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Keeping it fresh: Comic says using new material is ‘like swimming in the deep end’

Comedian Taylor Williamson will perform four shows at The Stage at Santa Ana Star. (Courtesy of The Stage at Santa Ana Star)

These days, Taylor Williamson’s plate is full.

It’s just the way he likes it.

The comedian has been riding high since appearing on “America’s Got Talent” in the seventh season and taking the runner-up spot in the competition.

“It’s been fun,” he says. “This year, I’m going to Italy to do some USO (United Service Organizations) shows.”

The comedian’s tour will also bring him to New Mexico for the first time. He will perform two shows each on Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15.

“I’ve always wanted to perform there,” he says. “New Mexico is one of the few states I haven’t had shows in. That will change.”

Williamson has been working in stand-up comedy since he was in high school in Southern California.

Aside from being on “America’s Got Talent,” Williamson also competed in the TV series “Last Comic Standing” and was eliminated in the semifinals.

Williamson has performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, and he was the youngest comedian ever to perform on “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.”

He also has a comedy album called “Laughter? I Hardly Know Her!,” and his first comedy special, “Please Like Me,” is streaming on Amazon Prime.

But it was on “America’s Got Talent” that he began to shine.

After his stint on the seventh season, Williamson was brought back for the 10th anniversary show, in which he was named as judge Heidi Klum’s all-time favorite act.

“I never expected any of this,” he says. “Being on the show opened so many doors for me, because I was put in front of millions of fans. When I auditioned, I had zero dollars in the bank. If I wasn’t desperate, I wouldn’t have ever done the show.”

Williamson recalls his first time on stage when he was a teenager.

“I was crazy enough that I wanted to get up in front of strangers,” he says. “The first time, it went really well. The second time, it went bad in a matter of minutes. After both of those experiences, I knew I wanted to pursue this for a living.”

As Williamson’s profile continues to rise in comedy, he works constantly on new material.

“You have to keep moving forward,” he says. “You can’t rely on using old material because once it’s recorded and put online, you have to come up with something new. It’s like swimming in the deep end. There are a lot of people starting in comedy. But I see my career more as a privilege than a chore. I love it.”

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