Amazing Grace on being the fool

Actress, poet and artist Grace Zabriskie spent the past week on the University of West Florida campus as an artist-in-residence. Last night, she fielded questions on her career and her professions at a special event held on the UWF campus.

Zabriskie debuted in “Norma Rae” and has played several memorable roles in film and on television–including “An Officer and Gentlemen,” “Wild at Heart,” “Twin Peaks,” “Seinfeld” and “Big Love.” She grew up half block away from her father’s Bourbon Street bar and knew Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. She joked that she was “insufficiently discouraged” from acting and art when she was a child.

She talked about aspiring to be the fool. “There are kings and their courts, filled with ladies, nobles and advisers. Then there is that unique one–the fool whose job is not just to advise, but to tell the truth. He must know the king well enough to somehow tell him the truth.

“I do aspire to be that fool, trying to figure out somehow to say the truth,” said Zabriskie, “to spend time watching, listening, paying attention and trying to see things as they really are.”

She said, “There is price you pay for that. If you aspire to tell the truth–to watch, listen and think and tell the truth in some form, you can’t aspire to be like the lords and ladies.”

—-May we all aspire to be fools.