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Win with ADHD: Bex Taylor-Klaus

Actor Bex Taylor-Klaus didn’t let attention deficit get in the way of their dream: a career in show business.

Bex Taylor-Kraus: Vintage Television on Beach
Bex Taylor-Kraus: Vintage Television on Beach

Bex Taylor-Klaus, 19, has come a long way since their third-grade after-school drama class. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Taylor-Klaus now travels between Los Angeles and Vancouver to play roles on the hit TV shows Arrow, The Killing, and House of Lies.

Taylor-Klaus has also come a long way from their struggles with childhood learning disabilities and ADHD. “I’ve never been anything but different, that’s for darn sure,” Taylor-Klaus said.

Taylor-Klaus didn’t respond well to ADHD medication as a child. Instead, a dramatic shift in symptoms came after following a gluten-free diet and taking high doses of fish oil. “When off gluten, [they] went from being emotionally reactive to normal within two weeks ,” says ADHD coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus, Bex’s mother and founder of Impact ADHD.

Taylor-Klaus always wanted to act. At 18, they landed an internship in a Los Angeles casting director’s office. “I thought it would be good for me to learn the inner workings [of the industry],” Taylor-Klaus said. Sitting at a desk pushing a pencil, however, proved to be an eye-opening experience. “I quit because I just could not deal with it. I lasted two weeks at the job. Never again!”

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Taylor-Klaus needn’t have worried. In the summer of 2012, their acting career was launched with a role as a series regular on The Killing.

The actor sometimes finds that hyperactivity gets in the way of the job, especially if there’s a lull on the set. Playing games like Minesweeper and sudoku  helps through thos down times, but “as soon as they shout ‘Action,’ I can put my own brain away and bring out a new one,” they said.

Working on two series at once is a natural fit for someone with ADHD, says Taylor-Klaus. “I have two jobs going at once, flying back and forth from LA to Vancouver. I am constantly working, playing two different characters. I love it.”

Taylor-Klaus’s advice to ADHDers is: “Embrace it. It may be a nuisance, it may be hard to deal with sometimes, but you can learn to manage it. Don’t ever try to get rid of it entirely. Attention deficit makes you special.”

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