So many young actors are struggling each day to get their “big break” and make it in Hollywood. Therefore, it is refreshing and a little annoying to see that dream stories are still happening there. The dream for Daren Kagasoff was to be an actor after deciding that it was truly his calling. The 20 year-old baseball player quit San Francisco State University and told his parents that he wanted to become a star.

"My family was pretty caught off guard. I’ve been a ball player my whole life and they never knew I wanted to act, so they got a call and I said I wanted to act they said ‘what?!’ Daren confessed. "When I booked the show I showed them I could and really wanted to do this and they are very supportive of me."

The story? That with only six auditions under his belt, Daren went on to beat hundreds of candidates auditioning for a role in one of this season’s most hyped show, Secret Life of the American Teenager. You can see why this tale is refreshing; Hollywood is giving newcomers a chance. And annoying; so many struggling actors probably hate Daren now.

But if they had a chance to talk to this young athlete turned actor they would fall for his natural charm. Aside from a clan cut image and a lot of luck, the boy is blessed with a laid-back attitude and gratuitous spirit. 7th Heaven’s and Secret Life creator, Brenda Hampton, hand picked Daren at auditions and convinced studio producers to give him a chance.

"The amount of work I had to do was pretty grueling to get the role but since I had no credit I had to work for it," said Daren, who prepared by reading other scripts and rehearsing with a coach before going to the audition. "When Brenda saw me she knew in her heart that I was the one and she kept bugging the studio until they put me on hold for 10 days and auditioned other people."

When the tenth day came Daren received a call from his agent telling him to go home immediately to receive a script. As he arrived, Hampton greeted him with flowers and said he had the part. "I was so amazed and thankful to her for believing in me."

The Secret Life of the American Teenager will be premiering July first on ABC. The much buzzed about show will also feature Molly Ringwald (from Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club) and focus on the relationships between families and friends as they deal with an unexpected teen pregnancy. Daren stars in his breakout role as Ricky, the gorgeous yet mysterious bad boy who is trying to hide his dark past. In addition to Ringwald, Daren will star alongside John Schneider (of CW’s Smallville), Ernie Hudson (of HBO’s Oz) and Shailene Woodley (of Fox’s The OC).

"It’s a brilliant storyline, the writers are the wittiest people I’ve ever met. There are some guest stars but the majority is the cast with a lot of secrets and stories unveiling throughout the show and interconnecting. I am so happy to be sharing with all these amazing actors, I can’t wait to learn form them," Daren added.

Since leaving college to begin acting Daren has had great acceptance. He was cast as a lead in an L.A. community theater production of “Suburbia” before landing his starring role, which will most likely land him in the most wanted young heartthrobs list alongside Zac Efron and Matt Dallas.

So far the fame that awaits the young man has not made him nervous or overconfident. As he explains, he wants to take everything one step at a time and truly enjoy his new career. He would like to try different projects, such as movies, but if the show does well and lasts for eight seasons, to say, he wants to grow with it and be there ‘till the end.

“It’s so great to talk about movies and such but I am happy where I am right now and we’ll see what else comes. Nothing really has changed in my life. The only thing that changes now is that I am a working actor, which I can proudly say,” said Daren.

About The Author

Bessie King is a Blast contributing editor. She can be reached at [email protected]

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