Thoughts from Cat:
I guess you could say I’m a Renaissance woman (pun intended), I’m a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, entertainment director for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, a professional musician, created a Celtic dance stage show and was vice president of Aeronaut Productions, creators of the museum exhibit “Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination”.
As a violinist I learned to blend the right brain with the left, the analytical with the artistic. I think this is why I enjoy helping arts-oriented micro-businesses put their business puzzle pieces together, figure out their finances and stay on top of them. Much the same can be said of the Dickens Fair, where I put together the stage schedules and budgets and at the same time work with directors and performers to create our immersive version of Victorian London. And I’m just beginning the creation of LifeFaire.org to help all these folks and more put together the puzzle pieces of the business of life.
A Little Background:
A small town girl from Mill Valley, CA, Cat earned a BA in music from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and went into retail and then banking as she pursued her musical studies and performances. Ever the lover of costumed historical events, her participation in the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and Dickens Christmas Fair eventually lead to a position as Music and Dance Director for the Living History Centre, producer of those events. Inspired to learn Celtic music, she and fellow fiddler Heather Alexander formed pioneering Celtic-Fusion band Phoenyx, whose only album “Keepers of the Flame” is still a cult favorite.
Further musical adventures included everything from orchestras and Celtic balladeers to blues and rock & roll. In 1992 Cat joined Kym Trippsmith to form the funky blues-folk-rock band “Amazon Queen” performing all over the greater West Coast “intriguing audiences with their wild style and multi-layered musical brilliance”. Cat’s playing inspired this quote form a reviewer “”Her profound commitment to music creates unique solos that defy gravity, creating what has been called a sonic-liquid sound”. She also performed and recorded with Celtic-Middle-Eastern-tribal-trance-dance ensemble Haunted By Waters, gypsy jazz-ers Go Van Gogh, and was featured on a number of albums including those by Tim Gorman, Dave Crimmen, Bob Madsen and Nancy Freeman. In 2004 she went back to her classical roots and joined forces with San Francisco’s Symphony Parnassus, with whom she played for four years. Cat joined purveyors of Celtic-Medieval Progressive Rock “Avalon Rising” in 1997 and performed with them at festivals up and down the West Coast and in China through 2013.
Composition credits include Shanachie: The Challenge of the Sidhe, the Irish step-dance show that Cat produced, directed, wrote, and played in at faires and festivals throughout California, as well as recorded compositions for Phoenyx and Avalon Rising. She has also served as musical director and arranger for shows such as Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”. Film credits include accounting work on the documentary “Blink” for PBS and Thompson Productions and set costuming for “Keep the Gas Light Burning”. Published articles include “Music in the Palm of Your Hand” for Electronic Musician Magazine and a review of Gig Logic Gig-O-Rama 2.0 in Onstage Magazine.Cat has also been a clinician for Zeta Music and an endorsing artist for D’Addario Strings, Zeta Music, and Prodikeys.
In 1994 Cat created “Cat Taylor Bookkeeping” and is a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor specializing in de-panicking micro-businesses with QuickBooks. She supports multiple versions of QuickBooks Online and desktop. She also served as Finance Director for “As You Like It Productions”, next generation producers of the Dickens Christmas Fair and Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faires.