Win with ADHD: Bex Taylor-Klaus
Actress Bex Taylor-Klaus didn’t let attention deficit get in the way of her dream: a career in show business.
Bex Taylor-Klaus, 19, has come a long way since her 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 her struggles with childhood learning disabilities and ADHD. She attended many schools, none of which knew how to help her. As a child, Taylor-Klaus preferred to play with the rambunctious boys on her street rather than with dolls. “I’ve never been anything but different, that’s for darn sure,” she says.
Taylor-Klaus didn’t respond well to ADHD medication as a child. At 10, she experienced a dramatic shift in symptoms when her mom put her on a gluten-free diet and gave her high doses of fish oil. “When we took her off gluten, she went from being emotionally reactive to normal within two weeks [according to neuropsych evaluations],” says ADHD coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus, Bex’s mother and founder of Impact ADHD.
Taylor-Klaus always knew she wanted to act. At 18, during her senior year in high school, she did 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],” she says. But sitting at a desk pushing a pencil made her miserable. “I quit because I just could not deal with it. I lasted two weeks at the job. Never again!”
Taylor-Klaus needn’t have worried. In the summer of 2012, she launched her acting career with her first role, as a series regular on The Killing.
The actor sometimes finds that her hyperactivity gets in the way of her job, especially if there’s a lull on the set. Playing games like Minesweeper and sudoku on her phone helps her through these down times, but “as soon as they shout ‘Action,’ I can put my own brain away and bring out a new one,” she says. Her intense focus enables her to get into character easily.
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.”
Updated on October 16, 2018