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Twin Falls native stars in Law & Order crossover special

Jaci Calderon has been acting for years doing local theater in Twin Falls. Now the Idaho native is taking her skills to television and making her dreams a reality.

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho native is making her big acting debut on the crossover special of Law & Order, which premiered Thursday night at 7.

Jaci Calderon has been acting and honing her craft for years doing local theater in Twin Falls. Now the Idaho native is taking her skills to television and making her dreams a reality.

The 21-year-old actress was selected for a prominent role that is featured in all three episodes of the crossover. But the young star credits her TikTok followers for helping her earn the big acting gig.

Jaci said she was participating in her local theatre when the pandemic shut down everything. At that point, the only outlet the actress had was TikTok, so she started producing content.

"I started doing TikTok, mainly like theater stuff, like singing covers of musical theater songs," Jaci said. "And I blew up unexpectedly, I didn't think that I would." 

After building a following on TikTok, she was then discovered by an agent who was able to get her an audition on the widely popular show, Law & Order.

"I answered it and I knew she only calls me for like big stuff, so I was like 'oh my gosh'. I had just done the audition for Law & Order, so I was like 'oh my god, there's no way, no there's no way," Jaci said.

Jaci said her hands were shaking as she got the news. Just like that, she was on her way to film in New York City for the next month on set.

"I play a young girl who witnessed a very heinous crime," Jaci said. "The first day I was so intimidated. I had no idea what I was doing. I felt like I was gonna make a fool out of myself. But the crew and the cast they're just the best people. They are seriously so amazing. So nice, so welcoming. They made me feel at home."

Jaci said she also got nervous during her first scene with longtime Law & Order actress Marishka Hargitay.

"When I had my first scene with Mariska Hargitay, I was so scared and so nervous to meet her because she's been my idol," Jaci said. "And she was just so sweet to me, and she made me feel so safe and, I could not be more grateful."

Following the filming experience, the Idaho native is now basking in her dream turned reality.

"I think it's crazy, because, you know, when I went to New York to go film, anytime the actors or the crew asked me where I'm from, I always said, 'oh, I'm from Idaho', and they're like, 'that's a real place?' and I'm like, 'yes, it's real'," Jaci said. "I feel very honored to represent Idaho in a way."

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