Utah's Brandon Taylor has acting ambitions
Back when Utah point guard Brandon Taylor was in high school, he went to see a school play. The name of the play escapes him, but Taylor remembers watching now-professional actor Joe Adler, who also went to Pacific Hills High School in Los Angeles, and thinking to himself, "this is something I want to do."
"The way he acted just inspired me and I was just like, I want to get into that. I want to get into that," Taylor said.
So he did just that by getting involved with the theater program at Pacific Hills. It was easier for Taylor to juggle the rigors of playing basketball with his passion for acting in high school, and while he wasn't too busy scoring nearly 20 points per game for the Bruins, there's a chance he was performing in the school production at that time.
One time, the program was putting together a musical called The Fantasticks. The production required the students participating to sing, and Taylor was immediately willing to show the rest of the world his talents. Between throwing in his own humorous twist by singing at the top of his lungs, it was a dream come true for the acting point guard.
"Every grade, every report card I ever had always said, 'he talks too much,'" Taylor said. "I've always talked a lot, always been one of those kids that just had a lot of humor."
When Taylor became a Ute, however, it became harder for him to stick with acting while playing Division-I basketball. With conflicting schedules between practice and classes in the theater department, Taylor was forced to stop taking acting classes after completing just one his freshman year at Utah.
Since, Taylor has crossed the 1,000-point plateau, made it to the Sweet 16 and currently has the Utes sitting in the upper echelon of the Pac-12. His basketball career has been a successful one, but even so, his love for acting has never ceased.
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The Utah senior knows that basketball will not last forever, and though he admitted to this being "way down the road," acting is something that Taylor would seriously consider if the opportunity arises.
And it might already have. Taylor has stayed in touch with the professor that taught his acting class during freshman year, and was referred to have a meeting with the chairman of the theater department at Utah. Though he doesn't know exactly when, Taylor looks forward to the day of when he can act for a living.
"That's way later, but (acting) is definitely something that I want to get into, and something I love doing, especially comedy," Taylor said.
For now, Taylor—in his final season—remains focused on bringing home a conference championship for the Utes. Luckily, his passion for acting actually draws a parallel with Taylor while he's out there on the court. When he's acting, Taylor always likes to throw in his own twist to add his personality into whatever character he is portraying.
And in basketball, Taylor claims that he performs best when he's smiling and having a good time, whether it's on the hardwood or on the stage.
"Be yourself," Taylor said. "When I'm out there smiling, I'm out here just having a good time. I'm doing what I do best."
Griffin Adams is SI's campus correspondent for the University of Utah. Follow him on Twitter.