Cyrano actors Daniel Durant and Eddie Buck recently spent a day off from rehearsal to visit Marlton School for the Deaf in Los Angeles. The Marlton School is the only public day school for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in kindergarten through 12th grade within Los Angeles Unified School District. The school has a bilingual spirit, using American Sign Language and English to teach its deaf (and hearing) students.
We asked actor Eddie Buck a few questions about his experience visiting Marlton School, how he’s adjusting to moving to Los Angeles, and what its like being part of the cast of Cyrano:
How was it, working with and performing for the kids?
It was an incredible, wonderful experience. It was just like I’m being a kid again. And it reminded me of my childhood times. Although, I learned so much about myself as a guest performer, and being around those kids. It was a magical day for all of us. I came to share my gifts with them. I had to save my energy with them. I actually had to take a nap, like a 6-year-old, when I got back home! That made me realize how exhausted I was after working with those students!
Why is visiting a classroom and interacting with young people important to you?
These students need some kind of role model, and I want to be one for them. I want to inspire them as much as I can. It was both fun and an educational experience for all of us.
How are you adjusting to life in Los Angeles?
Since I moved here last end of February I’ve been exploring and learning many new things about myself as an actor. It has been truly a blessing to see things grow. And I’ve met many wonderful people, including the cast of Cyrano.
How is the deaf community here different from the one in your hometown?
It is definitely a big difference from my experience as a child. I grew up [in Pennsylvania] in a completely different environment from what I’ve seen at Marlton School for the Deaf. I grew up with a deaf school, then went into a mainstream school, and then went to a mainstream college. I understand what the differences are between two worlds, deaf and hearing. I feel like I lived in both worlds because I was raised in a hearing family with great communication, and plus, my experiences with several schools I’ve attended. Otherwise, I feel like my hometown deaf community [in Pennsylvania] and the LA deaf community is a bit different because where I live is much smaller than here. I’m still learning some new things from people I meet in Los Angeles. Plus, the cast I work with are international. I actually learned several foreign sign languages, and cultures as well. I’m very grateful to have this magical opportunity, and its been definitely a magnificent experience.
So, you’re having fun being part of the cast of Cyrano?
Absolutely. I love it. It’s really an honor to be part of this show. I love working with the cast. They are fun to work with, but we all work very hard. I always learn something new from the cast every day during rehearsal. I’m very grateful to be part of this wonderful journey.
Eddie Buck and Daniel Durant had a wonderful day with the students at Marlton School for the Deaf. Have a look!