Philip O'Gorman is a native Irishman from County
Following a number of plays with London's
semi-professional Tower Theatre Company,
Philip quit his day job, sold his flat, and moved to
New York to pursue a full-time career as an actor.
At HB Studio he studied with Christopher Martin,
Founding Artistic Director of Classic Stage
Company, and Stuart Vaughan, Founding Artistic
Director of both NY Shakespeare Festival and
Seattle Repertory Theatre, and appeared in HB
Performance Lab productions of Shakespeare's
MACBETH, and Ibsen's THE LADY FROM THE SEA.
Completing his studies, he was awarded his
post-completion work permit (OPT), and booked
his first professional role in Tom Lazarus' award
-winning film, THE BENCH, returning to the stage
in the US premiere of Lermontov's MASQUERADE
with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn at St. Ann's
Church, and collaborating with Christopher Martin he produced Pinter's OLD TIMES (appearing as Deeley) for a critically successful off-Off Broadway run.
Philip: Derived from the Greek Philippos meaning fond of horses.
I grew up in Ireland, just outside the wonderful, quite magical city of Kilkenny, and my childhood was, in many respects, idyllic. My siblings and I ran wild in the countryside and, during our many adventures we built tree houses; picked mushrooms in dew-laden grass; gathered bluebells in the woods; and swam in the river.
However, the flip side to this picture perfect childhood is the well-documented darker side to Ireland, a side which is still evident in the abundance of work being produced by Irish artists. It affected me too: I developed a very guarded exterior.
True to the meaning of my name, I started out with a plan to become a show jumper, and as a teenager I worked for a horse trainer practically every weekend. But there was a little voice in my head urging me to act. It proved to be unrelenting so eventually I had to listen.
At last I took acting classes, which led me to audition for the drama school in Trinity, Dublin. It was at this point that the limitations of my guarded exterior began to surface. What I believed to be my strength was my weakness. I was declined by Trinity for two consecutive years - they referenced my struggle with vulnerability.
That didn’t stop me however. I joined a well-respected theatre company in London in the hope that I would get spotted. There were opportunities to do so but I believe my lack of vulnerability played a part in that not quite going to plan. On top of that, I now realise I was acting my parts not living them, and there’s a world of difference between the two.
It all proved to be very unsatisfactory so after several years of unfulfilling work both with, and separate to the theatre company, I decided I had had enough.
This decision however left me with a huge void in my life, and before long I understood I needed to recalibrate, and figure out where I was going wrong. To do this properly I decided to get out of London with all its distractions, and move to New York to focus on my craft.
During my training here I became familiar with, and eventually embraced: The duality of the mind and body; impulses; the joy of play; my voice, both singing and speaking; my socialised body; my shadow persona; being open; taking risks; how to approach a play in order to tell the story as the author intended; finding the essential humanity of the character; living the part; and of course being vulnerable.
I feel incredibly humbled, and so very lucky to have worked with so many great teachers, and to be doing what I do.
I want to work on stage, in film, and on TV, and I especially want to do the classics. Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Beckett, and Shaw come to mind immediately, and given the opportunity I will bring their characters to life, seasoned with me. I am passionate about acting, and aspire to do great work.