, Salem, MA

Local News

August 1, 2013

A different kind of action

Firefighting past sparks career in TV, film industry


“I kind of just said, ‘In order to be happy, I at least need to try it.’ I don’t want to be in my 50s asking myself, ‘What if?’”

Pasdon conceded that his parents were uneasy about the decision, “because I had stability on the fire department.” But now, he said, they support him 100 percent.

For that matter, he had his own doubts, given a firefighting tradition on both sides of his family. Gazing at Peabody’s historic main firehouse, he mused, “I can’t forget my great-grandfather used to go out back there to feed the horses. ... It’s in my blood. There’s times I miss it.” A passing fire truck, siren blaring, will still catch his eye.

But he has seen something he likes even better.

While still in the department, he signed up for a workshop with the casting director of “All My Children,” which led to several soap opera roles.

“I carried (’All My Children’ star) Susan Lucci’s bag,” he said, smiling.

He won a job as an extra in Kevin James’ “Paul Blart Mall Cop,” which filmed at the Burlington Mall. In 2012, he was given a six-month leave of absence from the fire department by Mayor Ted Bettencourt and was grateful for a chance to devote all his time to the entertainment business. But that just fed his desire to be an actor, and his resignation followed.

Heading for Los Angeles, Pasdon found an agent and a manager. Favorable tax treatment has drawn many Hollywood productions to Massachusetts, which brings him home from time to time. But when it comes to finding work as an actor, “It’s tough in Los Angeles. But it’s even tougher here,” he said.

In Los Angeles, “There’s more of a social life. I’ve met amazing people.”

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