When Teachers Get Funny: The Wild Tale of Taylor Andrews

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So, here’s an interesting close-to-home (for NYC S&S’ers) of the modern-day conundrum of putting your stuff online in an effort to spread your name and what you do, but how doing so can get you fired.

In a nut shell, comedian, musician, writer, Taylor Andrews posted his “CamGirls Live” video on Pornhub in February 2022. Sometime in March his coworkers (fellow teachers and such) found it. In May, his students found it. In mid-August Taylor gets a letter from the NJ State Board of Examiners stating that his teaching license is being taken away. By mid-December the board sends all their finding to Taylor, and at the end of January just passed he sent in his response to an order to show cause of why he should keep his license.

The song/video is pretty much fun, not offensive and although about a ‘sexual’ subject, is not pornographic. Here Taylor gives us the whole story.

Why did you post the video/song on Pornhub?

I just thought it would be funny to have the credit. I joke and I say that Pornhub is a great marketing tool, but with the way that the videos now have a slideshow of the videos before you even click them, I knew nobody was going to watch my video on there really. I had a thumbnail where the girl in the video had a dildo on her head. But the video still only got maybe 800, I’m pretty sure 750 of those were my former students.  

The statistical likelihood of anyone finding my music on Pornhub was so low, I didn’t really think there would be any repercussions. I posted the video on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram and Pornhub. Even when the video was found, I took it down from every site except Pornhub because I was like, there’s no way my students found it on Pornhub.  Which obviously isn’t true because that’s exactly where they found it.

Take us through the story.

It all happened actually pretty slow. I posted the video in February of 2022, when I was still working as a teacher, a fact that’s pretty important to the rest of the story. My co-workers found the video right away. One of the teachers I guess was like looking me up, which I think is really weird considering the school that I was at was such a large school. I really only had interaction with my subject group, but I remember one day walking into the auditorium for a staff meeting and someone goes, ‘Hey look, it’s the comic!!’  And I just remember thinking I don’t even know who that guy is. 

About a month later I was doing a show and a bunch of my coworkers showed up.  I had no idea any of them knew about anything. They were the only people in the audience which made performing very difficult. I buckled down and did twenty-five minutes of material in front of them, despite being very upset and anxious that I’ve been outed. There’s a pretty hard rule in comedy, which is never let your coworkers know you do stand up.  

The show ended, they gave me a bit of a warning about posting stuff, but I stood by the idea that if I get fired from a job for something I did outside of school, it’s not a job I want to work anyway. Teaching pays terribly, I was on six years of experience, and needed a second job just to afford the rent. 

Anyway, May rolls along and I’m teaching a class. I’m trying to do this activity in my class, and this one girl pulls out her phone and she’s on my comedy Instagram page. She showed me this clip of me doing stand-up. After she showed me the video, I immediately put my IG on private..

Then I just changed my Instagram name a couple days later so my first name wasn’t in it and put the Instagram account back to public. But I kept my last name there and figured that was enough to keep the students at bay. It wasn’t. A couple days later another student was referencing a different Instagram page I had, and I said to her something to the effect of, ‘I recognize that integrating yourselves into your teacher’s lives is fun, but I need you guys to respect my boundaries, I need to be entitled to a private life for my own mental health.’ Or something along those lines. 

Don’t do that. Never be upfront with kids, they’re not adults. 

Not twenty minutes later I get an airdrop from my phone from my own Instagram account. I hear a knock at my door, and then five kids just burst into my room and one kid pulls out his phone and shows me the video. I shut the class down, the period ends, and I just walk into the hallway and students are just howling. Kids are shouting “Dildo man!” And I’m horrified. 

I get a call to the office about five minutes later and the principal asked me, ‘Do you know why you’re here?’ And I explained how I was a musical comedian and I make these videos, and halfway through he stops me and he goes, I appreciate that info, but what about the porn?  

So obviously I explain to him I wasn’t in porn. I’ve never done porn. I’ve never even sent a nude picture. I tried to get them to watch the video, but they were 100% not down to watch it.  My supervisor wasn’t either. In fact, I’m not sure anyone actually watched the video. I don’t blame them since they thought it was porn.

The principal sent me over to the superintendent and the superintendent didn’t even reference the video. He just goes, ‘We can fire you or you can resign.’ They were very professional about the whole thing. I was not. I was still acting like a comedian. I said ‘Hey man, before I choose, could you tell me if you liked the video?!’ He liked the video; I needed the ego-boost.

I spent most of May and June really freaking out. I did not have nearly enough money saved up, but in July I started freelance video editing. The skills I learned from making the music videos actually got me into it. I also accepted another teaching job. I ended up leaving there over some contractual issues.

Sometime in August I got a letter in the mail saying my teaching license was going to be taken away. At the time I was really upset. But after the last teaching job I took, I realized I don’t want to be in the profession anyway because there’s a lot of things I don’t agree with in the teaching world.

Anyway, the letter I got in August didn’t have any of the evidence, so I was granted adjournment until the files were given. I got the files in January and I wrote my defense for why I should keep my license. Given the timelines, it seems that every step in the process takes about 3-4 months, so I’m hoping this gets sorted out by June or July.

Music and comedy, peaceful bedfellows or…?

There’s a large stigma against music in the stand-up comedy community. Music comedy is one of those things that every time you see it you either groan or you fall in love with it, which makes it hard to break into the NYC scene. Although that’s true, I’ve slaughtered rooms before with the music, especially on the road, and there’s not one person in the world right now that’s doing music comedy the way that I’m doing it. I believe my unique style is going to be the thing that separates me from the herd.    

What does the immediate future hold as far as what you most want to do?

Right now, I want to continue developing my material and working towards being undeniably funny. When I look back at my older material, I can see my writing continues to improve. I want to be funny before I become famous, if fame is in my future.  

Any last words on all of this?

I think our private lives and work lives should be completely separate, it’s criminal that we’ve allowed as a society for that to not be the case; I stand by that to this day.

For more information, you can find all things Taylor Andrews here: beardudeproductions.org

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