tribute on here to Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, but I never had the chance to speak to either of them. Taylor Negron, on the other hand, was a man I was fortunate enough to speak to.
In 2010, I did an e-mail interview with Taylor Negron. He was a face I had seen in movies like “The Last Boy Scout” and “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”, and getting answers to my questions about his life and career was quite a treat. He had a brilliant way with words, a sense of humor that could be wicked or sweet, depending on the situation, and a good spirit. I came to see all these things, not only through an interview, but through being his friend on Facebook. I’m just a retail worker who writes for fun in his spare time, but I would wish him a Happy Spring or a Merry Christmas, and he would respond in kind. He was that kind of a man…You could be an Oscar-winning movie star, or an average young guy in a small town, and he would treat you as an equal.
To me, the way he spoke to both the famous and the regular was an extension of the characters he played. As he was fond of saying: “I am the postman. I am the man who delivered your pizza. I am the gang member. I am the man that kidnapped your daughter at gunpoint. I’m a nanny. I am a stylist for mice. I am your shrink…I am the groom and the maid of honor”. By playing such a wide variety of roles, whether they were small or big, he developed a connection to humanity in all its’ forms.
I didn’t know that when I interviewed Taylor in 2010 that he was 2 years deep into a battle with cancer. His answers to my questions and the status updates he posted showed a man who, even when facing a demon, had a razor wit and dozens of amazing stories to tell. I had occasionally mentioned that he should write a book, and while that book will never be written, a look at his interviews, his stories, his speaking engagements, his stand-up comedy, his entire body of work, can piece together an entertainment industry story like no other.
When I saw so many of Taylor’s friends posting on his wall, I thought they were saluting him, and they were, but for a reason that shocked me, and pissed me off when I found out. I wasn’t angry at Taylor…I was angry at what took his life. Cancer…The same disease that took my Mom’s life, that took the life of a Facebook friend named Ali Summers who created the first project I ever backed on Kickstarter, that took the lives of so many of the performers whose work I love and admire. I know this sounds selfish, but to me, cancer is more selfish than any human being can be.
Cancer is a demon that comes in multiple forms, and in its’ sick and twisted mutations, has claimed the lives of so many wonderful, amazing, good-hearted, loving people. This demon took Taylor Negron’s body, but it could never take his soul. His good spirit, his kindness, his humor…It lives on in his work, in his writing, in the YouTube videos of his interviews and his stand-up and his monologues, and in the hearts of everybody who crossed his path.
Taylor Negron was an amazing man, and he will be missed. It was my good fortune to know him in the world of cyberspace for several years, and even though I’ll never be able to speak to him again, I’ll still keep him as one of my Facebook friends. I’ll look at his status updates and see a man who lived an amazing life, and is no doubt having even more amazing adventures in Heaven right now.