(CBS DETROIT)– The hit CW show All American returns for its third season this Monday. The football-themed high school drama has gained popularity, but what you may not know is one of the show’s actors is…

“I’m originally from Detroit Michigan I grew up on the Westside of Detroit, both of my parents were Detroit Police officers when I was growing up,” said Merrick McCartha.

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Ironically McCartha is also in law enforcement, well at least he has been on several TV shows and movies, so how does one go from the Westside of Detroit to Hollywood? McCartha says for him it all started when he discovered a special ability in elementary school.

“So I came up and I did this like improv and the whole class just busted out laughing and it hit me that I had this ability to spontaneously come up with stuff and entertain people.”

McCartha carried that passion with him to Cass Technical high school where he participated in acting clubs, but when it came to choosing this as a career, his parents were not having it. Sort of like Robert Hicks, the parent role he plays on All American.

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After college McCartha went on to have an engineering career, but the acting bug just wouldn’t go away, so he took some classes, signed with an agency in LA, and through many challenges and hard work has been very successful in Hollywood. McCartha says to always follow your passion.

“Always keep yourself in the mindset, if other people are doing it. There’s no real reason why you can’t.”

You can check out Detroit’s own Merrick McCartha this Monday, January 18th in the season premiere of All American on CW50 at 8 pm est.

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April Morton