Everyone talks about the path to stardom. How long was the trip? What were the detours? What education contributed to it? How about where it started? Welcome to paycheck 101 for your favorite actors and actresses. Everyone had to begin somewhere. While we can all look back and pinpoint where it was we first saw them, it doesn’t mean that was their first job. In this column that’s what we explore, where they got their first paying job in acting. Maybe it was a bit part in a play off Broadway. Maybe it was a made for television movie. Whatever the case, it was the first step on a very ebb and flow road.
What happens when you put “Squints” and “Field Agents” together to solve a murder? On Fox every Monday, Bones answers that question. Currently wrapping up its eighth season, this investigative drama has taken us to a number of extremes. They’ve dealt with being buried alive, technical geniuses, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Well researched, the straight lady-man’s man dynamic keeps us coming back for more. We already know if they will or they won’t. Let’s take a look at where it started.
Temperance Brennan will not only tell you where she came from, she’ll tell you the genetic reason why. Emily Deschanel, on the other hand, is not so cut and dried. A graduate of Boston University with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, she was more than prepared for the life of an actress. Her first real role came in a movie called It Could Happen to You. While it contained no real speaking per se, it was a chance to throw paint on Rosie Perez.
David Boreanez is the epitome of the protector as Special Agent Seely Booth. He’s been in several television shows and is probably one of the most recognizable stars for Generation X. Some might want to say that he got his start as Angel on the classic show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They would be wrong however as his first role was on another top ten hit, Married with Children. He had a brief stint as the boyfriend of Kelly Bundy, guaranteeing him a spot in teenage girl drool history.
Dr. Camille Saroyan tries her best to keep it all business. Tamara Taylor is a little more play and a little less work. Personable and friendly her resume includes stints on several crime dramas and one journey into the world of cult favorites on Serenity. “Long Live the Brown Coats!” Who would have guessed it all started as a teen fan on a little show called The Facts of Life.
John Francis Daley is a multi-faceted actor. As Dr. Lance Sweets he is in and out of both the minds of the Jeffersonian team as well as those of the criminals they seek. When the camera is off we find someone who speaks the language of music, writing, and acting. His start seems to have begun before puberty did, in a touring production of Tommy in 1995 and rolled on from there. A string of jobs followed suit including Freaks and Geeks and a role on Boston Public.
Artist Angela Montenegro brings more to the team than her intelligence. She reconstructs a timeline and a victim’s face from the fragments she’s handed. Often times her heart takes front and center stage. For Michaela Conlin, front and center started early in children’s theatre. However, it’s her guest appearance on Law and Order, that we can give credit to as her jump into paid acting.
T.J. Thyne has taken one of the longest roads to stardom doing a multitude of tiny guest appearances. This is perfect considering Dr. Jack Hodgins, his character on Bones, thrives on the minor details that lend themselves to a story or conspiracy as the case may be. Many times his guest appearances were alongside what would be future co-stars, such as Machaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and David Boreanez. At the beginning though, there was only Tim Taylor, Binford Tools, and the need to add more power. Yes, his big break came with a bit part in an episode of Home Improvement in 1998.
Aristoo Vaziri is turning out to be so much more than what we originally gave him credit for. Introduced as a new intern in 2009, many things have changed in the past four years. Pej Vahdat, the man behind the once-thick accent, is relatively tight lipped about his beginnings. All signs point to a minor TV production called Finding the Endzone in 2004 as his actual launch. This was followed quickly with a turn in the TV series, Sleeper Cell.
Not everyone will star in a blockbuster movie their first time out. More often than not, it’s a commercial for a dryer fabric sheet that’s first. It’s the tiny blocks they stepped on that built their resumes’. Thank you for taking this journey with me. Join me next time when we take a look at more grout in the tile of an actor’s career.