Name: Lamman Rucker
Profession: Actor, Activist, Educator, Entrepreneur
One Word That Describes You: Servant
By definition an actor is a person whose profession is acting on stage, in movies or on television. Lamman Rucker, best known for his roles as T. Marshall Travers on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns and as Will Brown on the TBS sitcom Meet the Browns, transcends this definition. Born in Pittsburg, PA, to a dedicated and supportive family, Rucker would use this helped to shape him into the man he is today. Education was an extremely important part of his life as he received his undergraduate degree in Information Technology and Business from Carnegie-Mellon University, and his graduate degree in Education and Curriculum Development studies from Duquesne University. As his acting career continues to take off he remains dedicated to service in a variety of grassroots, civic, and international organizations that focus on the improvement of critically challenged communities in the US.
Paul Robeson a 20th century actor and singer who blended athletics, artistry and humanitarianism into an inspiring legacy serves as inspiration for Rucker who played collegiate basketball, pursued his acting career, and aids in humanitarian efforts. “He was my inspiration,” says Rucker. “He not only demonstrated the need to be multifaceted, but his life set an example of what potential race related challenges we would face in the entertainment industry today. Even amidst the challenges, we find a way to overcome and progress forward. “You’ve got to work against limitations and the stigma of being a person of color and represent yourself and your people in an honorable way.”
The capability to move forward despite the challenges that we continue to face is a big reason why it is our normal to be extraordinary. This unique ability to adapt, but yet stand apart from the crowd is a skill that is not easily mastered. “My uniqueness is in my humility, ” Rucker tells BE Modern Man. “It comes through in a smile and hopefully the passion and sincerity in my voice or the way that I carry myself. Real outward power comes through peace and confidence which comes from inner power and light. That’s what I try to focus on, share and walk in.”
Walking in this light, and remaining humble in a world where “me, me, me” is placed before the collective “we” is rare today. “My greatest achievement has been the courage to give, serve and sacrifice of myself,” says Rucker. “It costs but it’s a consequence I’m willing to accept.” Having reached a place in his life where he is OK with the consequences of sacrificing himself, Rucker stands by this attitude of service the best he can and would have it no other way.
Sacrifice and service go hand in hand for Rucker, but one of his biggest challenges that come along with this is change. Changes in in his personal and professional life have not always come easy. “The challenge of managing what’s going on in your head and heart is an ongoing challenge and skill that not many teach, especially for our developing young boys,” says Rucker. “Many men don’t know how to cope, process, express, and focus feelings and emotions that are healthy and productive.” Being able to balance these feelings and emotions during challenging times has strengthened Rucker’s resolve. “If we learn how to heal, express ourselves, love, believe and forgive ourselves in a healthy way, we’re apt to become our best selves.” Rucker tells BE Modern Man not to focus on the outside, rather focus on becoming our best selves. “Do this better than focusing on taking over the world, and your contribution and impact will be that much more stronger.”
Strength comes in numbers and being inclusive is the hallmark of a leader. In order to break through the chaos Rucker knows that he needs his peers to make a greater impact. “I look to lock arms with my peers in solitude for a cause,” Rucker tells BE Modern Man exclusively. “We need each other so I don’t subscribe to being a one man show. Our voices and influence are more powerful together.”
Armed with knowledge and education, Rucker uses the tools gained in his personal and professional life to catapult his career. Whether it is working on a film or putting business plans together, developing your skills and perfecting your craft is vital to reach your potential. “Education heightens your chances for success. It helps you establish good professional habits through a structured environment. Leadership, self determination, self-discipline, and purpose are all developed in the process of accomplishing educational goals.” The path to career discovery, and ultimately success takes a type of focus and self-discipline that cannot be avoided. “Be careful of the shortcuts,” says Rucker. “Everything that glitters ain’t gold. When you’re working very hard some things will present themselves as the right opportunity which derail you from your goals and sometimes it’s a setup. These situations will challenge your discipline and focus. Have the courage to say no.”
For Rucker, developing clarity allows him to know what he should say no to. “Clarity comes through prayer, mentorship, education and an healthy relationship with yourself,” Rucker tells BE Modern Man. This clarity has helped Rucker in choosing his roles and leaves him confident in his decisions.
Read more about Lamman’s take of Black men in media…