Brendan Taylor has a sporting chance at 30 seconds of Super Bowl limelight -- and a $1,000,000 cash prize. Taylor, a UBC alumnus, recently starred in a Doritos commercial that has bested 4,900 other entries to earn a spot as one of ten finalists in an advertisement contest.
The commercial shows Taylor smugly refusing to share his Doritos unless pigs fly. A kid versed in engineering, however, quickly works on getting a pig airborne. Aptly entitled "When Pigs Fly," Taylor’s submission is campy, compelling and looks poised to take first place.
Although Taylor dabbled in acting at a young age, it was not until recently that he decided to pursue a career on the stage.
“I was a pretty shy kid -- tall and overweight. For whatever reason, I took to acting pretty easily, and then I did it every year until Grade 12 … People told me I was good. It came naturally to me,” said Taylor.
Born and raised on the North Shore, Taylor went to UBC right after high school. As an Arts student, he majored in Spanish and had a passion for astronomy. Although he did take some acting electives at UBC, he actually found his passion for the stage at acting classes off campus.
“I finally got the guts to go sit in on the class, and I had this overwhelming sense of belonging. I was just so excited by that, and I started going there in my last year [at UBC].”
Taylor’s most fond memory of his UBC career was hanging around the no longer existing arcade in the SUB. As well, he cites studying abroad in Paris as a formative experience of his college years. Recently, Taylor revisited his old haunts while shooting on campus for an upcoming feature entitled "Charlotte’s Song."
According to Taylor, Vancouver is “definitely a really great place to be” for anyone looking to start a career in film. Taylor entered the film industry upon graduation, working in set decoration. He began to realize, however, that his real passion was not working behind the camera.
“It’s only in the past few years that I’ve realized that acting is something that I wanted to be doing. I think it’s important to not feel like you’re ever wasting your time. Bottom line, it takes courage to pursue the thing you want to be doing, it’s scary. But that’s what you have to do with your time.”
To date, Taylor has acted in plays, television shows, films and commercials. Off-screen, he co-operates a theatre company called Blind Pig Theatre. Taylor is a firm believer in the value of theatre experience for any and all upcoming actors. While some of his colleagues dislike advertising gigs, Taylor sees merit in this kind of acting experience.
“I’ve had my struggles with it ... there’s a lot of painful commercials you have to sit through. I’ve sort of made peace with it because really I view commercials, for the most part, as a means for me to do comedy, which is something that I really enjoy. Most commercials are comedic in some way, and it’s an outlet for me to do comedy and get paid.”
Check out and vote for Taylor’s commercial at vote4whenpigsfly.com