About The Egg Man

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Alan Traynor has resided in Orlando, FL, since 1989. Just before Easter, 1991, he attempted to paint an eggshell for a friend who collects eggs. Finding real eggs too fragile, but fascinated with nature's perfect shape, Alan began to paint wooden eggs, and "one thing led to thousands." More on that later!

A graduate of St. Louis University High School in his hometown of St Louis, MO, Alan has always enjoyed drawing and painting (though his formal training was a mere two junior-college semesters of fine art.) After attending the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, Alan spent most of his professional life as a stage manager in the theater.

Alan's professional theater career began in 1980 when he stage managed a national tour of "Makin Whoopee" starring Imogene Coca. Next, he worked for two years as resident stage manager at Westport Playhouse in St. Louis, then moved to New York to work with the Mirror Repertory Company. Having worked off-Broadway and Broadway, he is proudest of the 10 productions he stage managed with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. He is pleased to have worked with such names as Kevin Kline, Geraldine Page, Cloris Leachman, Brad Davis, F. Murray Abraham, Jane Powell, Cyd Charisse, Joel Gray, Phyllis Diller, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and David Hyde Pierce.

In 1989 he was recruited to work as a stage manager for the Walt Disney Company in Florida, where he worked with a mouse, a duck, and some chipmunks. It was while there that he began egg painting, and in July of 1993 he left his management position with Disney to devote full time to his passion for painting eggs. He has never regretted that decision. Known widely as The Egg Man, Alan has found his fulfillment. Alan's eggs have been featured since 1991 in galleries and shops across the United States from Key West to California, and over 50,000 EggMan Eggs are known to be in collections as widespread as Japan, Holland, Portugal, Germany, and Kenya. Alan has appeared for over 70 multi-day events as a guest artist at Walt Disney World Gift Shops. For a listing of Alan's art show appearances in Florida and St Louis, please see
"Schedule Page" .

Alan comes by his theatrical nature and his "eggcentricity" naturally. His grandmother's great-aunt was Rose Coghlan, who was a very well-known Broadway star in the 1880s! Alan's father, Carl Traynor, was a professional circus clown before he married, and he toured the country with the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Carl met Eileen McCalpin while both were performing in amateur theater groups in Chicago, and they were married just after WWII. Carl was a fine character actor, also gifted with a remarkable talent for make-up. Eileen was a gifted comedienne, known for her brilliant timing and expressive face. Alan's grandfather built a complete working stage in the basement of the family home in St. Louis, with real curtains, lights, and scenery. Before Alan was born, the family presented amateur theatricals on that stage. Carl and Eileen raised Alan in a theatrical atmosphere, as all three Traynors were very active in the Southtown Players, a prominent St. Louis community theater group. In addition, all three were very involved with the venerable Goldenrod Showboat on the St. Louis riverfront over a time span of about 30 years. Alan's summer job during high school was as a scenic artist at the St Louis Muny Opera, the world's largest outdoor theater, where the scenery is 40 feet high. There he painted giant, now he paints miniature! Alan's parents have now passed on, but neither would be surprised to see their son's shenanigans (they'd call it Showmanship!) as he cavorts and --well, clowns around! -- at art shows and guest artist appearances. It's ALL show biz, isn't it?!

On what started all this Egg Biz, Alan says:
It's incredible, how I got started painting eggs.
My dear friend Frances Smith, with whom I'd worked at the New York Shakespeare Festival, was coming to visit me in Florida just before Easter, 1991, and I decided to paint one real egg as a gift to her. I broke several egg shells trying to blow the insides out. Finally I managed to paint a simple floral design on an egg shell, and promptly dropped it off the table the next day and broke it. I tried again and broke another shell. Now, I might so easily have thrown the shells away and bought her a chocolate bunny, and you wouldn't be reading this story. But because of Frances' incredible sense of humor, I wrapped the broken shells in a gift box and gave them to Frances, saying, "Happy Easter. I tried." But when she saw the broken egg shells, Frances said, "Why don't you paint me a wooden egg?" If Frances were here, she would correct me as she did so many times. According to Frances, her exact words were "Why don't you paint me a wooden egg, dumbshit?"

And thus, in 1991, one sentence changed my life.

Sadly, Frances Smith passed away many years ago. But she is lovingly remembered by legions of theatre folk as a truly professional "Goddess of Props" who loved her work and the people she worked with. She was also a prankster, and her backstage hijinks were famous, and made us love her more.  She was always starting something.  Well, Frances, look what you started this time!

Thank you, Frances.


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