Quincy Taylor exploded on the national scene with his Overall win at the 2001 NPC USA's, and became an IFBB professional bodybuilder. But Quincy has worked long and hard for his pro card, starting with a push from Lonnie Teper, emcee of shows and Ironman Magazine writer, during a class one day in college in California State Los Angeles (where Lonnie used to teach).
Quincy is now on his quest for compete in his first pro shows, starting with the Ironman Pro on February 16, 2002; and then head on to the Arnold Classic, and finally to the San Francisco Pro. (Editor's Note: This interview was done last year before these shows.) There is a lot of buzz on Quincy, with some thinking that this rookie pro is one of the most promising.
Let's find out more about who is Quincy Taylor.
[ Q ] What is your full name, including middle name?
Quincy Dewayne Taylor. My mom named me after my dad that I really did not know at all. His name was Quincy Baldwin, but I am named after my mother, Linda Faye Taylor. My mom had me when she was 19 years old. My aunt Ruby named my middle name Dewayne.
[ Q ] When and where were you born? Your Astrological Sign?
I was born on July 12, 1969, and raised in Las Vegas. My sign is Cancer.
[ Q ] Your height and weight (Normal / Contest).
My height is 6'4". My off-season weight is around 310-320 pounds, and my last contest weight was 275. I really do not check my weight normally. I want to be as big as I can be. Its great to be huge, but you need to be hard. Look at
Kevin Levrone and
Shawn Ray. They are usually the smallest heights in the show, and they normally place higher than others. If you are big and conditioned, you are doing something well. But some of the biggest guys at the contests have not come as hard as they should be. That is why Kevin Levrone comes in and places high with beautiful symmetry.
[ Q ] Where do you live now?
I currently live in Granada Hills, California in a nice house.
[ Q ] Are you married? Any children?
I am married to Catrina. I met her by a mutual friend from high school (Adrian Levy). He introduced me to her. His ex-wife and Catrina were best friends. Adrian's brother was dating Catrina. I had no intention of getting married back then, but she was just a good woman. She put me first. My dreams and goals were important to her too. At the time, I was living in a one-bedroom hole in Venice, driving a Toyota pickup truck that I could barely fit in, and everybody thought I was a loser, that my passion for bodybuilding was just a waste of time. But she believed in me more than anyone. She saw the potential in me. She just loved me. She made me quit the probation job I had, and got me into movies, and commercials.
I have four kids. The oldest is Jacquin (a boy), then Alexis (a girl), then Jhamhal (a boy), and then Malika (my one year old daughter). Malika is my daughter with Catrina. The oldest two reside in Las Vegas (I met their mom in high school), and Jhamal lives in Eagle Rock (I met his mother in college).
[ Q ] What color are your eyes & hair?
I have dark brown eyes, and black hair. Usually I keep my head bald, but I let my hair grow out this year.
[ Q ] Where are you currently working now? In the past?
I just finished working on a music video, a George Michael video, in which my body is used with George Michael's head. It was funny and interesting. At the moment, I am just concentrating for the upcoming contest shows.
I worked as a bouncer after high school at some clubs and bars. During college, I became a probation officer for seven years in a murder unit in downtown Los Angeles, from age 21 to 29. I quit that job because I was unhappy there to pursue commercials, movies, and concentrate on bodybuilding. The probation job made you hard and mean. You deal with criminals, and murderers every day. A lot of negativity came through that building and it started rubbing off on me.
[ Q ] Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I have none now. My older brother Jhamal passed away. He killed himself when he was 17 years. He got depressed over things, his girlfriend broke up with him. It hurt a lot, and he did not think about my mother and me, and how we would deal with it. There was no sign of trouble; it just happened. He seems that in his mind, he did not see a way out.
I am a Christian Holiness. My mother and grandmother are very religious.
[ Q ] What is your mother and father's name? Where did they meet?
My mother's name is Linda Faye Taylor. My dad's name is Quincy Baldwin, I don't know a lot about him. They met when they were young, she had me when she was 19, and I don't know much about that. My family has lived in America since before the Civil War.
[ Q ] How was your childhood? Where did you grow up?
My childhood was pretty good. I grew up in the projects (Gurson Project Housing) in Las Vegas. I saw people get shot and killed, but all in all, I never went hungry. I did not realize that we did not have money to go to the movies, to buy nice clothes. We played around in the streets, we had a ball. The projects were a fun place before crack hit the scene. We played outside and had fun.
My mother was a beautician, doing hair, and she also was a porter cleaning rooms in Vegas. My mom got me stuff, a skateboard, yo-yos. I was never denied stuff, even though we were poor.
I went to Rancho High School in Las Vegas. A lot of my friends were gang bangers, and either I was going to get out of that lifestyle or become a criminal. In high school, one of my goals was to become a Federal Marshall. I graduated high school when I was 16, early, and need to move out and away from Las Vegas. I had a chance to go to Japan and I did when I was 16.
[ Q ] Did you play any sports when you were growing up?
Oh yes! I was an athlete. In high school, freshman year, I was an All American Football player (middle linebacker, offense and defense positions). I also wrestled, and I ran track, and also threw the Shot and Discus. I was
benching 425 pounds at age 16, and I was leg pressing 1,000 pounds, and the coaches saw that, and worked with me. I started working out when I was 12 years old. I had brown cement dumbbells at my home, and one day my mother made me mad, and I started working out, and never stopped, unless I was sick, hurt or really injured. I loved training. I love the respect that people gave me when I was training.
[ Q ] What did you do after high school?
I started kindergarten early, because my mother most likely could not afford the day care. I was a big kid, the tallest one there most of the time. I graduated high school early, at age 16. I was into Judo when I was eight years old, and took Jujitsu for five year after that, and I won a Jujitsu tournament. One of the prizes that I won was to go to Japan for six months. So after I graduated high school, I took them on the offer, and went to Japan. I stayed in Japan for a year.
I stayed in a dojo, slept in the back of a dojo in Japan. And I worked in a Jarhead Bar with a bunch of Marines and Japanese girls. I was big, so they did not know I was 16. They thought I was 19. Every night at the bar, there were fights at the bar. They liked me because I was big, and I was a bouncer there.
After a year in Japan, I came back to Las Vegas because my mom missed me. I stayed in Las Vegas for a month, then went to college via a track scholarship to Long Beach City College. I was there for two years in Long Beach City College; then transferred to California State Los Angeles, on a track scholarship. And that is where I saw my first bodybuilding show, and where I met Lonnie Teper. Lonnie Teper is a teacher at Cal State Los Angeles, and also works at Ironman Magazine.
During that first show, the first bodybuilder I saw was Shawn Ray, as he was guest posing. He blew my mind, he freaked me out. I had never seen someone like that before live. I really wanted to try and do that. I was about 20 or 21 then.
[ Q ] What started you in bodybuilding?
I used to read and check out the
pictures in the bodybuilding magazines before, but seeing that show really inspired me. Seeing it live and right in front of you made a huge difference. Then to have Lonnie telling me I can do the Mr. Olympia one day if I seriously train, really did it. You are a Natural, he said. You should go for it!
A year after that, I did Lonnie's bodybuilding show, and I won it! It was a small show, and it gave me the taste of victory. It really got me! And then I started doing a lot of shows.
[ Q ] When did you actually get serious in bodybuilding?
After I won Lonnie Teper's show, I got into it. But I had no back, no quads, no legs. I was not ripped at all, but I was big and had great arms. And I entered a number of bodybuilding shows. And fared not too great.
[ Q ] And after that?
In 1997, I won the California Tournament of Champions Heavyweight & Overall. It was incredible, and came just at the right time. If I had not won that show, I would of quit bodybuilding. I was getting tired by then and not winning any shows. All the hard work I was putting in, and I was not getting anywhere. At this time, I had three kids to feed and I had a full time job, and living in a one bedroom apartment by myself. It was hard.
In 1998, I did the California Championships, and I placed second in the heavyweight division, losing to Rich Pianna. In 1999, I jumped into the national NPC shows, to the NPC USA's, which was held in Santa Monica, and I placed quite low in the heavyweight division. I felt like crap. I felt like the judges did not give me a chance in that show.
In 1999, I also went and competed in the North American Bodybuilding show, and I placed 3rd in the heavyweight division. That was made me feel a lot better. If it was not for the people in the crowd, I would not of been happy, but when the judges announced me in 3rd, the crowd went crazy and starting booing. It made me realize I had what it takes to make it. I loved the crowd routing for me. They saw what I thought what I saw. And it helped me in thinking that perhaps I do look as good as I thought I would.
In 2000, I went back to the NPC USAs. I came in flat at the show, and I placed not very well. I was really smooth. I had family stuff going on, and I did not have anyone to help me in the last two weeks, during the crucial time, when final contest preparation is the key. After that, I went to the NPC Nationals, where I came in 4th place. I came in harder, but my body was tired, because I had been dieting for six months, and needed a rest.
In 2001, I went all out for the NPC USA. I had more money due to the fact that I was doing movies and commercials, so I could afford a trainer, and during those crucial two weeks before the USA's, he told me exactly what to do, and brought me in hard, really hard for the show. I looked good and was on. I won the whole show. There is no way to really describe the feeling I got, as for 10 years I had been trying to work for, to push for this moment. There is a high that is better than any drug you can ever take. I love the feeling of the high of winning. I love the feeling of achieving the goals you have been setting out for. You get addicted to the feeling and want more.
After that, I wanted to get a supplement contract, but that proved to be very hard. You need to be marketable. You have to have a good image. You can't be a jerk, or have an attitude problem. I now have a 2-year contract with a great company, MRM.
[ Q ] Wow! Impressive! What is your best and worst experiences in bodybuilding?
My best experience was winning the USA. Unreal! Before that, it was winning the Tournament of Champions. I call these wins the steps of bodybuilding. You first win a novice show, then an overall open, and then a national show. Each one of these wins was an awesome experiences. These are ladder steps, you take a step up the ladder, like
Arnold Schwarzanegger said in one of his encyclopedias. You need to complete each step before you go to the next step. My next step is to win a pro show!
My worst experience in bodybuilding is the bodybuilders themselves, and a small handful of the general public who are quite mean. Some of these bodybuilders have a major arrogant attitude problems, and they are delusional. They seem to forget that they are just a person, and they have no right to treat people like they are better than you. You need to treat people with respect.
Some of the general public can be really cruel. They will come up to you, and say something really stupid, or tell you that you can't beat so and so. This is a small majority of the people in the audiences. I guess they are not fans, then. People automatically stereotype you. Sometimes people are terrified of me because I am so big. I am not a violent person by nature, but people see me as a 6'4" intimidating person.
[ Q ] What is your best and worst bodypart?
My best bodypart is my quads. Worst bodypart is my back.
[ Q ] What is your favorite and least favorite exercise?
My favorite exercise are Chest exercises; my least favorite exercise are
Deadlifts. They hurt.
[ Q ] Any interesting diets when you train?
I stay with a low carb, high protein diet. And lots of
[ Q ] How many weeks before a contest do you start to train? Any secrets?
I go with a sixteen week plan. The first four weeks, I start to put my head into it, and I still am cheating. By the 12th week, there is no cheating at all, and I am quite strict. I do have secrets, but they are staying with me!
I can say that I am currently training at Gold's Gym of North Hollywood, and that Hany Rambod is my personal trainer, who also helps me with my supplements and nutrition diet. Jessie Esparza, an ex-national powerlifter, is my strength trainer.
[ Q ] What supplements do you use?
I use tons of what MRM has, including their whey protein, Meta-Burn, MBX, and other various items.
[ Q ] What things need to be changed in the sport of bodybuilding?
The one thing that I would like to change is to have a short and tall classes in some of the major contests, like the Olympia. A guy like Shawn Ray should have been Mr. Olympia, but it is very hard to compare the taller, larger bodybuilders against shorter bodybuilders. It is very hard for smaller guys to beat a bigger guy. The bigger guy is always going to win, and sometimes, that is not fair. You can't change someone's heights.
[ Q ] What makes you happy?
My wife and my kids. My family. My mom. They keep me grounded. Watching my kids smiling at me, it's worth everything. I drive myself hard for them a lot of times. I believe in God, and this is the avenue that God has given me, and I will make it the best that I can. I want my kids to have a better childhood than I did. I want them to have other options, have my kids have choices, so that if they wish to, they can become a doctor or lawyer. It makes me happy watching my son play football, watch movies, watching cartoons with my kids. Our favorites is Saturday morning cartoons with Superfriends. Or the Justice League on Sunday mornings, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman. It's cool. That's my time with my kids. I work hard to do those things, which make me happy.
It's ironic how life works. Kids that I probably should not have had when I was too young are the driving force for me now. It is hard for me because I can't see my oldest two kids much, as they live in Las Vegas, but it's starting to be a lot better now for me.
[ Q ] What do you tell people who want to start bodybuilding?
You better look into it because it is long road. You need to have a lot of heart, and a lot of guts. A high tolerance for pain, and thick skin, because you are going to hear it all, and it is not pretty all of the time. This sport is not for the weak of heart. You need a good work ethic. You have to work for yourself. You have to promote yourself. You have to do the footwork yourself. You need to know how to talk to people. People judge you in this sport on the way you treat them also. If they do not like you, regardless of how you look, it gets much harder. You need to be happy with yourself in this sport, or you will not go far.
I also won't go talking smack after people like others do. I will keep my mouth shut, and do my talking on stage, and impress them all! Anything is possible! I will do the best I can, coming in the hardest I can, in the best condition I can. Listen to what the judges say, and give them what they want. Talk to the judges, listen to what they say, and listen to what needs to get done on stage.
[ Q ] Tell me something we do not know about you?
I am raising dogs, big Neapolitans Mastiffs. They are basically Italian dogs, 170 pounds, they are huge and rare in the United States. I keep them in the backyard, in a dog run. They are great dogs. I have two of them now, both girls. And when they are older, I will breed them, and sell the litters.
[ Q ] Tattoos? Any symbolic meanings on them? How many?
I have one on my back, a naked girl with shorts on. I got it when I was 15, I was young and ignorant. I thought it was cool. I have thought about removing it, but then, it reminds me where I came from. I have changed much since then, and it reminds me of the time when I had no money, when I had to sleep in the back of my truck for two weeks. It was hard. I have been down and out, and it has changed me in being conscious of money, and things.
[ Q ] Have you done any television / magazine covers / film / commercials?
I have done television commercials and movies. I worked on the movie 'Planet of the Apes' for six months (I was one of the fighting gorillas), and have done five commercials (including Dasani Water, Subway, and others). I made a music video for the Zoolander movie, and last week, I just did a music video for George Michael. He has his head on my body.
I was on the cover of the Max Muscle Magazine, my first cover. It felt really good. I always wanted to be on a cover, because it told me something on about how far have you gone. I was also on NPC News Magazine that was my second cover.
[ Q ] Has anyone been your inspiration?
My mom. She raised my brother and me all by herself. She made sure she took care of us.
I came from nowhere. I should not even be here. God has blessed me. I grew up in the projects. And I don't play around, I really try. In high school, some of my coaches said I won't make it. In college, people said to me 'You are too tall to be a bodybuilder', or 'my waist is too big'. When you tell me I can't do something, I will meet you with everything I got.'
Lately, I have been hearing things like 'You need to gain 30 pounds of muscle to do some damage at a pro show, or you will never go anywhere'. I will go for it, and try my best. When people tell me I can't do it, I will train twice as hard.
My goal is to buy my mother a home (she moved back to Arkansas, she lives there with her mother, and takes care of her), and get her a car. I don't want my mother cleaning up after people any more, I want people who clean up after her. She deserves it!
[ Q ] Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Owning my own business. Perhaps construction; perhaps a restaurant. I will always want to have some ties to bodybuilding, either promoting shows, training people, working with a supplement company.
[ Q ] What do you feel about the judging in the contests?
I used to think the judges were screwed up, and it was all politics. When I won the USA, I realized many things. If you are huge, hard, and in symmetry with no flaws, you are going to win. The judges will choose you! Now I think, the more I get better, the more the judges will reward me. If I keep making improvements, then I think I will do all right.
The Ironman Pro will be my first pro show. I am very excited about that. A little nervous though. I am going to give it my best try, with the thinking of going in there to win, not just to place.
[ Q ] What do you think about the drug situation in bodybuilding?
As long as everybody is on an equal playing field, that is the way it is. It still comes down to who trains better, who is training hard. You can take all the drugs you want, and you can place in last place. There is no need to complain or cry about it, that is way it is. No one is forcing anybody to do anything.
[ Q ] What are your best and worst qualities as a person?
My best quality is my ability to keep moving forward no matter what, to try and make the best of it. My worst quality is that sometimes I expect too much from myself, and I am too hard on myself.
[ Q ] What kind of people turn you off / on?
People that turn me off are arrogant people, that are loud mouthed. People that turn me on are people who are polite, respectful and intelligent.
[ Q ] What's the most important thing in life to you?
My wife, kids, mom, family. In the end, that is all I really have.
[ Q ] What was the lowest point in life to you?
The day I found out my brother died. I got off the plane, learned of the news, and it was a complete shock. A wake-up call. I was wild and ignorant, and after he died, I stopped, changed a lot. My mom really needed me.
[ Q ] Do you go out much?
Every now and then, but now not a lot. I stay home and hang out.
[ Q ] What are your favorites:
Television Show: Star Trek: Voyager. I am a Trekkie, I have been watching Star Trek since I was a kid.
Movie: Belly, about these teenage guys in New York. They both wind up doing the right thing at the end.
Actor: Larry Fishbourne
Actress: Vanessa Williams
Foods: French Pastries, and Lasagna.
Bar Drink: Caronas, and Long Island Iced Tea
Regular Drink: Crystal Light
Type of Music: I like rock, and rap, and even R&B, and Heavy Metal. I listen to everything.
Artist: I am so many, perhaps DMX, Patty LaBelle, Lincoln Park, Limp Bizkit.
What are the last:
Movie you saw: Harry Potter
Video rented: Shrek
Music CD bought: Ja-Rul. He sings a song with Jennifer Lopez.
Contest you saw: I have not been one in a long time, I stay home.
Restaurant you ate at: Claimjumpers, in Northridge.