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For April 1, 2012, CBS - Part 1

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 8:45am
The Associated Press

xfdcb CBS-NEWS-SUNDAY-MORNI-01

<Show: CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING>

<Date: April 1, 2012>

<Time: 9:00>

<Tran: 040101cb.405>

<Type: Show>

<Head: For April 1, 2012, CBS - Part 1>

<Sect: News; Domestic>

<Byline: Charles Osgood, Jim Axelrod, Tracy Smith, Mo Rocca, Whit

Johnson,

David Pogue, Steve Hartman, Anthony Mason>

<Guest: Zac Efron, Patti Smith>

<High: We keep hearing about new medical devices that save lives,

lives

that would have been lost just a few years ago. But how dependable are

they? The statistics say that fewer than one percent of those devices

fail.

But considering what's at stake, is that good enough? Would the

failure

rate be lower if a key government agency kept closer watch? Here at

home,

the winners many of us are thinking about are the winners of the

largest in

history Mega Millions lottery. We still don't know who they are. But

we

know one thing. They're a lot richer than they were yesterday. Actor

Zac

Efron is interviewed. A huge and hugely expensive alternative energy

project is going full speed ahead in California. But whether it's a

sure

shot or a dead end depends on who is telling you about it. Musician

and

writer Patti Smith is interviewed.>

<Spec: Health and Medicine; Lottery; Mega Millions; Movie Industry;

Entertainment; Zac Efron; Music Industry; Patti Smith>

CHARLES OSGOOD: Good morning. I'm Charles Osgood and this is SUNDAY

MORNING.

We keep hearing about new medical devices that save lives, lives that

would have been lost just a few years ago. But how dependable are

they? The statistics say that fewer than one percent of those devices

fail. But considering what's at stake, is that good enough? Would the

failure rate be lower if a key government agency kept closer watch?

That is a question Jim Axelrod will be examining in our SUNDAY MORNING

Cover Story.

JIM AXELROD: Seven years ago, cardiologist Robert Hauser lost a

patient, Joshua Oukrop, because Joshua's implanted heart device was

defective. That led Doctor Hauser to the FDA, where he uncovered

problems he's been battling to fix them ever since.

Did you think you'd still be talking about this in 2012?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: No, it's so obvious.

JIM AXELROD: The troubling record of the FDA's oversight of medical

devices, later on SUNDAY MORNING.

CHARLES OSGOOD: Patti Smith first made her name in the rock music

world roughly four decades ago. In the years since she's crossed paths

with many of the leading pop-culture figures of our time. This

morning, she talks about it all with our Anthony Mason.

ANTHONY MASON: Patti Smith wanted to be a poet and an artist. But she

became one of the most influential performers of the rock era.

PATTI SMITH: There was some kind of presumptive bravado that told me

that I could do this.

ANTHONY SMITH: Patti Smith on life, love, and art, later this SUNDAY

MORNING.

PATTI SMITH: It's just the same. Isn't it wonderful when some things

don't change? It really--

CHARLES OSGOOD: The Lucky One is a new film that stars the young,

talented actor Zac Efron in a very different sort of role than we've

seen him in before. With Tracy Smith this morning, we'll pay him a

visit.

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: Disney's High School Musical turned Zac Efron into a

star--

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: --and scores of girls end up levering (INDISTINCT) but

please don't call him a heartthrob.

What do you think of that word, heartthrob?

ZAC EFRON: Heartthrob? I hate it. It follows you around. But you don't

deserve it.

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: Zac Efron, reluctant teen idol now serious actor, ahead

on SUNDAY MORNING.

CHARLES OSGOOD: Today, as we all know, is April Fools' Day, a day for

taking everything we hear with a grain of salt. Our Mo Rocca has a

whole shaker full.

MO ROCCA: On the internet, every day is April Fools' Day.

ADAM SAVAGE: I feel like we're more gullible than ever sometimes. And

at other times, I feel like we're just as gullible as we've always

been.

MO ROCCA: Later on SUNDAY MORNING, did that actually happen?

CHARLES OSGOOD: We'll also put art to the April Fools' Day test. Look

at two very different paths to nuclear fusion. Cast a skeptical eye on

3-D movies, and more. But first, here are the headlines for this

SUNDAY MORNING, the 1st of April, 2012.

And we begin in Myanmar, a nation once called Burma where

pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi looks set to take a seat in

parliament. It is only the third election there in half a century.

Here at home, the winners many of us are thinking about are the

winners of the largest in history Mega Millions lottery. We still

don't know who they are. But we know one thing. They're a lot richer

than they were yesterday. Here's Whit Johnson.

(Begin VT)

WHIT JOHNSON: In the end, it was a three-way split for the biggest

lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

MAN ?1: Show me the money, baby. Show me the money.

WHIT JOHNSON: The final tally swelling to six hundred fifty-six

million dollars. The lucky ticket holders who have yet to come forward

struck it rich in northeast Kansas, Red Bud, Illinois, and Baltimore

County, Maryland. Steven Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery.

STEVEN MARTINO: Our advice to the player is to safeguard the ticket.

Sign the back of it.

WHIT JOHNSON: The odds of winning, one in one hundred seventy-six

million. Your chances of being elected President were better.

Still, the Mega Millions frenzy seemed to grip almost everyone--

MAN ?2: I got the fever for the flavor, baby.

WHIT JOHNSON: --pitting frequent gamblers against lotto rookies who

just couldn't resist.

MAN ?3: You name it. We got a boat, a plane, what else we've got?

MAN ?4: Ferraris.

WHIT JOHNSON: As the big dreams and long lines disappear, somewhere in

the crowd a lucky few will never be the same.

For SUNDAY MORNING, this is Whit Johnson in Washington.

(End VT)

CHARLES OSGOOD: The Coast Guard has launched a rescue operation after

a yacht was swamped by a wave during a race off San Francisco. These

sailors aboard the Geraldton Western Australia were hurt.

Today is Palm Sunday, marking the start of holy week. In Jerusalem,

Catholic priests carrying palm fronds celebrated mass at the Church of

the Holy Sepulchre.

Landmarks the world over dimmed their lights last night as part of an

annual global effort to call attention to climate change.

College basketball's Final Four hit the hardwood in New Orleans last

night. In the Kansas-Ohio State match-up, Kansas trailed by as many as

thirteen points before staging a second-half comeback beating the

stunned Buckeyes 64 to 62. Earlier, Kentucky's Anthony Davis scored

eighteen points and got fourteen rebounds to lead the Wildcats to a 69

to 61 win over cross-state rival Louisville. Kentucky will meet Kansas

tomorrow night in the national championship game right here on CBS.

The national weather service is concerned that people still don't pay

enough attention to storm warnings. So in tests that begin tomorrow it

is changing the language it uses. It will now use terms like

unsurvivable, mass devastation, and abandon all mobile homes. That

already get some attention.

No need for any of that in today's weather forecast. Still feels like

March in the Northeast, rainy and cool. But April has brought

summer-like temperatures to much of the country. A mostly warm, mostly

wet week lies ahead.

Next, a matter of trust.

And later, music legend Patti Smith.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

CHARLES OSGOOD: Statistically, fewer than one percent of all medical

devices fail their patients, far fewer in fact. Small comfort if one

of those very rare failures strikes you or me or someone we love. Our

Cover Story is reported now by Jim Axelrod.

(Begin VT)

JIM AXELROD: How often do you think of Joshua?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Every day.

JIM AXELROD: Is his memory what motivates what you're doing?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: A lot of it. A lot of it.

JIM AXELROD: Joshua Oukrop was twenty-one when he died seven years ago

of a heart attack. Robert Hauser is not a relative; he was Joshua's

cardiologist.

Why is Joshua the case that's got you?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Well, first of all, he was young. It shouldn't have

happened. It just shouldn't have happened.

JIM AXELROD: The story of what happened to Joshua begins with the

discovery as a teen that he had inherited a heart condition from his

father, Lee.

LEE OUKRUP: He came home from band and his saxophone was dented in a

little bit in a few spots. He said I just passed out and fell forward.

So we knew something had to be done.

JIM AXELROD: Josh's parents took him to see Doctor Hauser at Abbott

Northwestern Hospital's Minneapolis Heart Institute. Hauser decided to

implant a cardiac defibrillator--called an ICD--in Josh's chest.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: When the heart becomes very chaotic, it shocks the

heart back to normal.

JIM AXELROD: Although Lee Oukroup and his older son, Jacob, both had

similar heart conditions, neither had shown signs of disease. So only

Joshua had an ICD implanted.

LEE OUKRUP: He was a kid, you know? He was a little reluctant to do

it, but he knew it was for the best.

JIM AXELROD: Three years of routine tests and check-ups went by

uneventfully. And then, in March 2005, Joshua Oukrop took a biking

trip in Utah with his girlfriend.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: His girlfriend saw him fall off his bike and

collapse. CPR was attempted but he could not be resuscitated.

JIM AXELROD: He died.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: He died.

LEE OUKRUP: I ended up talking to the-- the county coroner. And he

says I-- he says I got some news that I want to tell you. He said Josh

had an ICD implanted. And I said yes. And-- and he said it was faulty.

JIM AXELROD: Instead of shocking Josh's heart back into rhythm, the

device had shorted out. Josh's doctors asked Lee for permission to

remove Josh's heart and examine it.

LEE OUKRUP: And I tell you, it was a very, very hard thing for me to

do. I wanted my son whole. But I-- I agreed to do it and they brought

it back to Minneapolis and they autopsied just the heart itself. And

they found out that it was a very shockable heart. He could have been

brought back to life had the device worked.

JIM AXELROD: "Had the device worked," crushing words to Doctor Hauser

and intense motivation as well. How could the device have not worked?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: I got into the FDA database. And my search

uncovered a number of problems.

JIM AXELROD: Doctor Hauser found the ICD's manufacturer, Guidant, had

known the defibrillator was faulty since 2002.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: We eventually met with Guidant in May of 2005. This

would be three months after Joshua's death, and we told them that they

were obligated to inform patients and physicians of the problem.

JIM AXELROD: What did they say to you?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: They declined to do so. They stated that they were

afraid physicians would overreact and take these devices out

unnecessarily, because they believe that the likelihood of failure was

very low.

JIM AXELROD: So how many people are walking around with this faulty

defibrillator?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Tens of thousands.

JIM AXELROD: Tens of thousands?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Yes.

JIM AXELROD: What did you do?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: We went to The New York Times. And we told our

story. That defibrillator was recalled.

JIM AXELROD: Guidant was taken over by Boston Scientific, which

declined to comment saying it was, ".not interested in

participating.," in our report. But that's not the end of the story.

Dr. Hauser kept digging. He says he found problems at the FDA--the

agency charged with approving and overseeing medical devices. He

believes both the approval process and the follow-up once devices hit

the market are badly flawed.

In this whole episode, where was the FDA the whole time.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: I don't know. The FDA should have been on top of

this, because Guidant had filed a report with the FDA in August of

2004 laying out the details of the problem with this device.

MARCIA CROSSE: The data we have from our review of recalls showed that

FDA had approximately twenty-six reports of serious adverse events

related to this type of device over a three-year period before the

device was recalled.

JIM AXELROD: Marcia Crosse is health care director at the Government

Accountability Office, the federal government's watchdog agency. She

is in charge of FDA medical product oversight. And says she knows the

FDA had the reports but can't say if anyone read them.

JIM AXELROD: When you say three years, twenty-six reports of adverse

events.

MARCIA CROSSE: Yes.

JIM AXELROD: And still no recall.

MARCIA CROSSE: Yes.

JIM AXELROD: And then this kid dies.

MARCIA CROSSE: Yes. It was I think the reports in the press of this

patient that was the precipitating factor for the recall.

JIM AXELROD: Well, forgive me, but is that what it takes?

MARCIA CROSSE: It shouldn't be what it takes. That's the concern that

we have about their use of the information that they receive that is

the kind of concern that we have.

JIM AXELROD: Crosse says the non-partisan GAO put the FDA's oversight

of medical products on its list of government areas at high risk for

mismanagement and in need of broad reform. But, she says, the problems

go back much further.

MARCIA CROSSE: The responsibility for reviewing medical devices was

first given to FDA in 1976. The expectation was that FDA was going to

put out regulations for each type of medical device. And-- and by 1990

FDA still had not put out regulations for these high-risk medical

devices--over a hundred different types.

JIM AXELROD: In fact, according to Crosse, twenty-two types of

important and potentially lifesaving medical devices--from automated

external defibrillators to electroconvulsive therapy devices--remain

without proper regulations.

And here we are twenty-two years later and the appropriate regulations

have not been developed?

MARCIA CROSSE: That's correct.

JIM AXELROD: Among these devices: metal-on-metal artificial hips which

have been the subject of a recent recall. Tiny metal shards can break

off, releasing toxins into the bloodstream. It's believed that some

five hundred thousand patients could be affected. The metal-on-metal

hip was allowed to be grandfathered-in on the approval of a similar

device already on the market. This, says Doctor Hauser, is a faster

and cheaper method to get a product approved. And it's a fundamental

and not uncommon problem.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Companies are allowed to supplement a new device on

a previous approval without conducting any human safety tests. For

example, there was a defibrillator lead that functioned very well. The

manufacturer decided that they wanted to make a smaller version of the

lead. So they shrunk it up. They used the same materials basically,

same design basically. Very quickly it became the most popular lead

ever. After two years of being on the market, it started to break.

They may look the same from a material standpoint, from a design

standpoint, but they perform vastly differently.

JIM AXELROD: We asked to speak with the FDA directly about all of

this. We made repeated requests for an on-camera interview. While the

agency weighed its response--we spoke with some of its defenders.

DAVID NEXON: The FDA, you can always try and do better, but I think

the FDA basically does have a very, very sound job.

JIM AXELROD: David Nexon is a senior executive vice president at

Advamed, a medical device trade group.

DAVID NEXON: Some of the critics, you know, I think want a zero-risk

system, where nothing is ever approved unless it's shown that they can

never do anybody any harm. If you do that you also have no medical

progress, and that's not a good thing for the American people.

JIM AXELROD: In fact Nexon's group thinks the approval process is too

slow.

DAVID NEXON: The industry's concern about the FDA in the last few

years is that while they haven't changed their standards for review,

reviews have become much slower and more inconsistent.

JIM AXELROD: But Doctor Hauser cautions that speeding up an already

ineffective approval process could be dangerous because there's also

inadequate follow-up after a device hits the market, something called

post- market surveillance.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: In the United States, there is no definite

requirement for post-market surveillance for defibrillators and heart

valves, artificial hearts, and so forth.

JIM AXELROD: Like there's no requirement?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: There's no absolute requirement. In other words,

you wait for problems to be reported to you rather than actively

seeking out problems, and there's a big difference.

JIM AXELROD: Doctor Hauser says active reporting could have saved

Joshua Oukrop. Remember, the GAO says the FDA received twenty-six

reports during the three years before Oukrop's death.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: I suspect nobody read the report.

JIM AXELROD: I mean FDA has got to know there's a problem here.

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: They do, and Congress knows they have a problem.

JIM AXELROD: So when you say there can be tens of thousands of people

walking around with faulty products, I-- I mean, really, tens of

thousands?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: Yeah.

JIM AXELROD: It doesn't have to be, in your view?

DR. ROBERT HAUSER: No.

JIM AXELROD: Last year, the Institute of Medicine, an independent

advisory group, issued a report stating that the FDA's current

regulatory framework for most devices is so flawed it should be thrown

out and replaced with a new system that, quote, "Provides a reasonable

assurance of safety and effectiveness." Advamed's Nexon says that even

though in the last couple of years recalls of device models with

problems that could cause serious injury or death have doubled, in his

view, the numbers are still small.

DAVID NEXON: The American people should be very confident that the FDA

and the industry working together have an exemplary safety record.

There are fifty thousand different models and devices on the market

right now. About twenty of those on average, they-- they find serious

problems with. That's less than two-tenths of one percent.

LEE OUKROP: Why did I have to be the one percent? You know, not

wishing it on anybody else, but why does there have to be any? There

shouldn't be any. There can't be. When it's that critical of a piece,

there can't be that kind of problems with it.

JIM AXELROD: When we finally heard back from the FDA, the agency

refused our request for an on-camera interview, providing us instead

with a lengthy statement which reads in part, "The FDA weighs the

benefits and risks of every medical device we review. We must balance

risk with the careful evaluation of patient benefit--this helps

promote public health."

Today, Lee Oukrop worries for his other son, Jacob, who inherited the

same heart condition as Joshua, and has a defibrillator implanted

inside him.

JACOB OUKROP: I mean I feel confident that it will save me if and when

I ever do need it. They have assured me that this device is a

lifesaving device and I just put my trust in what the doctors say.

JIM AXELROD: But this isn't Jake's original device. As the luck of the

one percent would have it, a part on Jake's defibrillator was faulty.

Remember those smaller leads Doctor Hauser described? Jake was among

the two hundred sixty-eight thousand patients who received that

"shrunken up" version.

LEE OUKROP: There was a recall on some of the leads that go from the

defibrillator to the heart. The leads were cracking and shorting, and

then the defibrillator couldn't deliver a-- a charge if it needed to.

JIM AXELROD: After having that device inside him for nearly three

years, it was replaced before Jake was harmed, but thirteen others

died. Lee Oukrop says Jake just had better luck than Joshua and that's

not nearly good enough.

LEE OUKROP: Somebody out there needs to be looking out for me, for us.

We're not doctors, we're not scientists. Here it is six, seven years

later, you know, you still see that stuff is getting through. Stuff is

being recalled. And it's all-- it's all stuff that the FDA should be

looking at and they should be paying a little bit more closer

attention to them.

(End VT)

MAN (TV ad): Chewing gum is good for you. Now which brand is the best

to chew?

CHARLES OSGOOD: Next, something to chew on.

WOMAN (TV ad): Double your pleasure, double your fun.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

WOMAN (TV ad): Double your pleasure, double your fun with double good,

double good Doublemint gum.

CHARLES OSGOOD: And now a page from our SUNDAY MORNING Almanac. April

1, 1891, a hundred and twenty-one years ago today, a no-nonsense

birthday for an iconic American brand.

For it was on that day in Chicago that William Wrigley Junior founded

the company that bears his name. Wrigley started out making soap and

baking powder, but he switched to the manufacture of chewing gum which

soon became his principal business.

In 1921, he opened his new headquarters, the Wrigley Building, a

wedding cake skyscraper of a building in a prime spot on Michigan

Avenue. That same year, Wrigley bought majority control of the Chicago

Cubs. Five years later, renamed the ballpark, Wrigley Field. William

Wrigley Junior died in 1932. And, though, the Cubs of Wrigley Field

were losers decade after decade, Wrigley's chewing gum brands were

nothing less than winners and a frequent sight on TV.

MAN ?1 (TV ad): It's okay it's a little longer. Singing a little

longer. Laugh a little longer. Longer with Big Red.

CHARLES OSGOOD: The passage of time has brought changes to Wrigley.

Company sold the Cubs in 1981--

MAN ?2: Chicago Tribune paid twenty million dollars for what maybe the

world's worst baseball team.

CHARLES OSGOOD: And in 2008, the entire Wrigley company was purchased

by Mars, the candymaker. But to many, Wrigley brands are still sold.

The Wrigley building still stands tall as ever. And the Cubs still

play at their beloved and ivy-covered Wrigley Field where at this

Thursday's home opener hope will once again spring eternal, a lot of

gum will be nervously chewed.

Ahead, the art of the fake.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

CHARLES OSGOOD: Behold a portrait by Picasso, a coastal landscape by

the artist Paul Signac, a wistful young lady captured by William Adolf

Bouguereau. April Fool. Not one of those paintings is what it appears

to be. They are instead part of Faux Real, an exhibit of more than

three dozen forgeries opening today, April 1st appropriately enough,

at the University of Cincinnati. They're all the work of Mark Landis

of Mississippi, who's been donating paintings to small institutions

for years. Matthew Leininger, the co-curator of the exhibit discovered

the first Landis forgery while serving at the Oklahoma City Museum of

Art in 2008.

MATTHEW LEININGER: I was outraged. I felt duped. And felt like I

needed to let as many people know about this character as I could.

CHARLES OSGOOD: Leininger spread the alarm, all right, and found that

Landis had offered over a hundred works to at least fifty institutions

in twenty states over thirty years. As Matthew Leininger demonstrated

for us, the Landis forgery technique is betrayed under ultraviolent

light. Those white areas reveal the spots Landis failed to color in

sufficiently.

MATTHEW LEININGER: And I don't believe that he is a bad guy. He really

hasn't done anything criminal other than wasting people's time. I

believe that he truly feels what he is doing is honoring his parents

and placing pretty pictures into institutions.

CHARLES OSGOOD: And for any other museum that might be offered a

pretty picture, Matthew Leininger has three words of advice, exercise

due diligence.

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

CHARLES OSGOOD: Ahead, Zac Efron; long way from high school. And

later--

TAYLOR WILSON: Do you want to actually make a star? You want to

crank--

MAN: Yeah.

TAYLOR WILSON: --this thing up?

CHARLES OSGOOD: --it is rocket science.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

(Excerpt from Hairspray)

ANNOUNCER: It's SUNDAY MORNING on CBS, and here again is Charles

Osgood.

CHARLES OSGOOD: That's Zac Efron in the movie Hairspray. Many of us

may know him as the heartthrob in High School Musical. And now in a

film called The Lucky One, he's proving that there really is life

after high school. Tracy Smith has our Sunday Profile.

(Begin VT)

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: If Facebook has you thinking you'll never shake off high

school, consider Zac Efron, the singing, dancing, teen heartthrob, now

a grown man of twenty-four. Back in 2006, Zac starred in what may be

the most popular made-for-TV movie ever--

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: --airing again and again on the Disney Channel. High

School Musical has been seen by an estimated two hundred ninety

million viewers worldwide.

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

TRACY SMITH: It all makes Zac Efron most likely to succeed and a man

with a past albeit a sunny one. And he says that could be a challenge

for a budding acting career.

Were you at all apprehensive about playing a Marine?

ZAC EFRON: One hundred percent. One hundred percent. I was incredibly

nervous.

(Excerpt from The Lucky One)

TRACY SMITH: In his latest film, The Lucky One, out April 20th, Zac

plays Sergeant Logan Thibault, a Marine on his third tour in Iraq.

ZAC EFRON: I knew it would be-- would be a stretch. I knew it was

going to be a challenge.

TRACY SMITH: To prepare for that challenge, Efron trained at a sort of

private boot camp outside of Los Angeles.

ZAC EFRON: This is where I sort of lived a day in a life of what it

was like to be out there as a Marine. What it's like to carry around

an eighty- pound flak jacket, full weapon, helmet.

TRACY SMITH: And how to disarm someone carrying a gun.

MAN: and I'll shoot you. Yeah, there you go. Yeah.

ZAC EFRON: Boom. That's it. And somebody's disarmed. And you go. And

then you fall down.

(Excerpt from The Lucky One)

TRACY SMITH: In the movie based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks,

curiosity about a stray photo of a woman steers Zac's character out of

danger.

ZAC EFRON: The act of finding the picture sort of saved his life. He

makes it his mission to track her down and to thank her for saving his

life.

TRACY SMITH: One of the themes of the movie is that the smallest thing

can change your life.

ZAC EFRON: Mm-Hm.

TRACY SMITH: Has that happened to Zac Efron?

ZAC EFRON: Oh, without a doubt. I feel like half the reason I'm here

is being in the right place at the right time.

TRACY SMITH: Born and raised on the Central California coast by

parents who worked at a power plant, Zac had a childhood he calls

pretty standard.

ZAC EFRON: My dad kept us pretty driven. My mom kept us very loved.

TRACY SMITH: Did your parents see your talent before you did?

ZAC EFRON: I-- I think so. I could sing any song, sort of memorize

lyrics. And it-- it sounds like-- like nothing special now. But, you

know, to my dad who-- who is not very musical guy, he thought it was

pretty outstanding. So he decided to try and help me in the dance

classes and help me into-- you know, into piano.

TRACY SMITH: His piano teacher was the director of a local theater.

And at age twelve, Zac landed a part in Gypsy.

ZAC EFRON: Stepping into the world of theater, I-- I knew I found

something special. I felt engaged. I was nervous. Every single day, I

was-- stepping outside of my comfort zone. Umm--

TRACY SMITH: And you liked that.

ZAC EFRON: Yeah. Oh, man, it was-- it was a rush. Plus, I-- I couldn't

be next to my parents. They couldn't be there. So I was like so

stuck--

TRACY SMITH (overlapping): Freedom.

ZAC EFRON: Yes, freedom. Freedom. Total freedom. And I just-- I

absolutely loved it.

TRACY SMITH: He loved it so much, he got an agent.

ZAC EFRON: One thing led to another, and-- and I was auditioning for

little bit parts on TV.

(Excerpt from ER)

TRACY SMITH: His mom drove him to every casting call, three hours each

way. And slowly he started landing gigs as a gunshot victim on ER.

(Excerpt from ER)

(Excerpt from Firefly)

TRACY SMITH: And as a precocious child on the sci-fi series Firefly.

The paycheck for that role was an eye-opener.

ZAC EFRON: And I'll never forget my dad on the car ride home saying,

you know, Zac, maybe you should keep doing this because I got to be

honest with you, your college funds aren't exactly in line. I was like

what?

(Excerpt from High School Musical)

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