Do What You Love: The Guncles
Ever dream about finding a way to do what you love for a living? In my "Do What You Love" column, I ask people who've done it to tell me their secrets. Here's hoping they inspire you to do the same.
Bill Horn and Scout Masterson (a.k.a. “The Guncles,” short for "the gay uncles") are regulars on Oxygen Network’s hit reality show “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.”
As close friends with Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott for many years, Horn and Masterson have been seen by millions of viewers spending quality time with the famous couple and their children.
In 2009, fans tuned in to watch Horn and Masterson exchange vows at a commitment ceremony and have watched as the couple struggled with the emotional highs and lows of trying to adopt a child of their own. In 2010, the couple announced the birth of daughter Simone Lynn.
The premiere of season six of the show also marked the very first time that a gay family has regularly appeared on a noncompetitive reality TV show.
In addition to appearing on the show, Horn and Masterson run a public relations firm specializing in baby and kids' products. They have also started a not-for-profit business called Hold My Hand, a mentoring service for people going through the adoption process.
The Guncles have found a way to do what they love for a living and they tell you how you can, too.
BusinessNewsDaily: How do you define what you do for a living?
The Guncles: We're definitely a modern family who does many different things. We weren't looking to be reality TV stars when our friends Tori and Dean started doing their show years ago. The cameras were following their lives and naturally we were around. I think as things happened in our lives, people really identified with what we were going through — especially with the adoption of our daughter, Simone.
It's interesting — people sometimes assume our fans are specifically the gay community, when in reality, our fans are 98 percent everyday moms. When we're at Target, people literally hand us their babies to hold and introduce us to their kids. We love that people have embraced our family in that way.
BusinessNewsDaily: What did you do for a living before you were on television? Do you still have those careers?
The Guncles: Before appearing on "Tori and Dean," Bill was a publicist working on corporate accounts and Scout was an Emmy-nominated casting director. When Simone arrived, we decided that we wanted to work together, closer to home and maintain more family-friendly hours.
We didn't want to commute an hour each way to our offices, just to get home by 8 p.m. — basically missing Simone's entire day. So we pulled our career talents together and started our company, Marque Communications, a boutique PR and marketing firm specializing in baby and kids' products. Marque has grown tremendously since starting it two years ago and we work with some of the largest brands in the baby business. We also do special events — like our annual Santa's Secret Workshop benefiting L.A. Family Housing. We love devoting time to our favorite charities, including being on the Los Angeles committee of Baby Buggy.
BusinessNewsDaily: How did “Hold My Hand” come about?
The Guncles: When Simone's adoption was chronicled on "Tori and Dean," many people really identified with wanting to adopt and we found ourselves helping people with their questions via Facebook and Twitter. After several months of offering advice on our process, we also found ourselves starting to mentor other people in their adoption processes. That's when we decided to launch Hold My Hand in November 2011. Since that point, we've helped well over 120 people and families with adoption advice. Since we struggled with our own adoption process, we know that it can be a very emotional ride and sometimes it's nice to have someone outside of the adoption agency to just vent to or bounce ideas off of. Also, we don't charge money for our advice — we know adoption can be very expensive! Our biggest reward is opening an email in the morning to find the "first photos" of a couple's newborn child.
BusinessNewsDaily: Has that become your full-time focus?
Ideally, we would love for Hold My Hand to become a larger network and be able to help more people with their adoption processes. We're currently thinking of ways to raise funds — hopefully to rent office space and have more adoptive parent volunteers and social workers become involved. If anyone has ideas …
BusinessNewsDaily: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Masterson: I wanted to be a casting director. I did it. Now I want to be the best parent I can be!
Horn: I wanted to be an architect.
BusinessNewsDaily: Why do you love your jobs?
The Guncles: We love our jobs because we love working together. Being on TV, we get to share with people that our family is very similar to theirs. We go through the same things as everyone else. So many people think they know (from movies and TV) what a gay family is like based on the characters people play. Although the representation of gay families has become much better (and less stereotypical), there is still quite a ways to go.
BusinessNewsDaily: What's the biggest misconception about your career?
The Guncles: The biggest misconception about being on reality TV is that we are rich and that everything is handed to us. It's so funny. We work our butts off and do so seven days a week!
BusinessNewsDaily: If you didn't do your job, whose job would you like to have and why?
Masterson: I can't think of anyone's job that sounds more appealing. All jobs have their ups and downs. But, specifically, I would like to be David Beckham ... so I could be incredibly hot and appear in underwear ads!
BusinessNewsDaily: Do you think having a job you love has made you a better person in other areas of your life?
The Guncles: Absolutely. We love all of our jobs and because of that, we enjoy doing them. To us, working as hard as we do isn't a chore. So overall, we're extremely happy.
BusinessNewsDaily: What's your best advice to other people who are trying to pursue their career dreams?
The Guncles: We encourage everyone to go for it and do what they love.
Masterson: I'm from a very small, rural town and I dreamed of becoming a casting director. I researched, made my plan and worked my butt off. I wasn't above working my way from intern to casting director over a course of 10 years. I made a career plan and didn't accept no for an answer. So many people want to just skip ahead to their dream position and forget that more than likely, the folks in their dream job have worked years to get there.
BusinessNewsDaily: What's your idea of the perfect retirement?
The Guncles: Being able to enjoy life, family and friends. If we're wealthy, that would be nice too!
Jeanette Mulvey has been writing about business for more than 20 years. Know someone who loves what they do? Tweet @jeanettebnd with the hashtag #dowhatyoulove.