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East Union grad back for second season on Lifetimes Drop Dead Diva
April Bowlby 2008
April Bowlby - photo by Photo Contributed
Everyone wants to pack everything they have into the back of a U-Haul and head down to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting.

But for East Union High graduate April Bowlby – who had already garnered herself a modeling contract while she was still a Lancer – the transition was more than just a cliché.

On June 6, Bowlby will once again be portraying the character of “Stacy Barrett” in Lifetime’s hit series Drop Dead Diva, now entering its second season, and will continue to add to her growing resume of television and film performances that appear to spell nothing but a promising young career.

For 15 episodes, Bowlby played the second ex-wife of Jon Cryer’s character Alan Harper on the highly successful CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men” and has had spots on primetime regulars like CSI and CSI: New York.

She just recently appeared in a CSI episode the featured county superstars Rascal Flatts, and has also worked with comedy troupe “Broken Lizard” in their film “The Slammin’ Salmon” – joining the same crew that churned out international super hits like Super Troopers and Beerfest.

And while I was supposed to have a brief conversation with Bowlby on Wednesday afternoon with her successes and what it’s like to crack the lineup in a town known for being ruthless, the nature of the business prevented such a chat from happening – an audition for a new role prompted her to have to leave early.

Apparently that’s the way that the biscotti crumbles when you’re carving out your own place in Hollywood.

So I did the next best thing.

I watched the premier episode of the second season of Drop Dead Diva that was included in the press pack to see exactly what it was that had garnered her acclaim as she inches towards the next rung in the ladder of the Southern California elite.

While I can say with uncanny certainty that the television in my apartment has never once graced the Lifetime channel, I was pleasantly surprised with the show – which focuses on the life of a once-beautiful girl who dies and comes back as an overweight New York lawyer.

As the role of the best friend, Bowlby had me laughing more than once, and it was apparent that her acting chops – something she may have picked up while studying ballet and French at the Ventura County-based Moorpark College – were well-earned.

What I expected to be overwhelmingly sentimental turned out to be quite comical in nature (I’m pondering getting the first season to see her progression and point out to friends while declaring “I know that girl”) and left me with some information to pass along to my female friends that are always telling me my favorite shows are either too vulgar or too violent for them to enjoy on a weekly basis.

She might not be the first person from Manteca to head south and make a name for herself, but Bowlby has definitely given Manteca something to be proud of.

They say all it takes is one big break to make the A-list in Hollywood, and as long as she continues doing what she’s doing, it’ll garner Bowlby’s name before we know it.

Let’s just hope that there’s still a soft spot in her heart for the place she spent a better part of her youth. It would make her appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio that much better.