HACKENSACK, N.J. — "What are you doing here?"
That's what Hackensack's Thomas Pierce was supposed to have said in his 2012 stage debut in William Paterson's "Top Dog Underdog."
"Hey, what's up man?" is what came out instead.
That he flubbed the line mattered little to the then-junior biology major because now, Pierce feels he's exactly where he's supposed to be.
"The journey to success is a grueling one," the actor said. "And I believe that you’re tested to see if you really want things."
The 26-year-old Hackensack High School graduate is featured in Audi's newly-released commercial starring FC Bayern Munich players.
Humble. Ambitious. Hungry.
As long as Pierce remains those three things, the rest is kismet.
"At first, I thought Audi didn't book me," said Pierce, dressed comfortably in all black sneakers, shorts and a T-shirt.
"But it was alright because I knew something better would happen."
About a month later, he got the call.
It's all part of a lesson Pierce learned as recently as two weeks ago, when he was suddenly cut from a role while he was sitting on set, dressed and ready to star on "The Breaks."
The uber ride home was a grim one, especially given that Pierce thought the appearance would open a door into the actor's union.
As fate would have it, a big-name athletic apparel company called him earlier this week. They wanted Pierce in its latest commercial.
"At first I didn’t chase my dreams because everyone told me it was really hard to make it, and the few that did were super lucky," Pierce said.
But being on stage or in front of a camera is what makes Pierce happy. And since focusing on staying positive, gigs seem to have fallen into his lap.
The actor has appeared on "Blue Bloods," booked photo shoots with Michael Jordan, a fashion show with Kanye West and even starred in a Facebook commercial.
The list goes on and on, but Pierce says it's just the beginning.
"I'm just staying happy and enjoying my journey," he said.
"Just inspiring people to do what they love."
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