Debbie Zukerman

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Being an actor, well - an underemployed actor, is hard. You can work and work on your craft, on staying in touch with artists you admire, on being a producer and writer as well as an actor, and it can still feel like treading water. Little wins, like support from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, feel like my work is valuable and encouraged.

What opportunity did you have overseas and why was it important for you – and for your craft?

I lived in Paris for 10 weeks while attending L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier.  Philippe Gaulier is an internationally renowned acting teacher. His unique approach pushes students towards a lifelong process of discovering who they are, and what they can give on stage. Studying with Philippe Gaulier was a truly humbling experience. This, for me, was an important part of the training, as ego can often get in the way of a performance.

What did you gain from your travels, both personally and professionally?

An awareness of my weak points as an actor (self consciousness being a major one), an awareness of what it feels like to act well, a willingness to take more risks, the ability to follow my impulses, increased emotional availability, incredible friends from all over the world - and the knowledge that I have a lot to learn.

What was the highlight?

HA! Highlight?  Playing Simon Says at the beginning of every class.  Drinking too much red wine and eating far too much chocolate, cheese and baguettes.  The classes themselves were scary and beautiful and exciting.  I don’t think I slept well for the entire three months I was in Paris.   But I came home and missed it, MISSED IT!!!  I missed the daily struggle, the challenge, and the failure even more than the little successes.  So maybe that was the highlight.  And the one day I was good... Even though it was just for a moment, before I completely forgot my lines.

What has the grant meant for you?

Being an actor, well – an underemployed actor, is hard. You can work and work on your craft, on staying in touch with artists you admire, on being a producer and writer as well as an actor, and it can still feel like treading water. Little wins, like support from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, feel like my work is valuable and encouraged.

Tags

grantees,Performing Arts

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