Until four years ago, when Saxon Sharbino was 9, an acting career was the furthest thing from her mind.
"I don't think I actually knew there was such a thing called acting," the native North Texan says.
She figured that movies were made by trailing somebody with a camera and hoping something interesting might happen.
"But once I discovered that acting existed," Sharbino says, "I knew it's what I wanted to do."
And look at her now. She stars alongside such show-business heavy hitters as Kiefer Sutherland and Maria Bello in Touch, a sci-fi-ish TV drama that begins its second season with a two-hour premiere Friday on Fox.
In fact, the entire story this season revolves around Sharbino, who grew up in Flower Mound.
When her character, Amelia, isn't onscreen, all the other characters are busy talking about her and deciding what to do about her.
It's mind-blowing, says Sharbino, now 13, to have come so far so quickly.
"I am really blessed and I know that," she says. "I just kind of got picked up in a whirlwind and it just kept coming."
Last year, Sharbino auditioned for a Fox pilot about a teenage spy. The producers were looking for someone older, about 17 years old, until she came along and wowed them.
"They told me I was too young," she recalls. "And I know you're not supposed to do this, but I sent in a tape anyway for the role. The next day after they saw the tape, they wanted to meet with me."
The role ultimately was rewritten to accommodate a 12-year-old leading lady.
Later, when that series failed to make Fox's lineup, network execs eager to work with her matched her up with the role on Touch.
The show follows seemingly unrelated people from across the world and reveals how their lives overlap in ways seen and unseen, known and unknown. Sutherland stars as Martin Bohm, a widowed dad whose autistic son, Jake (David Mazouz), has an almost supernatural ability to predict the future because he sees the connections.
Martin and Jake are on the run from an evil corporation that wants to exploit the boy's gift. Amelia, Sharbino's character, is like Jake -- and she has already been abducted.
In the season premiere, Martin teams up with Amelia's mom (Bello) in an effort to rescue her.
"I love the show because it's all about the things in the universe that connect in interesting ways, even though you wouldn't really think they could connect," Sharbino says. "And my character is so cool because she can see all the probabilities, which means she can tell the future.
"Most actors my age don't get roles like that."
Sharbino has nothing but good things to say about her adult co-stars.
"Maria is amazing and so nice," she says. "And Kiefer is very intense. He's very serious about his work. It has been a great learning experience for me. He taught me a lot."
Sharbino's entire family now lives full-time in Los Angeles, except for her dad, who has a business to run back in Dallas. Meanwhile, Sharbino's kid sister Brighton has started acting too -- she recently played young Abby in an episode of NCIS -- and her little brother Sawyer has done modeling work.
"It's kind of cool that they want to follow in my footsteps," Saxon says.
Still, life in L.A. has taken getting used to.
"I miss how friendly everybody is in Texas," Sharbino says. "In L.A., people are friendly and stuff, but in Texas everyone seems like they know each other more.
"Out here, people seem to think my family and I are weird because we can't pass someone without smiling and saying hi. You can be that way in Texas, but nobody does that out here."