About Me – Bruce Sallan
“Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance” are words from my favorite movie, Singin’ In The Rain. The passion and excitement they evoke struck me to the core while I was taking a college film course taught by critic Manny Farber (author of the seminal book, “American Cinema.”). Later, you could say I felt I “Gotta Write,” but I’m getting ahead of myself.
A few years later, I was fortunate to get an internship with a television producer, while earning my M.B.A. from UCLA. What followed was an award-winning television executive and producing career. During those 25 years, I produced over 30 television movies, pilots, and series.
I produced my first television movie at age 24 and was a vice president at ABC by the time I was 29.
Along the way I was fortunate to work with such actors as Ingrid Bergman, Ron Howard (before he was a director), Mickey Rourke (THAT is a story), Don Johnson (another even better story), Ben Affleck, Hal Holbrook, Barbara Hershey, Sissy Spacek, Henry Winkler, Alan Arkin, and Brian Dennehey. I wrote articles for Daily Variety and the Producers Caucus Bulletin.
My article entitled “Murders of the Week,” was a response to the then popular trend of taking just about every unsavory murder story and making it into a television movie. That article sparked a healthy debate and I like to believe helped usher out that low period in the history of television movies. (If you read that article, you’ll see an embarrassing photo of me when I had a full beard — another trend that has thankfully passed).
I became a first-time dad, to a son, four days after my 40th birthday, less than 9 months after getting married (we got pregnant on the honeymoon). My second son was born three years later. When my boys were still quite young, I left show biz to become a full-time dad and to care for my ailing parents, the classic “sandwich” situation.
Sadly, shortly thereafter, my marriage ended and my wife abandoned our children, leaving the state. I found myself a full-time single dad, in my late-forties. And after a while, I jumped into the new world of Internet dating. I was surprised to find that it was pretty much the only mode of dating that anyone was using.
I began writing various blogs on the dating sites I used, as well as articles for local publications, including a regular column for a local paper about being a single dad. Late in 2008, as my children were getting older and as both my aging parents had died, I began marketing my column to more newspapers and Web sites. The happy result, so far, is that the A Dad’s Point-of-View column is now published in over 100 newspapers and Web sites, internationally.
Realizing that Social Media was taking the world by storm, I began slowly delving into it. First a web-site, then Facebook, Twitter, most recently Google +, and much more. Having the showbiz background that I have made many of these platforms naturals for my passion and interest. A radio show on AM radio began and is carried nationally on several stations across the country. Always enjoying newspapers comic strips, I did a series of comic strips that have morphed into the Because I Said So comic strip, which I created and is drawn by VoogDesigns. Guest blogs followed as did speaking engagements, and soon a vlog as well, called I’m NOT That Dad.
The next big thing was learning about and joining in the Tweet Chat phenomenon. I began #DadChat and over time it has become the biggest parent chat on Twitter, one of the biggest period and, happily, has equal participation of dads AND moms. #DadChat set the World Record in January, 2013 for the most “Impressions” of any chat ever at 267,000,000 +. It regularly attracts people from literally all over the world and brands and sponsors have discovered it and begun to join us. However, the community of #DadChat remains just that – a community. We regularly attract hundreds of participants, over 1,200 tweets during our Thursday “official” hour from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET, and #DadChat has also become a forum in which experts and simply terrific people are often my co-hosts. Organically, #DadChat is a 24/7 community with over 200 tweets EVERY DAY carrying our hashtag.
My focus is primarily on parenting issues from the dad’s point-of-view, though often the situations are gender-neutral. Yet, just as often they’re not. It is my contention that the dad’s point-of-view is less “heard” yet equally valuable to parents. My subject matter covers parenting situations I’ve experienced, but especially the ones that I believe are relevant to a great number of parents. That includes single parenting, divorce issues, dating as a single parent, step-parent issues, dealing with teens, drug and alcohol issues with teens, money issues, and sometimes just general issues about gender differences. My Men vs. Women blog series has become quite a hit and may be the impetus for my third book. A compilation of my first 100 blogs was the basis of my first book, A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation.
Later, I began writing about Social Media. As with my activity on parenting, my approach has and will always be from a layman’s point-of-view. I write about Social Media in easy-to-understand language and my Social Media columns often do as well or better than those on parenting. Another blog series began called The Evolution of Technology, though my columns in this subject cover the gamut of what Social Media offers.
When my older son was accepted into The Berklee College of Music in Boston, I contacted Ford and decided we should do a cross-country trip from Los Angeles to Boston. Ford graciously lent me a new Ford Flex and what followed was a 3000-mile, 8-day adventure that became the fodder for my second book, The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad’s Point-of-View. It was conceived and published solely in e-book form and truly took advantage of this new form by utilizing links to the many places we visited, and including exclusive videos taken during our trip. It’s available at all the e-book venues and costs a whopping $2.99. Not only do you get a sense of what it’s like to take a teen kid across the country, but I believe this book really shows off what a real e-book – with true interactivity – can offer.
All these years later, I still feel passionate about everything I do. The “Gotta Write” drive allows me to express my many passions. I like to think I bring that spirit to everything I do, from heli-skiing and going on safari in Africa, to the everyday issues of raising two boys alone and then as a blended family.
I presently live in Calabasas, California, with my second wife (we were married Dec. 27, 2008) ) with only my younger son at home, since the older one has left the nest – we hope – for good, except for regular visits. Time will tell but, trust me, I’ll be writing and talking all about it!