Confession: As a child of the 80’s (the best decade ever to be a child BTW), I was obsessed with two shows – “Kids Incorporated” and “The New MMC.” If you aren’t familiar with these programs, there’s a good chance you are very familiar with some of the now enormously successful celebrities who can thank these shows for giving them their big break. In fact, one could argue that these two programs (and their parent network) are largely responsible for manufacturing a high percentage of the young (or somewhat young) Hollywood elite today. So, who or what is behind this star making phenomena? I’ll give you a hint – it’s got big ears and lives in Florida. Yes, that’s right! It’s the Disney Channel and their main pimp… Mickey Mouse :).
*Sigh* During the 80’s all the way to the mid 90’s , these shows were IT for me. Actually, a lot of shows on Disney were doing it for me. They can turn out some awesome programming and as we’ll see in a minute, unbelievably talented kids. Joining legends like Annette Funicello and Haley Mills, celebrities such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling (dancing to hip hop no less…really. YouTube it!), Keri Russell and JC Chase all began on the “All New Mickey Mouse Club.” Fergie, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mario Lopez, Eric Balfour and 80’s teen sensation Martika can thank Kids Incorporated for their career starts!
But Disney didn’t stop there, the 2000’s ushered in a whole new wave of now famous Hollywood stars and musicians. Demi Lovato, Hilary Duff, Lindsey Lohan (before… you know), Selena Gomez, Raven-Symone, The Jonas Brothers, Shia LaBeouf and then there’s Miley Cyrus – enough said! However, Disney really turned it up several notches when they introduced to the world a little juggernaut known as… “HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL,” which subsequently introduced a young and unknown actor by the name of…drum roll please… Zac Efron! And just like that “Troy” appeared before our eyeballs for the very first time. Well… the rest as they say is history!
As is the norm for these young Disney celebs, Mr. Efron soon grew increasingly restless and bored with the house of mouse ears and sought to grow and challenge himself artistically (i.e. he got the hell out!). Mr. Efron’s dead set on proving to us all that he is now a serious, credible adult actor. So, let’s fast-forward over some crucial “road to adulthood events” such as a major teen idol break up (Vanessa Hudgens), a stint in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, a not at all staged condom drop at a movie premiere, some box office misses, some box office hits… and say hello to the adult Mr. Efron. Hello!
No. Mr. Efron is not just some basketball jock threatening to burst out singing random annoying show tunes while showcasing fancy footwork. Nope. He’s got street cred now. I mean, he was in “The Paperboy”…. where his character gets peed on… by Nicole Kidman!!! You can’t get more authentic acting chops than that my fearless bowties! And just as little Master Efron transformed into Mr. Efron right before our eyeballs, so too did his fashion sense. The result? A stylish and suave young man that gives off just a hint of Old Hollywood glamour a la James Dean… lil’ bit! For these reasons, Mr. Efron has caught my fashion eyeball and he is now on my radar as a super stylish gentleman to look out for. So let’s appreciate the transformation of Mr. Efron into an adult with a credible acting career. For those of you who miss the Efron of yore (you know who you are), no need to fret! You just need to remember one thing, no matter where Mr. Efron’s career takes him, he will always remind you that you are a… WILDCAT, you’re number one. Hey Wildcat, you’re the champion! Hey now, hey now. We’re all in this together… hahaha! I couldn’t resist.
(images: WENN, Jason Merritt Getty Images 2011/2014, cambio.com)
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