Andrea Bordeaux has gone from the theater arts program at Copperas Cove High School to a role on a major television series in Los Angeles.
Currently on hiatus from her role as Harley Hidoko on the CBS drama “NCIS: Los Angeles,” Bordeaux reflected on her days in Cove.
She credits one Copperas Cove High School teacher — Bill Taylor — with understanding her desire to pursue a career in acting.
While Taylor retired from CCHS two years ago, Bordeaux still thinks about him from time to time. “He was always such a kind and supportive man.”
Bordeaux was born at the old Darnall Medical Center at Fort Hood while her mother was stationed there. The family lived in Killeen for a year, then moved to Germany.
Returning to Killeen when she was 5, the family settled in Copperas Cove when Bordeaux was in second grade. She attended Cove schools all the way through high school, graduating in 2005.
Her dream of acting started at home, Bordeaux said. “I grew up in a house where we were always watching movies and TV together.” Those movies included some featuring social commentary, political themes and “intense, adult stories.”
Bordeaux realized the actors were storytellers, and she knew at a young age that acting was something she could do as a profession.
Entering Copperas Cove High School as a freshman was the first time she had an opportunity to get on stage. She chose theater arts as an elective, which gave her the chance to be different characters.
“It was scary and intimidating, but it kept me hungry.”
As her senior year approached, Bordeaux decided to study in New York City.
When she would mention that plan to her classmates, they would respond, “Oh, my God, you’re really going to New York City?”
She began her studies by spending a year at Pace University, and started auditioning professionally at age 21. Her first professional job happened two years later.
“It was a good five-year struggle,” she said of the time after she graduated high school.
A move to Los Angeles in 2013 opened up more opportunities for Bordeaux.
Over the past few years, she has appeared on the television shows “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Criminal Minds,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Bones,” among others.
A chance to audition for a small role on “NCIS: Los Angeles” last year turned into a recurring role for Bordeaux.
“I was brought in to audition for a very small role in the first episode of season nine,” she said.
A group of Asian women were auditioning for a different role that same day. When Bordeaux’s turn came to read for her part, she was, instead, asked to do a cold reading for that other role.
“I took about 15 minutes to look over the material,” Bordeaux said. That evening, she heard from her manager that they loved her audition and offered her a call back.
“I thought I bombed the (second) audition,” Bordeaux said. Her leg was shaking, she recalled, and she forgot some lines. “I was crying after the audition. I thought so many things had gone wrong.”
That night, she got text messages asking about her availability. When she asked her manager why, she was told, “Because you got the job.”
Bordeaux acknowledged, “It was a very whirlwind experience.”
The character Harley Hidoko was originally supposed to appear in six episodes, Bordeaux said, but her recurring role lasted the entire season. “It was an all-around unique experience.”
As for the future, Bordeaux is in discussion with her manager about the next project.
“An actor’s main job is auditioning,” she said.
Bordeaux believes her experiences at Copperas Cove High School were instrumental in her journey to successfully pursue her dreams and goals as part of that job.