A fresh addition to television's vampire weekend programming, ABC's new summer mini-series features a familiar face.
Ahwatukee Foothills native Travis Caldwell, 21, just landed an acting gig as Charlie Monohan on The Gates.
Caldwell started out local, modeling with John Robert Powers International while attending Mountain Pointe High School.
After becoming bored of modeling, he moved to Los Angeles at 15 to pursue a career in acting.
Caldwell appeared in single episodes of various nickelodeon shows including Zoey 101 and Miss Guided. He also appeared on Without A Trace, Women's Murder Club and Parenthood before becoming a series regular on The Gates.
"For the last few years I've been a ghost actor, but now I finally can be recognized. This is a finally moment for me. I'm kind of an underdog from Phoenix and now I finally did it," Caldwell said.
He calls The Gates "a mix of Desperate Housewives, Twilight, Gossip Girl and your favorite crime drama."
Sounds like a tall order, but if The Gates can combine various elements from those successful series it's bound to be popular with the masses. Right?
Time will tell, as only three episodes of The Gates have aired so far.
The cast is currently shooting the rest of the first season's episodes in Shreveport, La., which seems to be the ideal home to mythical creatures seeing as it is also where Sunday night's bloodsucking HBO series True Blood films.
The recent resurgence of vampire mania continues and won't be fading away anytime soon. According to the-numbers.com The Twilight Saga: Eclipse broke an IMAX record, grossing $1 million just in its midnight premiere. The second season of The CW's The Vampire Diaries premieres in September, and vamp films Dracula Year Zero, Dark Shadows, Vamps and Fright Night are all rumored to release in 2011.
Even with all that competition Caldwell insists that The Gates isn't just another clone.
He said that there are clever twists in the show that give the supernatural characters new rules to play by, therefore, making them more interesting than the standard myths.
Caldwell plays the son of Nick Monohan, a homicide detective from Chicago who has just accepted a new job as police chief in the suburban community.
Charlie's a loner at his new high school, but is quickly forced into supernatural drama when a teenage succubus - a sexual demon who preys on mortal men - takes a liking to him.
It may seem hard to be able to identify with a character who lives in a world where vampires, witches and werewolves run rampant but Caldwell manages to "keep his cool."
"My character relates with average teenager thoughts, feelings and emotions. He identifies with calm rather than panic...which makes it more real for me as an actor," Caldwell said.
According to ABC's website Caldwell is also a part of the upcoming film Hanna's Gold. He said his future plans are to continue auditioning and hopefully work on a few more seasons of The Gates.
For now Caldwell resides in Los Angeles where he can fully enjoy his new celebrity status, but when asked if he missed anything about Ahwatukee he replied, "I miss Sonic and I miss high school."
The Gates airs Sunday Nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Erica Tiffany is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.