His dad was an attorney, and Lance was on his way to becoming a classical music composer. Then something went awry.
"I always knew I had a thing when it came to acting but never took it seriously. I just thought people who wanted to be actors were silly," he said,
It may have been silly, but Reddick has managed to parlay that tomfoolery into a full blown career with memorable performances in TV shows like "Oz," "Fringe," "Lost" and "The Wire," and his new movie, "White House Down," due June 28.
For a guy who was too shy to even consider performing, he somehow beat the odds. He studied music composition at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, the piano his instrument.
He developed his first taste for music at an Episcopal elementary school when he started singing with the choir. "A lot of black people grow up singing gospel music. I grew up singing Gregorian chants and 16th century motets," he said.
Still, he left Eastman before he graduated. "I realized I was in denial, and I really wanted to be a rock star," he said.
"So I got married straight out of school ... and found myself working three jobs, seven days a week."
He still wasn't sure what he wanted to do. But an excruciating back injury changed all that. Fourteen days of bed rest forced him to re-evaluate his life.
"It sounds crazy but I thought, 'Well, I know the recording studio I'm working with is taking me for a ride. It's time for me to admit that to myself. So let me start from scratch. I can sing and I can act. So let me try to act ...'"
Reddick thinks his period with est (Erhard Seminars Training) -- especially a workshop on communication -- lent him the ability to ace those early auditions.
"I was different when I came out of the workshop. I'm shy, an introvert. I was so withdrawn, so self-conscious, but when I came out I was 'Whoa!' Suddenly all this stuff I'd been suppressing since I was 7, I let go of."
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