||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (September 2013)|
Clifton attending the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Nominee Reception
|Born||Scott Clifton Snyder
October 31, 1984 (age 30)
Los Angeles, California
|Education||Valencia High School
Beverly Hills High School (dropped out in eleventh grade)
|Years active||2001 – present|
|Known for||General Hospital as Dillon Quartermaine
One Life to Live as Schuyler Joplin
The Bold and the Beautiful as Liam Spencer
|Home town||Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles|
|Spouse(s)||Nicole Lampson (m. 2012)|
|Awards||Daytime Emmy Award (2011, 2013)|
|Web alias(es)||Theoretical Bullshit|
|Web hosting service(s)||YouTube|
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2012)|
Scott Clifton Snyder (born October 31, 1984), better known as Scott Clifton, is an American actor, musician, and video blogger. His early work has included television commercials and minor film and television roles, but his most recognized achievements have come from his highly publicized roles in soap operas. He is best known for playing Dillon Quartermaine in General Hospital (2003–2007), Schuyler Joplin in One Life to Live (2009–2010), and Liam Spencer in The Bold and the Beautiful (2010–present). His role in The Bold and the Beautiful earned him a Daytime Emmy Award in 2011 and 2013.
Clifton is known on YouTube for engaging in philosophical debate and discussion about, among other things, atheism, ethics (with special interest in Biblical ethics), and criticism of Christianity. He is commonly known online by the screen name "TheoreticalBullshit".
- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Acting career
- 3 Musical career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Discography
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 See also
- 9 Footnotes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life and family
Clifton was born on October 31, 1984, the only child of Ron and Faye Snyder, in Los Angeles, California, United States. He is of Russian and Scottish descent. He was raised in the Greater Los Angeles Area of southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Fernando Valley. He credits his acting career to an event at age nine, when his mother threw a copy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare book in his lap and told him to read it. Clifton initially resisted, but then fell in love with the work and soon had much of Hamlet memorized. One of his mother's friends was an acting coach, Joe Carberry, who volunteered to tutor him on weekends for a year.
At the age of ten, Clifton moved with his family to a new home in an Evangelical Christian community. The culture shock Clifton experienced was dramatic. Raised in a secular home, Clifton was the community's only nonbeliever, and was not aware of his parent's own religious positions. When he inquired into this, he was surprised to discover they were non-practicing Zen Buddhists, affiliating with the philosophy of the religion, but had raised him without dogma. Describing their secular parenting style, he has said, "they just raised me to think critically, and to love mystery, and curiosity, and to ask questions..."
In keeping with their style of parenting, his mother, Dr. Faye Snyder, reports that neither she nor her husband imparted their Zen beliefs on Clifton as he grew. They attempted instead to provide explanations for philosophical questions in simple terms he would understand as a child, rather than with complex spiritual beliefs he could not yet relate to.
Faye Snyder relates an episode of Clifton's childhood in relation to this. Following the passing of his uncle, she attempted to explain to a then four-year-old Clifton the concept of death in simple terms. When he asked what happened to a person after death, she said, "We go back to the Universe. It’s sort of where we came from before we were born. We go back to the raindrops and the flowers." Following the funeral, which Clifton did not attend, she presented him with a flower as a representation of his deceased uncle. She recalled a later conversation she overheard between Clifton and a young girl he played with. After the girl described the Christian concept of Heaven to the boy, he responded, "That sounds absolutely silly. When we die, we go back to the flowers." While sympathizing with the girl, his mother was nonetheless proud and interpreted it as a sign of his comfort with mortality.
Evangelical children he met often questioned him regarding his lack of faith, as he was the only child in the neighborhood who was not a Christian. He recalled that he was used by the children as a "practice dummy for apologetics and evangelism... It was a rude awakening." Clifton later cited these early experiences with laying a foundation for his skeptical nature later in life.
Just after turning 16, Clifton dropped out the eleventh grade in a more energetic pursuit of his acting and musical career. Within months he took and passed the GED. . "I got lucky," he has said. "I dropped out of high school and I made it."
Early roles and success
He then auditioned for General Hospital but was rejected as not having the right look for what they were seeking. However, a few months later the producers called him back and cast him as Dillon Quartermaine, son of Tracy Quartermaine (played by Jane Elliot).
Clifton was hired when his appearance and hair was cleanly cut, two months prior to when his first scene was to be taped. However, he was instructed not to cut his hair or change his appearance until his first day of work. His hair grew awkwardly longer, prompting him to apologize for its length. He later recalled the stylist assigned to him disregarded this, choosing to style his hair into a bouffant that came to define his character. He has been repeatedly asked how his hair was coaxed into such a style, and referring to his hair during an interview, Ryan Seacrest asked Clifton for hair product advice.
A cast member as of 2003, he became part of the General Hospital teen romances, and was paired with actress Lindze Letherman who played Georgie Jones. When Clifton's General Hospital contract expired in July 2007, he opted not to renew, but he has made two return appearances: once in November 2007, along with Wally Kurth who plays Ned Ashton, for the funeral of Emily Quartermaine; and again that following December for the funeral of Georgie Jones. Scott's choice not to renew his contract was partially due to his desire to pursue new acting roles, which his contractual obligations to General Hospital left him little room for.
Unemployment and return to day time television
Leaving General Hospital soon emerged as a decision he came to regret. The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike began within months of his decision. Although he continued to audition for new roles, the paucity of new projects created by the film and television industry left him facing increased competition from other actors, leaving him virtually unemployed during this period.
He also found himself facing new health issues, as his metabolism began to slow, causing him to become overweight. Facing a lifetime of poor eating habits, it took a great deal of effort to internalize simple guidelines to improve his health.
In late 2008, ABC announced that Clifton would be joining the cast of One Life to Live in the role of high school teacher Schuyler Joplin. Addressing his health, he ultimately needed to lose thirty pounds when he was hired. He further maintained his new weight by constantly walking to his destinations in the city of New York. His first air date was January 9, 2009. He has since had several key story lines with the character. Clifton's role in One Life to Live ended in 2010 when the storyline associated with his character concluded.
Moving back to Los Angeles, Clifton continued his new health practices and reduced his weight by an additional twenty-to-thirty pounds.
The Bold and the Beautiful and Emmy win
Within months, Clifton was hired by The Bold and the Beautiful to play the role of Liam Spencer. His work on the show involved withholding secret information regarding future plot developments of his character, Liam Cooper. According to the narrative, Cooper's introduction to the program began with his quest to discover the true identity of his biological father, which potentially included several lead characters. Asked by the director if he wished to know the secret, or have it revealed to him in the course of portraying the story, Clifton agreed to hear the truth immediately. He then proceeded to withhold his knowledge from cast mates and backstage crew for a duration of several months as the storyline played out.
At times, Clifton even regretted that his character would not be the son of possible fathers. "Winsor played those scenes so subtly and sweetly, that even though I knew what was going to happen, I was watching Winsor thinking 'God, I wish I were his son.'" Yet, despite his sentiments while shooting, Clifton has also praised the storyline and defended the ultimate fictional father figure, Bill Spencer, Jr., portrayed by Don Diamont. The fictional father/son duo have consistently clashed in story lines, which has led to greater character conflict and storytelling potential.
Among his cast mates, he considers Kimberly Matula and her boyfriend, and the makeup crew to be among his closest friends. He has expressed an interest working with his former General Hospital co-worker, Rick Hearst, noting the lack of scenes he has had to perform with Hearst.
Clifton won his Daytime Emmy in 2011 having been nominated five times. He playfully called himself a five-time Emmy loser. He always considered the nomination a privilege and a great opportunity to enjoy the elaborate style in which the Industry honors its actors. No longer hoping to win, this year caught him by surprise and even unprepared.
Clifton is also a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a teenager, he briefly worked at an amusement park prior to his acting success, where he attempted to form a band with a co-worker. This ended in failure when they were unable to recruit more bandmates.
In an initial bid to launch his musical career, he uploaded several songs to the internet, and later compiled these songs among previously unpublished material on his first EP album, Untitled. He later released a second EP, Unbeautiful, as well as two full length albums, So Much for the Nightlife and Mannequin. Each was produced by Jeff Pescetto.
Parenting subject and teacher
Clifton's parents raised him in a style referred to as "Faith Parenting" by his mother, Dr. Faye Snyder. This placed trust in Clifton to develop without authoritarian control. A psychologist, Faye Snyder founded the Parenting and Relationship Counseling Foundation (PaRC Foundation), a non-profit organization that conducts research in child psychology and offers educational classes in parenting techniques.
From the age of ten, Clifton both took and participated in classes taught by his mother, often functioning as a study subject, "He was my laboratory and my evidence," she quipped. Later Clifton, a first-hand expert on his mother's theory, the Causal Theory, taught classes himself. She specifically cites his personal well being and success as an expression of her psychological theories in effective parenting.
For most of his youth, Clifton had a notable pet, a female canine named Mist that was — according to Clifton — 87% Arctic wolf. Clifton referred to her as "his sister and his equal." Mist succumbed to old age in early 2008, at the age of twelve, shortly after Clifton's last appearance on General Hospital. Clifton later recalled, "that was the greatest loss I've ever suffered in my life."
Confused for a cat enthusiast, Clifton has explained that he dislikes most cats, despite keeping some as pets. "I think most cats are jerks," he has explained, perceiving most as being either extremely independent or needy. In 2009, while living in New York to participate in One Life to Live, Clifton's constrained lifestyle clashed with his desire for a pet dog. Expressing his wish to have a new pet, his girlfriend persuaded him that his limited apartment space, and the difficulty of walking the dog, would prove too great a burden. The duo later happened upon an animal adoption center featuring kittens. "We were walking down Amsterdam Avenue, and there were these cages of rescue kittens, and she points to them and goes 'There's your dog'. So my cats are my dog." The dual cats, twin siblings, were named after the fictional characters Sawyer and Desmond from the television series Lost. Clifton has reported that Desmond died in July 2010.
Clifton identifies as having always been an atheist, citing a secular upbringing and an early sense of skepticism in religion. Encouraged to investigate Christianity by evangelical children in his childhood, he visited a church for a year, associated with Christian youth groups, and made a point of reading the entire Bible. He was ultimately unsatisfied with the experience, saying "as soon as I opened the book [the Bible], I knew I didn't believe in it. So I don't believe I was ever a member of any particular religion."[I]
At about age 13 Clifton lied about his age and became involved in online debates with Christian pastors and at about age 14 he persuaded a professor of religion to debate him. In remarkably well written essays, he apparently won the debate, as the unnamed college educator dropped out of the debate before its completion. Interestingly, the exchange, which had been put up on a website by the professor for others to follow, was left up for years. When Clifton was hired to play the role of Dillon Quartermaine who was a teen, rumors flew around the Internet and fan pages that he was actually in his twenties.
His early investigation into Christianity, and the behavior of his peers, instilled into Clifton an early desire to probe and understand the effects of religion on society. "I started to see that these beliefs inform our politics, and they inform our relationships, and our ethics." He also came to dislike the social convention of leaving supernatural belief unscrutinized in public discourse, insisting that open dialogue was preferable. "I don’t believe you should keep your religion to yourself. If you believe that is true, then you should be allowed to argue for that. However, I deserve my right to question you." Despite his atheism, Clifton has expressed some minor affiliation with views held by the Zen philosophy of his parents.
Clifton is commonly known online as "Theoretical Bullshit", separate from his professional career. Operating under this net handle, he occasionally creates video blogs hosted by YouTube. These most commonly come in the form of monologues—some scripted, some spontaneous—in which he outlines his views on religion and ethics, or engages in debates promoting atheism, presenting arguments against the existence of God, or criticizing Christianity and Biblical ethics. He will also occasionally respond to other user created videos, or organize Q&A sessions with viewers. He has created a series of videos in response to William Lane Craig after the well known Christian apologist wrote a response to commentary made by Clifton. His choice of topics are usually spontaneous, with his low rate of production creating a backlog of videos he would like to make. However, in a rare instance of immediate relevance, he created a commentary on the ruling passed by Judge Vaughn Walker over Perry v. Schwarzenegger, after being prompted for a comment on the federal constitutionality of California Proposition 8.
Clifton originally only minded amusing videos when he first encountered YouTube. He has quipped, "I admit, I used YouTube for pretty much two things: watching skaters fall and hit themselves in the balls, and puppy videos. And that was what YouTube was to me." However, he eventually found a subculture of discussion within the website and wished to participate in it. On January 14, 2007, Clifton began operating his YouTube video blog. His choice of name, "Theoretical Bullshit", was a homage to a debate he held years earlier, during which his opponent declared that a statement Clifton made was "just a bunch of theoretical bullshit!" Clifton remembered the phrase fondly and chose it as his web alias.
Clifton's first video was posted two days later, on January 16, as a response to a question posed by a theist: "Anybody who does not believe in God, where do your values come from and where do your morals come from?" The video was well received, and according to Clifton, it appeared that none of its initial viewers were aware of his identity. Clifton has noted that many of his subscribers do not seem to be aware of his professional acting career, and he prefers to think that the majority of his subscribers follow his channel for the value of his message, rather than his celebrity status.[II] Initially self-conscious and concerned that fans would discover his controversial views, and wishing to keep his internet activity separate from his career, he would occasionally delete comments drawing connections between his dual identities. He eventually reconsidered his hesitance and now openly acknowledges his identity. However, he does not actively promote the hobby, and few of his professional peers are aware of it.
Clifton married his fiancée Nicole Lampson on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Their wedding was attended by some The Bold and the Beautiful co-stars : John McCook, Don Diamont, Ronn Moss, Adam Gregory, Kimberly Matula, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and many others.
Film and television performances
- (2002): Terminal Error as Jock
- (2004): Arizona Summer as Brooke
- (2006): The Death Strip as Mike Kohler
|Judging Amy||2002||Thomas Delancey||Guest appearance
|General Hospital||2003 – 2007||Dillon Quartermaine||Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Younger Lead Actor, 2005
Nominated: Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, 2004
Nominated: Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, 2005
Nominated: Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, 2006
|One Life to Live||2009 – 2010||Schuyler Joplin||Nominated: Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, 2010
|The Bold and the Beautiful||2010 – present||Liam Spencer||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, 2011
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, 2013
|Soap Talk||2003 – 2006||Talk show
|1 Day With||2004||Reality Show. Season No.1 Episode No.3 (2004-09-18)|
|Family Feud||2005||Game show. "Naughty vs. Nice" (2005-11-07)|
|The View||2006||Talk show. Episode No.526 (2006-02-08)|
|33rd Daytime Emmy Award Nominations Announcement||2006||Daytime Emmy nominee co-announcer with Alexa Havins (2006-02-08)|
|Life in General||2008||Fritz Snyder||Web television series created during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.|
|Summer Nights||2009||Himself||SOAPnet promotional music video. Various soap opera actors perform "Summer Nights", from the Grease soundtrack.|
|So Much for the Nightlife
|2006||ABC: A Holiday Affair
A compilation of Christmas themed music by various ABC soap opera actors.
Awards and nominations
Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor
Between 2004 and 2010, Scott Clifton had been nominated four times for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, but failed to win on each occasion. Clifton has self-deprecatingly mocked himself as the "Susan Lucci" of this award category, referring to the actress' large number of Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Reflecting on the experience of being nominated for an Emmy with no result, he has some discomfort with the kindness and congratulations from supporters, as he has tried to remain grounded and prepared for loss. "People are so nice and so complimentary... I have to work very hard to expect no Emmy." Regardless of his losses, he considers the nomination period prior to the award ceremony as the best part of the process, as each of the nominated actors can enjoy the period regardless of any future victory or loss.
Nominated once again for Outstanding Younger Actor in 2010, Clifton's loss to Drew Tyler Bell was an awkward event. Clifton had anticipated his loss, aware that the material he had submitted to Daytime Emmy judges was not his best work, but was all he could provide.[III] While congratulating Bell for the latter's victory, Clifton grew worried due to the category's maximum age requirement, which would only allow him a final chance for nomination in 2011. He would thereafter only be able to compete for the Outstanding Supporting Actor category, which is known to be more competitive, and which he anticipates will further reduce his chances of earning an award.
Clifton's fifth and final nomination for the award in 2011 ended with award success for his portrayal of Liam Cooper in The Bold and The Beautiful. Assured in his loss that night, Clifton recounts that he slumped into his chair as the award category nominees were announced, hoping to avoid notice. Upon the announcement of his victory, he was "genuinely shocked", but quickly made his way to the stage to accept his award. Accepting the award, Clifton thanked on stage Bradley Bell, executive producer of the show; the writers, directors, and producers of the series; and co-star Don Diamont. Due to time constraints, he continued backstage, thanking his agents; Bruce Ducat, his manager of ten years; his mother; and in reference to Father's Day, thanked his own father, Ron Snyder. Clifton's award came as part of a larger series of victories for The Bold and The Beautiful, as the series cast and crew won eight of ten awards it was nominated for.
List of awards and nominations
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series||
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated||
|Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Younger Lead Actor||Won||
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated||
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series||
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series||
||Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Won||
- List of atheists in film, radio, television and theater
- List of Daytime Emmy Award winners
- List of General Hospital cast members
- List of One Life to Live cast members
- List of The Bold and the Beautiful cast members
- List of YouTube personalities
- Criticism of religion
- New Atheism
- Social impact of YouTube
I. ^ Clifton has expressed as an adult that he was never a member of any particular faith as a child. Contrary to this, his mother recalled overhearing Clifton, as a child, being asked by another child about his religious affiliation. She recalls his response as, "I’m Zen." Raised without religion, Clifton didn't learn of his parent's affiliation as Zen Buddhists until the age of ten.
II. ^ Clifton has acknowledged his professional career in only two of his videos, each occasion being a response to submitted questions asking about his career and personal life. He has twice acknowledged his hobby outside of YouTube, each time remarking that he thinks the majority of his subscribers are unaware of his career. In September, 2010, Clifton claimed he had approximately 15,000 subscribers. His mother, Dr. Faye Snyder, corroborated this claim in her biographical treatment of his life, Scott's Story. The current number of subscribers can be viewed on Clifton's YouTube profile.
III. ^ Upon nomination, an actor must select scenes shot during the previous twelve-month period for submission for Daytime Emmy judges. For the category of Outstanding Younger Actor, an actor in question must be 25-years-old or younger at the time submitted scenes were shot. Because of these rules, Clifton was forced to submit material for the 2010 Daytime Emmy Awards from his early period of work on One Life to Live. He believed this material to be inferior to his later work on the series, but the preferred material fell outside of the twelve-month submission period and was not admissible. In contrast to this dilemma, he was faced with a difficult choice of submission material for his 2011 Daytime Emmy Award submission. In that year, his choice of submission material could have been selected from his 2010 work on either One Life to Live, which as previously mentioned he believed to be excellent, or his newer work on The Bold and The Beautiful. He ultimately chose to submit material from the latter source.
||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (April 2012)|
- Clifton, Scott (2007-11-06). Answers 5 of 5 (Video podcast). YouTube.
- "Michelle Stafford and Scott Clifton". Soapography. June 2007. SOAPnet.
- Fairman, Michael (2010-09-20). "The Scott Clifton Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful". Michaelfairmansoaps.com. Michael Fairman Soaps, Inc.
- Clifton, Scott (2007-11-06). Answers 4 of 5 (Video podcast). YouTube.
- Snyder, Faye. "Scott's Story". DrFayeSnyder.com. Parenting and Relationship Counseling Foundation.
- Clifton, Scott (2007-09-09). Answers 1 of 5 (Video podcast). YouTube.
- Clifton, Scott (2011-06-03). Bold Chat Live! Episode 003 (Video podcast). CBS Daytime.
- Clifton, Scott (2007-11-06). Answers 2 of 5 (Video podcast). YouTube.
- "Comings and Goings: Scott Clifton (Schuyler Joplin)". Soap Opera Digest 33 (53): 16. 2008-12-30.
- "Breaking News: Clifton joins OLTL". Soap Opera Digest 34 (02): 4, 5. 2009-01-13.
- Clifton, Scott (2010-09-15). Scott Clifton - Who He Would Like to Work With Next on B&B (Video podcast). CBS Daytime.
- Erich Recker (director), Wally Kurth (host) (2004-11-18). 1 Day With. Season 1. Episode 3. SOAPnet.
- Clifton, Scott (2010-08-09). Answers: Part 3 - The Personal Stuff (Video podcast). YouTube.
- Clifton, Scott (2007-11-06). Answers 3 of 5 (Video podcast). YouTube.
- Clifton, Scott (2010-02-11). 60 Seconds With Scott Clifton - One Life To Live (Video podcast). American Broadcasting Company.
- "'Young and the Restless' leads Daytime Emmy nominees". Usatoday.com. The Associated Press/USA Today. 2006-02-08.
- Lewis, Errol (2011-06-25). "Backstage Interview with Daytime Emmy Award Winner Scott Clifton". Soapoperanetwork.com. Soap Opera Network.
- Fairman, Michael (2011-06-29). "Scott Clifton Interview – B&B – 38th Daytime Emmy Winners/Press Room". Michaelfairmansoaps.com. Michael Fairman Soaps, Inc.
- Clifton, Scott (2011-06-21). Scott Clifton wins 2011 Outstanding Younger Actor Daytime Emmy Award (Video podcast). CBS Daytime.
- Clifton, Scott (2011-06-19). Thank You Cam - Scott Clifton (Video podcast). CBS Daytime.
- "Daytime Emmy Awards 2011: List of winners". Cbsnews.com. CBS Interactive, Inc.
- "The 31st Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. March 4, 2004. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Daytime Emmy Award Nominations". TVWeek. Crain Communications. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 2005". Soapoperadigest.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07.
- "The 33rd Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. February 8, 2006. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- "The 37th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. May 12, 2010. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- "The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Winners". emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. June 16, 2013. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Scott Clifton|
- Official Scott Clifton Website
- Scott Clifton at the Internet Movie Database
- Theoretical Bullshit's channel on YouTube
- Scott Clifton, at Tuesday Afternoon, an online philosophy newsletter and podcast. Scott Clifton acts as a contributing editor.