Listen to my interview with Dan here.
For Dan Bucatinsky living life authentically has paid off in a big way.
He's an Emmy award-winning actor (bringing to life James Novak on the hit ABC drama SCANDAL), writer and producer and author---and he has done it all on his own terms. This doesn't mean that everyday and every event he has experienced has been the best, but it does mean he has not allowed the challenges he has faced to stop him.
As I chatted with Dan on Conversations LIVE it was clear why so many were inspired by him. He's a man who is married to the love of his life, raising children and doing the kind of work that fulfilled him.
"We only can aspire to a time when a person's sexuality is beside the point," Dan said to me. "It's only one of many things that make a person a person. It doesn't have to be the defining thing about any individual. That's the amazing progress that was made by Shonda Rhimes (the show's creator) on a television show like that."
It is the show's writing and Dan's portrayal of James that has been an inspiration to so many. Just by living his life and doing what he loves has caused others to believe the same is possible for them. Dan told me that knowing he has had that affect on others is "so fulfilling", and what he hopes he is able to do through his platform in the public.
The third season of Scandal saw the demise of Dan's character James, but the show and he have definitely made their mark on the world. I asked him if he was surprised by the response to the show and the way it continues to gain momentum. "In this day and age there is so much competition coming out of our computers and DVRs that anything that stands out in the clutter is a surprise," he told me. "I remember when I read the pilot of Scandal I felt like Shonda had kind of reinvented the genre of the one-hour drama with that pilot. On the one hand it is always a surprise when anything cuts through, but knowing Shonda and how talented she is and how innovative she is I'm not surprised." Dan went on to say that he felt she had "changed our appetite for the speed and the complexity of storytelling, and other shows are trying to keep up."
Since his time on Scandal officially came to an end Dan has been keeping busy on other projects, and is showing no signs of slowing down. His advice for others when it comes to pursuing their dreams? "I feel like the most important thing is to not give up." He enjoys hiking, and using his experience when tackling a steep hill he shares this: "I know that if I stop I definitely will never get to the top. As hard as it seems at times we never really know what will happen unless we keep going. I ask myself 'What are the other options?' I could move a little slower. I could take a little break, but I definitely don't want to ever stop."
May we remember that when we are facing our own steep hills in life.
Stay connected with all things Dan at www.danbucatinsky.com.