Recently, I did an article for RA Online on Scott Turner Schofield and the response was overwhelming. Many of the readers were inspired by the dynamic, productive and beautiful individual so much that I had to call him personally and get to know more about him. My girlfriend Claudia Greene of Mayhem Entertainment Public Relations put this together for me so I must give her a huge Thank You.
Scott Turner Schofield is a transgender male who stars as a recurring character on CBS’ The Bold And The Beautiful as “Nick”. He will be the first transgender male to appear on network TV. Historic! His one-man show “Becoming A Man” has toured major venues around the world, is highly acclaimed by many mainstream outlets and is a hot button topic of discussion right now. It was the first transgender show to be commissioned by the National Performance Network, and it won Scott a Princess Grace Foundation Acting Fellowship.
Get ready as I take you Inside the Character with Scott Turner Schofield.
DiamondKesawn: Now, for those of you who may not know just yet, but I promise I want to let you know, Scott is a transgender male, who falls as a recurring character on CBS’ “The Bold and The Beautiful” as Nick. He’s an amazing talent, comedian, all of the above, everything in the whole. Scott has this—I have to tell you all this because this absolutely has me in awe—Scott has a YouTube video and it’s called “Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps.” And when I tell you, it is life-changing and absolutely amazing, you have to see it. Scott, thank you for taking the time to speak to me.
Scott: Thanks so much for speaking with me. I’m totally honored and flattered. Thank you.
DiamondKesawn: So do me a favor, take us through the history. How did you first get into the world of acting?
Scott: I have always been an actor. You know, there’s a great saying out there, “If you can do anything other than act, do it. But if you can’t, then that’s what you got to do.” And I mean, I’ve been performing since I was a little kid. I’m just a natural-born story-teller. It’s what I was made to do.
DiamondKesawn: Now, we always hear the stories about how hard it is to break into the entertainment business overall. So I have to know, being a transgender male, did that make it even harder or was it the normal hardship that one would experience?
Scott: Well, you know, I don’t like to compare the hierarchy, the oppression or whatever. But I think people of color, experience, a lot of those difficulties getting into the entertainment business, I think people with disabilities, based on a lot of issues. I think it’s just so interesting—you know, I mean, also I should say, gay people, it’s only in the last 10 to 15 years that actors who are gay or lesbians have felt okay about coming out, you know?
DiamondKesawn: Right. Definitely.
Scott: I mean, there is my favorite show when I was a little kid, “Family Ties,” the mother, Meredith Baxter came out like two years ago. And she was like THE mom. And if I had ever known that she was a lesbian in real life, you know what I mean? That would have given me a place to know that I existed, never mind the transgender man. I was 20 years old when I even found out that transgender men existed because it’s just not out there. And we need—you know, that’s why art exists. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in real life. And when people step in and say, “No, this kind of person can’t be on air. Or if they are, they’re going to be a criminal or a dead person or whatever.” What kind of future do you see for yourself in that?
Scott: Yes, I did have a harder time because I’m transgender. I still do have a harder time. But I don’t think it’s any harder than all kinds of people who don’t fit the status quo.
DiamondKesawn: So let’s talk about this hit one-man show, “Becoming a Man.” You have toured major venues around the world. It was actually superb. The reviews on it are amazing. So kudos to you for such a great show. But I have to ask, we want to know, “Becoming a Man,” what is this one-man show all about?
Scott: I mean, its right there. The full title of the show is “Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps.” And what it is, it’s a choose-your-own adventure story. You know those books? Remember, like “Do this and go to page four.” So the audience every night picks a number between 127. They pick seven different numbers, and depending on what number they pick, they get a different story. And so, it’s always a different story, never the same story twice. And all the stories would range from like when I have a terrible head injury and I went to a hospital, and they didn’t know that I was trans, or changing my name in Texas. Kind of a lot of autobiographical stories that tell you not just the transition stuff that we’re all used to, but also all the other stuff too.
DiamondKesawn: For the upcoming talented individuals out there who really have that stage fright, but they may want to do a one-man show or just get on stage period. Do you still get stage fright? And did you ever, and if so, how did you overcome that?
Scott: You know, I never got stage fright. The first time I really experienced stage fright was when I stepped onto the set of Bold and Beautiful. And its because it was like a stage without an audience. And somehow that, I don’t know, I didn’t mean it was so scary, but I was terrified.
DiamondKesawn: So now, since you brought it up, The Bold and The Beautiful, I have to ask you, how does it feel to be one of the hottest people on daytime television?
Scott: Oh my god. I can’t even answer that question.
DiamondKesawn: So this character, Nick, how was it going from a one-man show, kind of doing your thing, telling your own autobiographical story, to now you’re in the world of daytime television as the character Nick?
Scott: It was just yet another step. Right in between Bold and Beautiful and doing my one-man show, I was actually invited to go work in France for a year with the National Theater there. And I was performing in French as part of an ensemble cast. So that was like a very high-up kind of, big step into theater. And so this is like the next step, stepping in television, which is really where I always wanted to be. So yeah, it’s the next big step and my first little step into my dream. It’s been an incredible experience.
DiamondKesawn: So I have this game in RA Mag world we play. It’s called “Getting to Know.” And this is where we get to know the celebrity who we’re talking to. So it’s three questions, all set and oriented. Are you ready?
DiamondKesawn: Okay. First question for Scott, since you’re on TV, we have to ask you outside of The Bold and the Beautiful, what would your favorite TV show be right now?
Scott: My favorite TV show right now, boy, I have so many, that’s the problem.
DiamondKesawn: Okay, how about your top three?
Scott: Okay. Well, I think number one would have to be a show called “You’re the Worst.” It’s coming back for its second season on FXX. It was out last summer and it’s kind of like the sleeper show, it’s just like a totally dysfunctional couple. And like they’re straight, but they’re so queer in our people. So I definitely put that one really high up on the list. After that, I have to say I love “Black-ish.” Oh my gosh, the more I watch it, the more I’m like, “This is badass.” And I got to say, I’m excited about “Scream Queens” as well.
DiamondKesawn: When it comes to “Black-ish,” who is your favorite character? Because I’m in love with the youngest daughter.
Scott: Oh god, yeah. She’s unbelievable. It’s her and the mother for me.
DiamondKesawn: So question two, if you were to hit play on, your iPhone or MP3 player, whatever it may be, what song or what artist would be playing?
Scott: Okay. I’m going to be revealing right now. First, I have to say that I’ve actually been working really hard on updating my musical choices. I realized that I hadn’t been listening to much new music. And so, I was like, “How do I find new music?” And I’m just like asking people and asking them to make a mixtape and stuff. So that’s been cool. It sounds so weird because people have been like, “Oh, you’re so hot and you’re out there” and all these things, but it also brings up a tremendous vulnerability. Like suddenly, 30 million people know about my life. And so I’ve had to use music as kind of a self-esteem crutch. So right now, Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man.”
DiamondKesawn: Now, for the ultimate question, question number three: as a talented individual, you do theater, you’re on television, you’re touring, and you’re doing so much, what is that one thing that you do to take time to yourself?
Scott: I love to go for a swim. That’s my thing. And I’m so happy to live in Los Angeles where that’s really possible.
DiamondKesawn: So can you swim or do you just like swimming?
Scott: Oh, I can swim. Yeah, I just focus on my laps. It’s meditative. It’s aerobic. And it’s between that and doing yoga. I’m actually a certified yoga teacher. I love yoga. So if I can’t swim, I do yoga instead.
DiamondKesawn: Just recently, we’ve had the murder of the 17th transgender person.
Scott: This year.
DiamondKesawn: This year, so 2015. It’s only August, we’re eight months in. and we have the 17th person.
DiamondKesawn: What is the reaction from the transgender community? I know they’re outraged of this. That’s really appalling. How does a community get together, as in strike back against this severe hate?
Scott: Well, we’re not just a community, we’re a population of people. Right now, actually, if people go on and google transgender surveys, because we’re doing the very first ever survey of transgender people in the United States, and we want to know how many of us are there. And for anybody who identifies, belongs or thinks he or she might identify along these lines of being transgender and gender non-conforming, so we need to know kind of how many people there are. I was here in Los Angeles back when the 12th person was murdered, and a group, the TransLatina Coalition got together and just went outside on the street and just held signs and yelled and made a lot of noise and were visible. You know, myself, as a transgender man, I can blend in. People wouldn’t know that I’m transgender unless I told them. And so, for me it’s about being out and about talking about it. I’m not saying everybody has to be, but I want to take that and be vocal and say that we exist and this is happening. As Laverne Cox said on Good Morning America, it is a state of emergency right now. And one thing about this is so the only measurement that we have right now is that transgender people, we think, make up like 1% of the population. Of course, in new studies, it’s been downwards, but we’re working on that. But that’s kind of the general thinking, right? So I think to myself, “Okay, if transgender people make up 1%, then immediately you can think of the 1%, right?” Like one percenters, right, the people who own all the wealth in this country. Now, what do you think would happen if two of their people every month were being brutally murdered? What do you think would happen? What do you think people would do, right? And that just goes to the root of this. It’s like when you’re transgender, you’re two to four times more likely to be out of work, to be unemployed. I guess people are discriminatory in their hiring practices. You can’t get a job. You live in poverty. And when you live in poverty, here comes a whole bunch of other facets to your life that make you more likely to get murdered, not to mention the fact that you’re already transgender, right? And these are all, I think, out of the 17, I believe, I’m not sure which number, but they’re significant majority, like probably 15 of them are women of color, right? So it is a state of emergency. And what I’m asking people to do, I’m asking everybody I know, “What is one thing that you would do to stop the hate towards transgender people?” Is it stopping a joke and just shutting down a person when they make a transphobic joke? Is it hiring a transgender person to work for you? You know what I mean, like what is this one thing you could do? And I want to ask that to everybody who’s reading right now. What is one thing that you could do to uplift transgender people because we need it right now and you, our allies, are the ones who can make a difference. And you can be the one who sticks in the mud or you could be the one who accepts people. This is what’s happening in our culture. And millennials are so amazing about it. It’s just accepting people, respecting everybody’s dignity, and saying like, “Come on, let’s do this. Now, which side do you want to be on?” I have a conversation. You can look at my TED talk, I do a good way of explaining the difference between sex and gender, and sexuality, and just help people understand, forward a link. Put out a link on your social media about the things that are happening and help us create the mobility. It’s so easy. But the thing that let gay marriages happen in a huge way, it wasn’t just gay people working by themselves that made that happen. It was all of the allies. It was that tipping point when suddenly 70% of Americans generally thought that gay marriage would be okay. So not only do we have to get to the same point with transgender people, we need our allies. Not only do we need you to stay, use the right pronouns for us, but we also need you to be teaching others to do the same, just like you said you’re doing, right? To just by letting people explain it. And I say, for me, I’m big on you can’t know what you’re doing until someone tells you, right, if in case you’re doing it wrong.
Scott: And if you’re doing it wrong, just pick yourself up and do it right. You don’t have to have guilt. You don’t have to have shame. You were doing your best. And so, I like to take people aside very calmly and very kindly and say, “Hey, actually that person uses “they/them” which I understand is looking a little difficult, but because they’re gender non-conforming, meaning to say, don’t identify as either man or woman. And they want to use this neutral term.” Rather than being like, “You’re such a jerk,” because you catch more flies with honey, you know what I mean?
DiamondKesawn: Now, as you remain the positive, proactive, talented person you are, and as you say, you’re just doing so much, what can we expect from you in the upcoming months and upcoming quarters as you continue on with the whole Scott Turner Schofield movement?
Scott: Well, National Coming Out Week and Coming Out Transgender Day of Remembrance is coming up. The month of Transgender Awareness is November. So in October and November, I’m doing a lot of speaking gigs at campuses and places of work. And I’m still actually working on that. So if people are interested in hosting a talk, I even do webinars now. So if people are interested, we can definitely get in touch. So I’ll be doing all of that. But what I’m doing artistically besides The Bold and The Beautiful is I’m actually working on creating more roles. I’m definitely going out and auditioning for roles as well. But what we’re finding, given the discrimination that’s currently at play–and which is the cause of all this ignorance, it’s not that people are acting and being jerks, they actually just don’t get it. And that kind of puts up a road block, right?–so what my team and I have decided, I got experience in my own role. So I’m currently at work on a pilot and working on a full-length on-screen play, you know, big people. So we’ll see what really happens with that, but some big people are involved, and that’s what I’m most happy about.
DiamondKesawn: So recently, we had you featured on the Raynbow Affair Magazine website. And we did a nice column on you, almost like an introduction to the person. And one of the readers said, “Wow, I didn’t know that there was another transgender actor out there.” And this person was also a transmale. And he said, “Now, I know I can follow my dreams.” And I was like, “Wow, the life of one person and this fearlessness of one person has literally caused someone else to say to themselves, “I know I can live my dreams.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I have to tell Scott.” This is so amazing, so kudos.
Scott: That is amazing. Yeah. Thanks, but I’m here, I mean, Laverne Cox gives some important, you know, her, when she hit and hit so big, I was like, “Okay, this could totally happen.”
Scott: I don’t want to miss out on like Chaz Bono and Ian Harvie. I don’t want to miss out on the other transguys out there. But she hit big in a way that I’m trying to hit big. And it just made me go, “All right. This is on. Let’s do it.” We’re all there for each other now. So for me to hear from you, “Thank you.”
DiamondKesawn: So now, do me this favor, to that person, that fan, that individual that will hear this interview, that will read this interview and be inspired by you, what are those words of encouragement you have for them to help them get over that fear of being afraid to be who they are?
Scott: Well, what I want to say to anyone who is afraid of being who they are, whatever that might be, I want to tell you that you can run, but you can’t hide from who you are. Who you are is who you are. And you will always be that. And it can be painful, if you want to resist it. Or it can be fantastic, if you celebrate it. And as you just heard, when we do take that risk to be who are, and it is hard, you know, people do lose their families. People lose their jobs. There’s nothing worse that is ever easy, right? But when you do, you’ll never know who you’re inspiring. You’ll never know who you’re giving life to. I mean, I don’t know if I’m ever going to have kids. But I know three people personally who have come to me and said, “Because you exist, I was able to come out and do what I’m doing now. And you’re doing a great thing in the world.” So it’s worth the risk. And in fact, it’s necessary. Being who you are makes this world go around, so just do it. I know that from personal experience. I know the pain from personal experience. And I know the excitement and how good for the world that is. So try and just do it.
DiamondKesawn: Now, definitely we have to do this for those who want to get to know you, want to follow you, want to follow the journey and the movement, what is the social media, where they can find you at?
Scott: Just look up Scott Turner Schofield. I’m on all of the medias, all of them. I’m most active on Facebook and Twitter, but I Instagram as well. And I try to Google+ a little bit, YouTube. I’m definitely all over. So just look up my name and you’ll find me wherever works for you. And I’d be excited to be friends.
DiamondKesawn: There it is, Scott Turner Schofield, “S-C-H-O-F-I-E-L-D.” Scott, I have to thank you so much on behalf of RaynbowAffair Magazine, the platform, myself, Diamond Kesawn as Editor-in-Chief. I really thank you for taking the time, not only to speak with us but to really bring us inside your world for a moment and just allow us to get inspired by the story, the journey and the passion that you have for all that you do. Thank you so much.
Scott: I am just so honored. Thank you. I’m just so honored by everything that you said. And I’m so looking forward to spreading your great story to everyone I know and spreading the word of your platform, because that’s what we got to do for each other. We got to spread the word in all the platforms we can, so thank you.