Having recently wrapped up work on two feature films, Sean Kanan continues to experience success as an actor.
Yet, the Neshannock Township native sought to look beyond the trappings of Hollywood when writing “Success Factor X,” an advice-filled book exploring the definition of success.
The release teams Kanan with co-author Jill Liberman, a media veteran, author and motivational speaker, whom he met about 15 years ago when he contributed to her book “American Pride: Famous Americans Celebrate the USA.”
“She called me out of the blue to wish me happy birthday, and while we were talking I pitched my idea,” recalled Kanan, the son of Dale and Michele Perelman, in a phone interview. “We ended up becoming writing partners.
“This is such a time of division and polarization in our country, we wanted to find a unifying factor,” Kanan continued. “We started having discussions with people in the entertainment business, reaching out to people we know.”
The end result was 50 contributions from highly accomplished people including Jason Alexander, Don King, Mark Cuban, Mike Kryzewski, Jerry Springer and Susan Lucci as well as Kanan and Liberman.
“Most of them have all the trappings of success — money, power, fame,” Kanan said. “But there was also an internal barometer for success, whether it was helping provide clean drinking water in Africa or starting a non-profit.
“We’re constantly bombarded with images of success, everyone’s Instagram looks like they’re starring in their own rap video or trying to be the next Kardashian,” he continued. “But most of these people described success as the ability to pay it forward and help others. A fair amount defined success as the ability to help others achieve theirs.”
In their own effort to pay it forward, the authors are donating a portion of their proceeds from the book, which was released May 14, to the American Red Cross.
“I think people are really responding to the message. The majority of these types of books are written by one person, with that individual’s opinion. With 50 people, you start to see common denominators,” said Kanan who will be at the Neshannock Township Giant Eagle location July 5 signing copies of the book.
“I still consider New Castle home,” Kanan said. “So many of the people I love and care about are there.”
Since leaving Lawrence County, Kanan earned a degree in political science from UCLA and landed the role of Ralph Macchio’s nemesis in “Karate Kid III.” He then had roles on “General Hospital,” “Sunset Beach,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.”
Kanan has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, tours with the USO and frequents the comedy club circuit. In 2011, he authored “Modern Gentleman: Cooking and Entertaining with Sean Kanan.”
Recently, he completed work on an action film, “A Simple Man,” and a horror movie, “Verotika,” produced by Glenn Danzig, lead singer of the band Danzig.
“Success rarely comes overnight, but over the course of a month, a year, you can look back and see how far you’ve come,” Kanan said. “It sounds cliche but those who are successful never quit, they keep going,”