Lights, camera, action.
From humble beginnings in Huntsville school plays, local girl Erin Cummings has climbed her way up the ladder of success in Hollywood to a series regular on this fall's CBS legal drama, "Made in Jersey."
Cummings was last seen as a guest star on the USA series "Common Law," and the TNT series, "Major Crimes." She also recently completed filming the 2013 drama, "The Iceman," starring Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, James Franco and Winona Ryder.
Over the course of her career, she has starred on ABC’s "Detroit 187," the Starz epic drama "Spartacus," as well as recurring roles on Pan Am and Mad Men.
"Made in Jersey," throws the Texas girl into the role of Bonnie, a tough-talking no-nonsense Jersey nail technician.
"'Made in Jersey' is CBS doing what CBS does best -- which is procedural legal drama," Cummings said. "However, the different thing about “Made in Jersey," is we incorporate a great deal of humor and a heartwarming family story line that sets it apart. I love Bonnie because she's brash, fun and unapologetically sexy. She really doesn't try to hide who she is.”
Cummings' character is a divorced single mother with an ex-husband, a 'baby daddy,' and a new boyfriend.
"She has a spotty track record with men and a history of dating the wrong guy," she said. "We'll see in this week's episode, Bonnie's dating a guy she feels is the right type of guy. What we realize is no matter how great someone is, Bonnie's going to have to try to find someone who works for her."
In contrast to her character, Cummings has it all together with a successful career and bright future. She splits her time between Los Angeles and New York, where the show is filmed.
"The advice I have for anyone who says, 'I want to pursue a career in entertainment,' is you have to move to Los Angeles," she said. "At the end of the day, that is where all the projects are being cast out of. For every one movie shot in Texas, there are hundreds shot in Los Angeles in all ranges of budgets."
Cummings, who earned a journalism degree from the University of North Texas, was spotted by an LA talent scout while performing in a Dallas community theater performance. Her acting career, however, began in Huntsville.
"(Huntsville educator) Marjean Creager gave me my first starring role as the white witch in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." She taught us how much fun acting could be," Cummings said. “She taught us to constantly find joy in what we were doing. She also helped us realize the heart and the emotion of what we were doing. When I was in school I also did HEAP plays every summer, which was great experience. I really enjoyed that process, hanging out backstage and developing a character.”
To give back, Cummings founded the charity Mittens for Detroit in November of 2010. The charity provides new gloves and mittens to children, seniors and veterans in need during the winter. For more information, visit www.mittensfordetroit.org or find Cummings on Twitter @erinlcummings.
The second episode of "Made in Jersey," airs at 8 p.m. Friday after "CSI:NY." The show also stars Donna Murphy, Kyle McLachlan and Janet Montgomery. The pilot episode can be viewed at www.cbs.com.