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Join the 'Revolution' Titusville native part of new NBC drama
Join the 'Revolution' Titusville native part of new NBC drama

Courtesy of jsterling@titusvilleherald.com

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Rarely is it anyone's first career choice that results in their eventual success. Such is the case with NBC television show "Revolution" cast member, and Titusville native, Michael Shane Callahan. THS Class of 1992.

Callahan will be playing "Jimmy," a member of the Monroe Militia, in the new show that takes place 15 years after a black-out overtakes planet Earth, leaving people to cope in a life without power.

Callahan said it was his experience in college, at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, from which he graduated with a degree in music and video business, in 1995, that started this branch of his journey. It was this educational, creative environment that opened his eyes to the possibilities of the career in which he now finds himself.

"I started as a musician," said Callahan. "I kind of stumbled into the whole idea of movies and television at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I found that making movies and short films was more enjoyable to me than music."

As he delved further into the production of films (and eventually started his own company, Fiddler's Creek Production Company), being in front of the camera wasn't the most appealing idea. But, his parents, Connie and Ed Callahan, of Titusville, supplied some guidance.

"I didn't like acting at the time," said Callahan. "I was a little shy. I think, at one point, my parents talked me into an acting class, once I was in North Carolina. Now, I've been doing this since I was 22."

And doing this he has been. His resume stretches back to a video, called "Earthian," in 1989. Since, he has acted in a torrent of titles, including "Dawson's Creek," "The Mothman Prophecies," "Gods and Generals," "Savage," "One Tree Hill," "The Vampire Diaries," and the upcoming 2013 film, "Killing Lincoln."

As success so often begets success, Callahan met his soon-to-be wife while filming a movie. Karen Labbe is a filmmaker from St. Georges, Quebec, Canada. She was making a film, called, "When Nicole Meets Oliver," which starred Callahan and herself.

"She wrote and directed it, and I acted in it," Callahan said. The 2012 film won an award at the Wilmington, N.C., Cape Fear Film Festival.

As for Callahan's current national appearance, Revolution aired its pilot episode Monday, at 10 p.m. His character, Jimmy, will be in the show's second episode, scheduled to air next Monday, Sept. 24, then showing up again in episodes 4 and 5, airing Oct. 8 and 15. He is currently living in Wilmington, N.C., where his production company is based and Revolution is filmed.

"I was originally signed on to do one episode," he said. "Then, they signed me for two more after we did the pilot. Hopefully, I'll get to be in more. They'll call [if they need me].

"I'm in a militia, called the Monroe Militia, with Captain Neville [played by "Breaking Bad" star Giancarlo Esposito]," said Callahan. "I kind of report info to him. He tells me to do stuff, and I do it. I'm high enough in the ranks… like a second lieutenant-type."

Callahan explained the role of his character Jimmy and the Monroe Militia in the broader scope of the show. "Since everything's gone to hell without electricity, we go around enforcing laws that we think are correct," he said. For instance, "if you get caught with a gun, the penalty you have to pay is potentially death." He explained that this is why viewers will see far more swordplay and crossbow action than firearm battles.

Only able to speculate on where the show may go, Callahan thinks, "ultimately… everything is going to revolve around the ability to generate power. Because there's a sort of myth that builds up about some way to get the power flowing again."

When asked what it's like to work with a highly regarded and current name brand actor like Esposito, Callahan replied, "He's great. He's really fun to work with. In Breaking Bad, he's more quiet and calculated. He's still calculating in this, but he's also a little more spontaneous. He'll be one of the favorite characters on this show for people."

Callahan's mother, Connie, said of Revolution that the whole family will be watching for her son.

"A lot of his friends and family in the area are watching," she said. "My husband and I will be watching. His family as far away as Chicago (where his sister lives) and Hawaii (where a cousin lives) will be watching."

Connie noted that she's been excited for every project her son has worked on. "Well, he's been in a lot of stuff now… a lot of plays. I check out everything. He's even done some musicals," she said, adding that he doesn't put the plays and musicals on his acting resume, because the Screen Actors' Guild only recognizes performances given on screens.

"And, people don't realize how hard he works for even the small roles," said Connie. "Being busy sending resumes, editing for his company, just all kinds of things."

She said that, as a mother, it is always nice seeing her son earn his way into a tough industry.

"It's just gratifying seeing him get a break every once in a while."

Revolution airs Mondays, at 10 p.m.

Episodes are available to watch online, at nbc.com.

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