The 10 minute bio?
I was born in L.A., but my parents didn’t want me to grow up around all the craziness of the big city (that I came back and discovered 15 years later *facepalm*), so when I was 5, my family moved to rural Texas so I could have a nice, sheltered, wholesome country upbringing. It was a small town close to the Oklahoma border, Electra pop 3113 to be exact. Cows, oil wells, two stop lights and one Dairy Queen. We moved there because my father still owned an oil lease that had been handed down to him from his father who was an oil man back during Texas’ oil boom in the early 20th century. My father was 60 and retired when I was born (my mother was 30), so yes, the timeline still makes perfect sense. It was a sheltered upbringing alright, or at least a fairly desolate one, but it’s all I knew, so it was good enough.
I managed to keep myself occupied exploring the pastures, building wooden boats to sail across the cattle tanks, playing with my toys, sometimes getting myself in trouble with contraband fireworks, going “crawdad” fishing, driving the riding lawn mower and/or golf cart for fun, and later religiously washing and tinkering with my car when I finally was old enough to own one towards the latter part of high school. When I was first enrolled in school there, they tested me to see where I should be placed, and I tested well-enough that the school wanted to put me straight into the 3rd grade. Instead I just ended up skipping Kindergarten, causing me to be a year younger than everyone else in my class throughout my developmental years. Combined with growing up in Hickville U.S.A., where football is king and high I.Q.s aren’t, I can’t say it was exactly Utopia social development-wise, but I made the best of it.
My father was an extremely charismatic man. Prior to my birth my father had had an extremely interesting life including such things as being in WWII, playing semi-pro football, playing pro golf, and then settling into a career as a construction manager and architect for Safeway. Yes, the chain of grocery stores. He built many of those 1960’s era ‘arching’ stores in Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona, so if you ever chance past one that’s still standing in those areas, yup, that very well may be his handiwork. He had been married three times before my mother (although he doesn’t count one because it was just a favor to a shipping heiress fairy Godmother-type figure to save a German girl from being put in an internment camp during WWII), but accordingly, I was born into the world with distant half siblings in existence that I didn’t really know except for our once-a-year vacation to California to see them and the rest of the extended family. I have an older half brother, Andrew, who is 10 years older than I. And two older half sisters. Melissa, 15 years older than me (Andrew’s full sister), and Barbara, barely younger than my mom, from a different marriage than Andrew and Melissa. I also have a younger full brother, Aaron, who’s two-and-a-half years younger than I am, lest anyone care about this sort of thing. At any rate, at the point I was brought into the picture, my father had just retired.
My mother, like my brother, is complete-dork/nerd-rocket-scientist-type smart, and, of all things, met my father when he came to guest speak at a college class of hers. I’m intelligent, as was my father, but not dork/nerd-rocket-scientist book smart like my mom and brother. I found using my intelligence was handy in doing the bare minimal required to breeze by in school, whereas my mom and brother have such absurd claims to fame as perfect SATs and GREs. Well, my mom had perfect SAT and GRE scores. My brother missed one on the SAT and I have no idea if he took the GRE or what he scored on it, I just know they are dork/nerd smart. Prior to my existence my mother had been working as a mechanical engineer for Rockwell (the defense contractor) on things like the nuclear breeder reactor and B-1 bomber, but after she got pregnant and went on maternity leave, she ended up just staying on permanent maternity leave and becoming a full-time mother. She was a very good and full-time mom throughout the majority of my brother and I’s upbringing in rural Texas, and only went back to work once we reached high school age, but this time as a high school advanced chemistry and physics teacher. I told you, dork/nerd smart. It’s kind of funny watching her try to teach the typically intellectually challenged and completely disinterested youth of rural Texas advanced chemistry and physics to no avail, but bless her heart for trying way too hard anyway.
After high school, of course there was no choice but to go to college, so I applied to Texas A&M, the University of Texas, and Rice. I was accepted to Texas A&M and UT, and ultimately ended up attending A&M on a whim because everyone on the campus seemed so friendly and it was the school tradition to say “Howdy!” to all strangers in passing. Something I amusingly still occasionally employ while living in L.A., but with far more varied results. At any rate, when showing up for college, I had no idea what I wanted to be or do with my life (remember I had been raised in an intellectual and creative void of a pasture for all practical purposes), so I just started off with Pre-Med as my default major and stuck with it for a semester or two until I realized I had no remote interest in biology or the thought of working in a hospital or office building all day even if I did go through with it. I changed my major to undecided, and couldn’t make up my mind the entire time I was in school. I always dreamed/planned on being an entrepreneur despite my parents strong discouragement, so I figured, worst case scenario, whatever major and job I ended up taking, I’d just do it long enough to learn the business then go into business for myself. Unfortunately during my college years, choosing a major in the Arts would have gotten me laughed out of the family and disowned, so I ultimately decided on a major from the college of engineering with 99% placement, though never planning to actually use it upon graduation.
Sure enough, after graduating college, rather then use my new shiny degree to plunge headfirst onto one capitalist career treadmill or another, I decided I had not seen enough of the world to know what I wanted to do with my life career-wise yet, so I promptly threw it away and headed to Los Angeles to poke my nose around the entertainment industry. Why? From what I had seen on TV (*facepalm*), Hollywood appeared to be the proverbial top of our society’s social mountain, and since I hadn’t found my dreamgirl to fall in love with and marry in college, I figured I’d move to L.A. and try to find one like the ones I saw on TV in person, hopefully one that hadn’t been corrupted by the city and was still sweet and wonderful so we could plot out our lives from the bottom to the top together. Also, I had worked out a lot in college to the point I was all ripped up like the guys you see in fitness magazines or underwear ads, and I had a girlfriend towards the end of my time in college who was a model and told me I should totally move to L.A. and try it, so I did. I can’t say I had any exceptional success at modeling except for learning how the industry actually works, but as a human being, aesthetics are probably my weakest trait and I was just trying to do it to prove I was pretty as well as smart in the first place, so for its purpose, I accomplished what I set out to do. Since I had no clue about how the entertainment industry worked when I first showed up and was just going on the theory that I would eventually climb to the top of the mountain no matter what at some point, it’s been interesting to learn that people actually go to school for acting and you can go to school for radio, TV, and film over the years since being here, but for all practical purposes I started at the bottom with nothing, no help, and no clue, so if I ever do make it to the top of that mountain, not as an actor, but as a creative force to be reckoned with, I guess it will count that much more towards my credit in trying to “make my life story something worthy of a movie.” Something which, by the way, is the latent effect of having a father who had such an amazing life story that I wanted to emulate if not outdo it, and since he had so many crazy stories from his lifetime, is not something I would exactly call easy to do.