Honorary Spicie Woman Nominee: Pauley Perrette

Honorary Spicie Woman Nominee: Pauley Perrette

By Carrie Eckles

Pauley Perrette is a name that came up as part of our search for honorary Spicie women who we feel merits some discussion.  After some reflection on her career and life, we feel that she possesses many of the qualities that we feel make up what it is to be Spicie. Smart, talented, genuine and just downright kickass, Pauley Perrette was immediately the obvious answer for me, but the bigger question is, is she really a full-on Spicie woman?

 

Pauley Perrette Publicity Photo

Pauley Perrette Publicity Photo

Growing Up

 
Perrette was born on March 27, 1969 in New Orleans. One of the coolest things about Pauley is that she has lived all over.  From her birthplace of Louisiana, to New York, to California, to my home state of Alabama, and everywhere in between, Pauley Perrette is truly an American woman. It’s rather amazing to imagine the width and breadth she has seen of her home country. Few can say they’ve had such an experience, and as I muse on the subject, I wonder what it must’ve been like and what life experience it imbues.

 
She attended Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, and studied criminal justice, earning a master’s degree in criminology. One has to wonder if she ever sensed at the time that her criminology career might take a bit of a different turn than most students imagine when entering the field. To be sure, she is one of the only people, let alone women, that actually has a real life background in criminology and law enforcement that is on a television show of that genre.

 
Perrette spent time as a mohawked bartender in New York’s club scene, and while that may seem a far cry from a criminologist, it is part of the wonderfully interesting tapestry that makes up the life of Pauley Perrette. It has also helped lend to her unique taste hat since season one of NCIS has given her nearly free reign to design the outfits she wears on the small screen. It is even alluded to that she was given the ability to have some direct input into how the Abby Sciuto character grew and developed.

 

Career

 
Perrette’s life as a bartender introduced her into the world of acting. She had a bunch of gigs, mainly commercials and short films. But this escalated to guest roles on shows like Fraiser. Her big break, however, was when the character Abby Sciuto was introduced on the series JAG. The storylines were essentially a backdoor pilot for the spin-off series, NCIS.

 

As Abby Sciuto on NCIS

As Abby Sciuto on NCIS

On NCIS, Pauley Perrette made her way into our hearts, homes, and minds as Abby, the show’s adorably quirky/cool and very clever resident forensic scientist. For many girls, Pauley’s Abby made being a geek girl not only cool, but okay. And on behalf of all the geek girls out there, on behalf of all the girls who think science is cool, thank you! Pauley gave the world a character to not only love, but admire. And the show is still going strong ten seasons later—and so is Perrette’s public profile and lovable persona.

 
Pauley Perrette also has a kickass Q Score. A Q Score is a way the powers that be measure how familiar an actor is to the general populace, how much we like them, etc. In 2011, Perrette beat out all other primetime TV actors. She is a consistent favorite, not just with fans of the show, but people in general. Everyone knows who she is. And they like her for it.

 

Why Pauley Perrette is Spicie

 
Pauley Perrette is, to put it mildly, amazing. I was watching her on the Jeff Probst Show one day; she spoke of how she actually worked to help solve real-life murders that are close to her heart. Isn’t that just mind-blowing? Yes, she studied criminology. But she’s best known for playing a forensic scientist on TV. Yet here, she goes well beyond the call of her job as an actor: she ventured into real life with the intention of doing the right thing and getting real-life justice. That takes guts. And that is Spicie.

 
Standing up for what you believe in is also Spicie. Perrette is both a Christian and a gay rights activist. To so many people, those two things are mutually exclusive. But they’re not to me. To me, gay rights are human rights. And the Christian thing to do is to always stick up for human rights. She’s an inspiration for other like-minded people of faith. Because of her lead, people of faith are finding their voice on this issue. She’s showing people it’s okay to be a Christian and support gay rights. And I sincerely hope she knows how much it means to others out there, who her voice impacts so much.

 

 

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

And she practices what she preaches: Perrette and her fiancé, Thomas Arklie, are abstaining from marriage until everyone in America has the right to marry whom they love. That is brave and that is also Spicie.

 
Pauley Perrette is just plain cool. She doesn’t need a label to define her. And while I’ve been referring to her as Spicie throughout this whole article, it’s important to note that Spicie is not a label. It’s an innate state of being that you simply are. It’s shown through your actions and deeds, and the way you carry yourself through life, and the positive outlook you possess. Spicie doesn’t define Pauley Perrette; Pauley Perrette is the walking definition of what it means to be Spicie.

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  1. Roger Childress says:

    I really loved the article on Pauley. I have been a fan of hers and NCIS since the back door pilot on JAG. She truly is an amazing woman. It also helps that she and my son share the same birthday, only 31 years apart! She truly fits the spicie tag. Thank you for the article!

    • Carrie Eckles says:

      Thank you so much for the comments, Roger! That’s cool that you are a JAG-watcher. I used to watch with my dad.

      I remember her birthday pretty easily too; I know a few people who share the date and my stepmom has the year. It’s nice to have that connection!

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