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Friday, March 16, 2012

Sean Kanan: Being The Bad Boy, Staying The Gentleman


by Cyrus Webb

It is one of those interviews that had my mother excited for days leading up to it. Sean Kanan, the man many have loved to hate on the hit daytime soap operas Bold & The Beautiful and Young & the Restless was coming on Conversations LIVE to talk about his acting career and new book The Modern Gentleman, Cooking and Entertaining with Sean Kanan. I was excited about the conversation as well, mainly because Sean has shown himself to be one of those individuals that is using his celebrity for good, bringing attention to causes like stopping bullying and empowering individuals.

When he came on the show I asked him about the gift and when he knew that being in front of people was going to be where he belonged. "When I was about fourteen years old I snuck into a comedy club and was amazed at how the comedians were able to use words to get the attention of the audience," he told me. "By the time I was sixteen I knew I wanted to be an actor."

Since then he has been seen not only on daytime television but in movies like Karate Kid and sitcoms like Happily Divorced.

"I think we have all heard the cliche: find something that you love doing and success will follow," Sean said. "I don't know what else I would do. I get paid to do what my passion is. The difficult part of being an actor is not the acting. That is the gift. The difficult part is the business of it, trying to find work."

This was an interesting part of the conversation for me. What Sean was saying is what I think so many fail to understand about gifts. We all have them, however, there are limits to how they are used and how far they get us. Sean put it this way: "We all say unless you are Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise you are just another actor trying to find a job. I really hope I will be able to continue to entertain others."

Another thing that Sean enjoys is traveling. It also played a large part in how he crafted his book The Modern Gentleman, Cooking and Entertaining. "Traveling is one of the biggest gifts in the world," he told me. "I enjoy it because it really shows you how others are living their lives. The wonderful sights and sounds. When I visited and lived in Italy for a year that really affected my sense of cooking."

Speaking of the book The Modern Gentleman, Sean was quick to tell my listeners and me that it was more than just a cookbook. I would agree with him. It includes some of his life lessons as well. One of those lessons is that men are more dimensional than we are sometimes given credit for. "I think guys have gotten a bit of a bad rap," Sean says. "We are a lot deeper than the way we are portrayed."

He also explained that he wanted to draw on his more than twenty-five years in Hollywood, imparting some of what he had learned. "I want to talk with guys about reclaiming being a gentleman without compromising your masculinity. Some girls might like the bad boy. You can be a bad boy and still be a gentleman." The book is not just for men, though. "I was raised to treat women with respect," explains Sean. "I want women to read it so they can have a seat in the center of the male psyche."

In the end Sean wants readers to know that this book is not about getting women into bed. It's about using food and entertaining as a conduit for connection. "Everyone wants to feel connected," he says, and this book can be a way of bringing that about.

Speaking of being connected, Sean has also started a contest. Help him get 100k followers on Twitter (follow him at www.twitter.com/seankanan) and he will pick a following and come to their home and cook for them and up to seven of their friends!

To stay in contact with Sean and his upcoming events you can also visit him online at www.seankananthemoderngentleman.com.

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