Actress inspires Pacheco High graduates

tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comJune 13, 2013 

You can do anything, be anybody, a television actress told Pacheco High School seniors during a rehearsal talk last week.

Jaclyn Betham, who plays the daughter of a rich philanderer on "Tyler Perry's The Haves and Have Nots," spoke about life after high school to nearly 300 on June 6.

"Now you have any choice to be what you want to be," Betham said, recounting what she told students. "But, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get there."

Betham hails from Long Beach, but her parents, John and Sandra Betham, are teachers at Pacheco High. Betham left home at 15 to dance in a ballet company; she's performed with Ballet San Jose and Houston Ballet. Later, she turned to acting.

"I had no idea when I was 15 that I was going to be acting," Betham said.

"It's OK, sometimes it takes awhile or you might have several different types of careers," she said.

Betham said the show's pilot episode garnered the most-ever viewers for a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN. Four episodes have aired.

"People are definitely excited about it and talking about," she said. "(It's) wonderful."

The soapy drama takes place in a Georgia mansion, where the family of a rich judge meets the family of his servants. The story line includes an affair, a drug-addicted son and dark secrets.

Betham said she had a goal in mind last week when speaking to youngsters.

"They have their whole lives in front of them," Betham said, "and whatever they want to achieve, I just wanted them to know they could do it."

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