Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be a high school teacher

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Dec. 24, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    When I think of all the big-time, successful actors—Aaron Eckhart, Ryan Gosling, Amy Adams, et al.—who threw away their faith in order to have a successful career in film, it breaks my heart into countless pieces. Although it's too bad that this man had to give up his dream, he ultimately made the right choice, for himself, and for his family. The Lord will bless him with even greater things as a result.

  • WendyP La Quinta CA, CA
    Dec. 12, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Great article about a fellow Placer High Alumni.... another one of our classmates recently posted a picture of a movie scene on facebook asking if it was "Scott Ditty"... now I know that indeed it was. Thanks for being a great role model!

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Nice article, Doug. We all face choices. Nice to see someone make a choice he feels so good about that also benefits others.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    I guess I have to disagree that his choice was the only right choice. It is right that there be movies about the Mafia. Realistic Movies. If he doesn't want to play in them fine, but someone needs to.

    I don't know the part they had asked him to play, if smoking or nudity was involved his turning it down was understandable. If not this reminds me of photographers or cake makers who refuse to serve gay people when they get 'married'. The religious expectation is that people not be in a gay marriage, not that they don't serve those who do.

    Just remember that the LDS church has produced several movies that portray the Devil himself. Someone had to act that part.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    @MapleDon, you couldn't be more wrong to decalre that his career was a bust, and that "...bit parts don't pay very much.." It really depends on the contract.

    1. You do realize that some of the biggest stars started out doing exactly what he was don't you?

    2. Do you really know how Hollywood and royalties work?

    I know a guy who played a bit part in a hit movie a few years back. He was in it for 20 seconds and said 12 words. Do you know how much money he made when that movie was aired frequently on television a few years later? More that $40,000 in one year. And that was just for one movie.

    So you can do all you want to try and throw cold water on an inspiring story. But get your facts straight before you start claiming that his career never took off (we'll never know how far he would have gone) or that he didn't make much money. I'm betting he gets a nice pay check every now and then.

    Ryan Gossling, Matthew Modine, and Catherine Heigle et al, could learn from him.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    He makes clear he was not a star but was making a decent living. He was doing just fine but knew there was something more important. He sounds like a guy who has his head on straight.

    I don't know why some always have to put others down. But I guess these posts are here for those who want to make thmselves feel better by belittling others.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    The old saying is that those that can, do. Those that can't, teach. When I taught professionally I found that particular saying shallow and untrue in most cases. Often, those that can, choose to teach. I love it when they do.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    I was home teaching companions with Scott back in his acting days. He was a good guy back then. I'm glad he's still doing well!

  • swoop alumnus Rakuen, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:22 p.m.

    mapleton don
    thanks for your critique. i always love to get inputs from some while putting others down. Love to be able yo critique your career.

  • frankie boy Dove Canyon, CA
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    had a very Catholic friend of mine who worked as a film editor on major projects, including a number of Spielberg movies. Got out due to the subject matter being incompatible with his faith-and has spent the last 20 years selling copy machines and raising his kids the right way. Correct decision IMHO-if you are not comfortable with the subject matter no matter how much money they'll pay you-you shouldn't be there, period.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    First of all, Scott did not have an illustrious and successful career in Hollywood. He played minor bit parts (guard, deputy, bouncer, bartender, etc.) in a few, mostly television shows. Almost all of that occurred in a two- or three-year stretch in the late 1990s. Second, the fact is you either make it in Hollywood, or you don't. Scott never got above playing bit parts. Which brings up third: bit parts don't pay very much and, for Scott, they were few and far between and certainly not enough to make a living. And when you can't make a living doing what you're doing, you've got to find a different career.

    As some others have inferred, it was probably for the better that Scott's Hollywood career was a bust. It doesn't seem the best place for an active, practicing Mormon.

  • Orem Cougar Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Great article. The community needs more teachers and coaches who see the "big" picture.
    Nice going dude!

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    One LDS actor that was able to make it work was Gordon Jump. I understand that he stuck entirely to TV (and commercials) after acting in a movie to which the producers added R-rated content after he had finished shooting for what had been a PG-rated script. I am happy to see LDS who will stick to what their religion teaches them, whether it means they accept only certain types of work, or they ultimately choose a different profession because the job that will allow them to keep going as an actor is incompatible with what they have been taught. I understand the passion to do a certain kind of job, but those who think acting is somehow fundamentally different than, for instance, other careers that would facilitate a very comfortable lifestyle at the cost of focus on family and religion are fooling themselves.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    After reading many articles in the recent past about LDS who decide to go the other way and stick with acting --sometimes at the cost of their LDS lifestyle--like Mathew Modine, Aaron Eckhart,Catherine Heigel,Paul Walker and Will Swenson to name a few, its interesting to read this article.

    Glad its worked out for him. Kids can always use teachers who WANT to be teachers.

  • Beefcake Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    I played football at Woods Cross High when Coach Ditty was an assistant, he left in the middle of the season to film Con Air, I have always remembered him as a great coach and enjoyed when I have seen him in movies. It has always been a good story to tel that my football coach left to be in Con Air. Very good guy and glad he is back to coaching.

  • Pat Salt Lake , UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    I agree with the other bloggers: a great story about a great man. Keep it up. You are a great inspiration and role model to many.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Fun to read this! We need more of these kinds of role models for our youth-LDS or not, for someone to walk away from the glamour of Hollywood and change career paths to teaching is giving up a lot for all the right reasons, like he said, for him and his lifestyle.

    Dec. 11, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Good on him.

  • youmightbenutz Boise, ID
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    Personally, I would be much more willing to drop cash to watch him as a coach with these young people than most movies that come out... Great article about a good person. Thanks!

  • Eagles63 Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article. Great insights into the challenges of life one man faces in finding his way through life. Inspiring.