Deborah Kuhn is a writer, producer, and actress who’s most known for her diverse acting roles, from playing a mother of a young Bruce Springsteen in The River or portraying a prostitute for Charlie Sheen on The Tonight Show. While Kuhn may be an incredibly talented actress with the skill to adapt to multiple roles, it was her latest short film, ‘Monarch Butterfly,’ that has set the bar for a new milestone in her career.
The small-town Ohio native worked for Delta Airlines and traveled the world as a flight attendant before starting her acting career. Once she settled in New York, she decided it was time to overcome self-doubt and reach for her dream, with her husband encouraging her to pursue her craft full-time.
“It’s kind of like having someone that loves you give you that permission.” She says. I’ve been devoting all of my time to it. Now I’m out here meeting more people, I’m meeting more casting directors.”
Her first taste with writing occurred when Deborah was in the midst of auditioning for acting roles. While she was waiting to hear back from casting directors, she was given advice from several industry experts to venture into writing her own work. Her acting coach encouraged her to write her first script, which was a new, and terrifying experience, but an idea eventually emerged, featuring a dark monologue that had played in her brain at the most unexpected moment while getting a facial. After numerous revisions, she filmed it last summer in Cape May, New Jersey. Her acting coach directed and helped cast the film.
Actors Green Room
Praised as being among the best of the Actor’s Green Room Short Screening Series, Monarch Butterfly was shown at the Tribeca Screening Room with great success. The event was better than anticipated. “We felt like we had to invite friends and tell them to ask certain questions, “Kuhn laughs. “But we didn’t have to. People were asking questions, and we had great feedback.”
Film Festivals, Best Short
Monarch Butterfly has already won three awards for excellence, original score and leading actress (for Kuhn) in the Best Shorts Competition. The 16-minute film also works as a calling card, and Kuhn can show industry folks the one-minute trailer. “You would love to have someone at a film festival say, I love her writing, or I love her work, let’s bring her in.”
More Writing, Acting and Producing
If you haven’t had the chance to view Kuhn’s work, she plans to write more, with goals of making one short film per year. “I want to make a feature, but I’m okay right now with doing short films.” Her next may be about Down syndrome, which she’s long been interested in. “My niece was a nanny for this little boy, and she taught him sign language and I was just so intrigued with that.”
Kuhn is represented by Michele Peacock of Andreadis Talent Agency and her film will also be shown at the NYC International Film Festival in February.