A few years ago, after working his way up through the corporate world in Atlanta, Allen Earls refocused his career.
And broke into the acting world.
Today, the Lumpkin County native can be seen in episodes of "Drop Dead Diva" on Lifetime and had a role in 2009 as the pastor in Tyler Perry’s hit movie "Madea Goes to Jail."
"My character (on the Lifetime show) is Judge Barlow. He’s a strong, stern, sort of a no-nonsense sort of a judge with a big heart, though," Earls said.
This summer is the show’s second season on the cable network.
"I, of course, went through the traditional channels (to get the role) — my agent gave me a call and told me about the show and I had seen some episodes of the show and I was real impressed," he said. "The show had a lot of success in season one; it was a hit TV show for Lifetime."
According to Lifetime.com, "Drop Dead Diva" tells the story of a shallow wannabe model who dies in a sudden accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane.
The second season of "Drop Dead Diva" will feature 13 new episodes.
A longtime Atlanta resident and motivational speaker, Earls, grew up in Lumpkin County and attended Lumpkin County High School and North Georgia College & State University. He moved to Atlanta after college and has spent most of his adult like there.
Lucky for Earls, "Drop Dead Diva" is set in Los Angeles, but filmed in Atlanta.
"The setting of the show is LA, but they shoot a lot of the show here," he said.
Earls went through the audition process for the show pretty quickly, he said, and ended up auditioning for the casting director where he landed the part.
"I ultimately auditioned for one of the directors and they really liked what I brought to the character and I was booked for the show," said Earls, who added that the Judge Barlow character will be a recurring role this season.
"Drop Dead Diva" is a one-hour comedic drama that airs at 9 p.m. Sundays. The show stars Brook Elliot, Margaret Cho, Kate Levering, Josh Stamberg, Jackson Hurst, April Bowlby, Brook D’Orsay and Ben Feldman.