Raised in East Bridgewater, MA, Tom was the third of four children. His father was a civil engineer, and his mother was an insurance saleswoman. Tom enjoyed acting in high school plays, but to do something more practical with his life, he enrolled in communications at Syracuse University in 1988. In his second year however, he realized how much he missed acting, and subsequently switched his major to drama. Once he graduated, he moved to New York City. There, he waited tables, and eventually founded a theater company. He got his big break in "That Thing You Do."