Meet Vancouver-based actor Brendan Taylor.
Brendan is currently appearing in Raul Sanchez Inglis’ For The Record (Apr 15-17) at Railtown Actors Studio. In For the Record, a young construction worker finds himself the victim of a police interrogation. While trying to piece together his memory of the drunken night before he claims innocence, while the two detectives look to force a confession from him.
Meet Brendan Taylor
Once a shy kid from the North Shore, Brendan found joy and fun in high school acting classes. He showed an aptitude, but kept it on the back-burner while he went to UBC, where he struggled to fit in. During his final year he found an acting class outside his university classes where he found that feeling of belonging.
Tired of being a poor student all his life, Brendan got a job in set decoration on the movie The Wickerman starring Nicholas Cage through his mother who is also in the film industry. That job led to a 10+ year career in set decorating, working on dozens of feature films, television series, movies-of-the-week, and commercials, which provided him with a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to bring to his acting once he began to pursue it full time down the road.
In 2008 Brendan met Kate Twa, who now co-operates Railtown Actors Studio with John Cassini, and whom he’s studied with since. He owes the wealth of his growth and experience to her and his good friend and Director Anthony Shim, whom he also met through Kate, and is currently directing For The Record, an original play by the newly formed Railtown Lab.
Anthony, Brendan and several other good friends formed Blind Pig Theatre in 2010, and have self-produced seven plays together, while Brendan has lent a hand with production design, set decoration and construction and has starred in five out of the seven. Favourite roles include Buff in Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia, the inaugural play at the Blake Snyder Theatre at Go Studios where they built a convenience store on stage, and as Frankenstein’s Creature in a version of Frankenstein.
Brendan has worked frequently in commercials in the past couple years in Vancouver, and has landed some fun roles on such shows as The CW’s Supernatural and FX’s Fargo. His last appearance on stage was in Piranha Club, an original three-hander written by friends Charlie Kerr and Bryce Hodgson in April 2015.
20 Questions with Brendan Taylor
1. Your first job.
My first real job was for College Pro Painting. Definitely a dirty, tiring job, but I learned a lot of hands-on skills as well as managerial skills by the end of the summer when I was a foreman for my crew. Just me, my friends, and the homeowners who were pretty cool, with the occasional paint delivery by my boss, who made me pay for a broken skylight. I’m making just above minimum wage to risk my life on a 40 foot ladder, c’mon already.
2. The job you always wanted as a child.
I wanted to be a pro golfer. But after turning 19 and no longer getting the youth discount, plus the fact that even if you’re a scratch player, you might be able to teach golf at a driving range. It’s that competitive.
3. Your pet peeve.
Cab drivers who pull over wherever they feel like it, giving rides to people before I get a chance to clear off my passenger seat – no, don’t just shovel it on the floor, thanks. And olives on my pizza. Or anywhere. Just keep them away from me.
4. Your hero.
Travellers. People who not only aren’t afraid to explore new places and things, but are excited about it … and actually do it.
5. Your biggest indulgence.
Dark chocolate. And car parts. It just never stops. $300 for that upgrade? No problem! $50 for a pair of shorts or a concert ticket? Hmm, I’m gonna have to think this through…
6. One thing no one knows about you.
I’m right-handed, but left-footed. So … you know … ladies…
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
YouTube access. Sunscreen, assuming said island is sunny. A private airplane to fly in friends and enjoy my private island fortress. Am I doing this right?
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
9. If you were not pursuing a career as an actor, what would you be doing right now?
I’d be a mechanic or race car driver and build and race cars all day long. The single funnest moment I ever had was on a racetrack in my GT-R. Working on my car or motorcycle is my zen activity, but I wish I had more skills, tools, and space.
10. Hero or villain?
Who would I like to be? A hero. Who do I want to play? A villain. It’s just more fun and interesting to go into the mind of a villain and think on their level.
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
12. Your favourite movie.
This is a tough one, but I’m gonna have to say Spaceballs. The foundation for my sense of humour. That and The Simpsons, early episodes, of course. So glad my parents let me watched inappropriate things at a young age.
13. The last book you read.
Uta Hagen’s Respect For Acting. Always good to go back to basics, if you find yourself wavering, or if you’re right on point.
14. If you were a cartoon character what cartoon character would you be and why?
Growing up I always wanted to be Gambit from the X-Men. He’s a badass, plays by his own rules, has questionable morals but always follows his heart. And he has a wicked Cajun accent. Why would I be him? Because I can’t really be classified as a bad-ass if I complain about olives on my pizza.
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
Goonies never say die! (Ancient pirate treasure buried here).
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Tom Hanks. I would love to have had pretty much every role he’s ever done. Seems like a really cool guy. He would have just the best stories.
17. Your idea of happiness.
Traveling to Croatia or somewhere to work on Game of Thrones. Coming back to New York to do a play on Broadway. Heading to Hollywood to write, act in and direct a comedy film with some great people. Coming home to Vancouver to a series regular TV role. Get up and do it all over again.
18. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
My perseverance. It’s taken a lot of sacrifice and has been quite an emotional and difficult personal journey to get to where I am. More than most people around me know. And for the first time this past year I’ve seen the results of my perseverance. I often have to stop to appreciate and reflect on what I’ve done, and what I’m able to do.
19. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20-year old self?
My 20-year old self had the best year of his life; he was lucky enough to live in Paris on exchange for a year. So I would tell him to keep his love of travelling alive. And maybe take acting more seriously a little sooner than you did, because you could have made better use of your mid-twenties, you dumb ass.
20. To be or not to be?
I hope you know that Shakespeare had a pretty filthy mind, so I’m just gonna take this one on face value: You gotta just be. Because not being gets you nothing. Be kind. Be open. Be courageous. Be yourself. No one else is gonna do it for you.