Los Angeles has gone crazy for Shawn Christian. The Michigan native has been out West less than five years, and already he has racked up a longer list of credits than many an actor will in a lifetime. Besides scoring a recurring role on Crossing Jordan, the former model has guest-starred on Ellen, CSI and more Aaron Spelling series than even the producer's daughter, Tori. This month alone, he adds appearances on Spin City and Friends to his resume. Plus, he's just won the male lead in Face/Off director John Woo's USA Network pilot, Red Skies.

So, what's the secret of his success? "Deborah and Kameron — my wife and kid," he tells TV Guide Online. "I swear to you, they make me forget about everything. Then [my career] isn't such a life-or-death situation, and I don't get into this sort of self-absorbed mindset of, 'Oh my God, what's going to be next?' That's drama that I don't need."

No doubt, Christian is too modest to acknowledge that, if he is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sooner rather than later, it will be at least partly due to his willingness to go the extra mile. For instance, when he was cast as a beach bum on the ill-fated "Dallas in Hawaii" drama Wind on Water, he immediately signed up for surfing lessons. And now that he has been tapped by Red Skies to play a martial arts expert, he is studying tae kwon do. "I'm not real sore — not yet, anyway," he insists. "But those roundhouse kicks are kind of sensitive to the groin area."

While his profile rises ever higher, the As the World Turns alumnus doesn't worry in the least that his head will swell — an altogether different kind of blow prevents that from happening, he relates. "I'd be a psycho case if I actually took every [Tinseltown exec's] criticism to heart. Even with John Woo, they were like, 'We want Brad Pitt.' Finally, somebody stood up and said, 'You're not going to pay for Brad Pitt, so why wouldn't you want this guy?'

"You hear it all, and you're going, 'This is so not about me,'" he concludes. "It's insane."