0715MASONAUDMason Glenn, 20, talks about moving to California to pursue a career in acting.
Mason Glenn left the comforts of his South Hall home nearly seven months ago to chase a dream of Hollywood success.
He is already beginning to see his efforts pay off, having secured a spot on ABC's "High School Musical: Get in the Picture," which debuts at 8 p.m. Sunday.
The reality show, which capitalizes on the success of Disney's "High School Musical" franchise, will air at 8 p.m. Sundays and Mondays for three weeks and then at 8 p.m. Mondays through the end of the summer.
But just because he's landed a spot on TV doesn't mean Glenn's living the high life just yet.
"You can't live your life as comfortable," said the 20-year-old West Hall High School graduate now living in Burbank, Calif.
"... I told myself I have to pursue what I want to do. I am not the type of person who would look back on this whole thing and wish I would have done that when I was younger."
"High School Musical" tells the story of a group of high school students singing and dancing in a story line that resembles "Romeo and Juliet," with its rival cliques and budding romance.
A third installment, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," is a film set for release in October.
"Get in the Picture" is a reality series that ultimately will give one young person a chance to star in a music video in the end credits of the movie. The winner also will receive an exclusive talent hold agreement with ABC and a recording contract for two singles with Walt Disney Records, one of which will be a version of the song from the music video.
To find the wannabe-stars, a team of casting scouts with a list of credits from Broadway, television and film, held two open casting calls - one in Long Beach, Calif., and the other in Orlando, Fla., according to ABC.
Mason and a friend went to the casting call in Long Beach in late April.
"It was kind of like an ‘American Idol' type of thing where we waited in line for a while," Glenn said. "It was hot. We were giving little interviews here and there.
"... Each person that is part of the show is put through different tests. They want to know more about you and how you could fit into the show," he said. "... The talent in the show is absolutely amazing. You will be blown away by some of these people."
Glenn is under contract and can't reveal much about the show or his role in it.
"A lot of it is gray area. I mean, I don't even know how it's going to be edited," he said. "... I'm not sure if I'm going to be aired on the first episode. I don't know which coast they are going to be doing first."
Two people sure to be watching the show are his parents, Garry and Jill Glenn of Oakwood, whose other son, 23-year-old Morgan is the parts manager for a boating retailer.
"I'll probably cry," Jill said. "... I cried for two months after he left (for Burbank)."
"We're awfully proud of him," Garry said.
It's no huge surprise to his parents that Mason is trying to cultivate a career in show business.
"He started doing school plays (in second grade) and always liked doing that kind of stuff," Garry said. "And he discovered he was pretty good at it."
Mason continued in the drama program at West Hall High.
After graduation, he went on to Gainesville State College, where he earned an associate's degree. Immediately after his college graduation, he and his father made the cross-country trek to Burbank.
"He already had him an apartment out there and roommates," Garry said.
Mason has an agent and is taking acting classes. He also is working at a Starbucks Coffee shop near the Burbank airport.
So far, he has seen just a couple of stars - Dee Snider of the rock band Twisted Sister and singer Rihanna.
On another occasion, outside of work, "I think I saw Vanessa Hudgens in Beverly Hills," Mason said, referring, ironically, to the female lead actress of "High School Musical."
"I've learned not to be so star struck anymore because, being in the business, you realize (celebrities) are just like other people except ... their lives are just publicized," Mason said.